Ramle – Visiting the Pool of Arches and the White Tour
Ramle is famous for its Wednesday market. Although we’d visited the small town before to visit a friend, we wanted to return to visit the market and Ramle’s 1300 year old underground cistern. I’d heard that the cistern was large enough to row a boat in, and wanted to see it for myself.
Our friend met us at the market, which, in addition to being an amazing fruit and vegetable market, was also an outdoor flea market. Bertrand and I both thought the same thing: DANTOKPA! It was a lot of fun wandering through the vendors and eyeing all of the kitchen wares, cheap rubber shoes, and clothing. Definitely worth making another trip when we’re packing out and preparing for our next post.
After the market, we visited a friend’s home for a drink and to let the kids run around outside for a little while. Jasmine met his dog, then begged and begged and begged for her own—of no avail. Bertrand and I aren’t interested in adding another small creature that requires 24/7 care to our already overwhelming household.
The Pool of Arches, the primary reason for our visit to Ramle, is an enormous underground cistern built under the streets of the town. Muslim and Christian legends differ, but everyone agrees that it was built about 1300 years ago. The pool was, apparently, much larger in the past; however, it was still large enough for us to paddle a boat around. Several boats, in fact.
We agreed to trade selfies with several other visiting families, in order to avoid passing phones back and forth between boats, and risking dropping very expensive electronics into the murky water.
After paddling around for quite some time, we herded the kids back up to the surface, and took a quick trip to the White Tower, built as part of a mosque in 1300.
Prayers are no longer held at the tower, but there are stunning views of Ramle for those willing to climb to the top.
We really enjoyed returning to Ramle. It’s a beautiful and quiet town, and an excuse to see touristy sights in a place that didn’t feel like a tourist trip was lovely.
And the company was good too.