Karak Castle


Karak was a highly anticipated trip for me. It’s one of Jordan’s premier tourist attractions, which was evident as soon as we pulled into town. We were far from the only visitors there (though it still wasn’t crowded), and the souvenier shops and restaurants all had very aggressive recruiting tactics. Still, it wasn’t as bad as Petra and Palmyra in that respect (don't get me started on that subject, especially Petra. I get all riled up even reading about it).


The real castle doesn’t look anything like the one they show in Kingdom of Heaven. At least, its surroundings are different. The countryside around Karak is hilly and rolling (and the road to reach it is quite windy, at least approaching from the south as we were).


My favorite part of the castle was the keep at the southern end, four stories high with plenty of those defensive arrow-slit windows. At first, it looks like you can’t climb to the top, but the very last arch on the right conceals a staircase up to the next level. From there, you’re out of luck, since the staircase to the very top has crumbled halfway up.


This supermarket (I love how any store selling even gum and pop gets called a “supermarket” here) had its sign in Hebrew, among other languages. We found that very interesting, being used to the Syrian way of dealing with that country (ie, it’s called Occupied Palestine).
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Don't try this at home

Shobak Castle