Two of the best in Jordan
Often it’s a country’s capital city that offers a tourist the best things to see and do with the most important places of interest usually located there. This is not the case with Jordan. While Amman certainly provides an interesting day trip, there are far more impressive sights to see outside of the capital. Here are two of the best …
Petra is UNESCO-listed and chosen as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It’s not only Jordan’s most valuable treasure … it truly is one of the great places in the world to visit. This vast, unique city was carved into the sheer, dusky rose-pink rock face about 2,000 years ago by the Nabataeans, Arabs originally from Africa. You can see it on TV and the web or read about it in books and magazines but nothing prepares you for this spectacular gem which is best witnessed first-hand for yourself.
To properly absorb this ancient city described as half as old as time, plan on spending about 5 hours or so. Start early in the day to beat both the heat and the crowds – with around 1 million travelers passing through its gates each year, don’t expect to be there on your own! If time is at a premium, a walk to the Treasury site is a good option.
Wadi Rum – the Valley of the Moon – is a vast desert landscape virtually untouched by humans. This magnificent site with eye-catching rock formations offers up many good reasons for its popularity … the 2-hour drive in a 4WD makes for a great adventure, there are many canyons to explore, ancient graffiti to ponder and even the occasional Bedouin tent serving cups of tea … but the main attraction is simply the stunning scenery. Laurence of Arabia called this region vast, echoing and god-like and it’s hard to disagree. Whatever you do don’t forget your comfortable walking shoes, water, a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses!
Story & photos by Brett Goulston