Holy Land Pilgrimage Part 8 – Kerak Castle Crusader Fortress

by | Oct 7, 2022 | FSSP, Holy Land, Pilgrimage, written by Captain | 7 comments

Here is part eight and the final part of the series of posts James is sharing all about his pilgrimage to the Holy Land this past summer! You can find the rest here: 

Day 13: Wednesday, July 20  
Travel day to Amman. Departing Wadi Musa, we will visit Kerak Castle, one of the largest crusader fortresses in the Holy Land dating to c.1140. From there, it will be a scenic drive back to Amman for check-in at our hotel. Dinner and overnight in Amman.

On our drive to the hotel that we were going to stay in for our (Israel time) 3AM flight, we drove through where some Bedouins were held up.

“Bedouins, a semi-nomadic group of desert dwellers who traversed the sands are the oldest inhabitants of the Arabian desert. Known for their resourcefulness and hospitality, the Bedouins survived harsh weather conditions and lived in difficult environments.”

Crazy that people still live like this! 

Also saw some camels out in the wild. 
I missed out on riding one in Petra… Just ran out of time. 

Next we had Mass in a super sketch part of town. 
I was surprised there was even a Catholic church over here. 

After Mass we went and toured a Crusader Fortress! 

Soooo cool! 

No one coming up this wall. 

One part of the kitchen…


More halls… So cool to imagine knights and other medieval folk walking down these halls just going about their daily life!

The prison… As a Criminal Justice major I thought this was SUPER cool!!!!

This would have been the chapel area!
The views though!
Still a little confused as to how this place got taken over…

Not the worst place to spend a birthday! 22 today! 


A couple of the guys in our group offered to buy me a drink to celebrate. 
Great way to spend our last night overseas!

Day 14: Thursday, July 21
Departure day for the US: early morning transfer by our private bus to Queen Alia Airport for the return flight home.

After 3AM Mass we headed to the airport to leave for the U.S. 

Back Stateside! 


Wwwelp… due to delays, our group missed our connection in San Francisco. 
I want to be home already… As I have learned multiple times on this trip tho, 
“In all things give thanks!” 

First time in Seattle… (that I remember) 
Finally touched down in Spokane around 7 (Pacific Time) – Glad to be HOME!

Just as the Israelites wandered the desert for 40 years before reaching the Promised Land, we “wandered” the airports for about 40 hours before arriving home… If that doesn’t complete a pilgrimage I don’t know what does!
Thank you to everyone who played a part in making this possible, whether by your prayers or financial support! After the generous gift from my godfather, my parents, and all the additional gifts from your generous support through Go Fund Me, Venmo and PayPal, I ended up only $2,217 short from being able to pay for the pilgrimage, and that was able to come out of my summer jobs/college funds for this school year! Between working hard these past few summers, my scholarships, grants and need-based aid, work study, and a lot of help from my parents, I’ve made it to senior year without having taken out any student loans, so if I end up with one small loan for second semester of senior year it shouldn’t be too hard to pay off after graduation! 

Such an incredible once in a lifetime experience! I will never forget this trip! 

Hope ya’ll enjoyed following along with me!
I really enjoyed being able to share it!!! 


  1. Anonymous

    Very cool! What an awesome experience !

  2. Anonymous

    What do you mean by "super sketch part of town"? Poor? Muslim? An explanation of that term would make it easier to understand what you are describing.

  3. Karen H

    With your sense of humor (and fun!) you really ought to consider doing travelogues as a secondary career! I’m just sorry the journey has come to an end, it’s been fascinating and an eye opener, along with SO many laughs: “Crazy that people still live like this!” “..a super sketch part of town”, “Just as the Israelites wandered the desert for 40 years before reaching the Promised Land, we "wandered" the airports for about 40 hours”.
    Keep traveling, James, and please keep the travelogues coming, they’re fantastic!

  4. Anonymous


  5. James

    What I mean from sketchy was that we were walking in back streets, there were no other tourists, and from the looks we got you could tell that we were not wanted there. So the situation was sketchy and gave me a feeling of not being safe.

    The majority of people in Israel and Jordan are Muslim and additionally they are very impoverished, but I never felt unsafe because of those things.

  6. James Gordon

    It really was!!! I was incredibly blessed to have had that opportunity.

  7. James Gordon

    Well hello yet again (and quite possibly for the last time) Karen! You know I never had thought about doing travelogues as a second career but now that you mention it I might have to pick up this side gig. At a decently young age, whenever we would go camping I would do my best to journal the experience. I remember I would write down the most random but I do remember really enjoying doing that. It honestly helps me remember the fun trips I went on as a child.
    And don’t worry, as long as there are places that I have yet explore, I will always make time to travel. There is so much beauty out there that God has made and so much history in which God is clearly  present in that it would be a shame if I didn’t at least make an attempt to see and learn about all that there is out there.

    Again I am super glad that you enjoyed following along this incredible journey with me and that you were able to learn a little of our Lord and the places where he was born, raised, died, and rose from the dead.

    Take care and God Bless!


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