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Rich in history, Jordan traces its roots back to biblical times, although the modern state only became independent in 1946. About the size of Portugal, it’s surrounded by Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Israel and the West Bank. A constitutional kingdom, Jordan is one of the most relaxed countries in the Arab world. There’s plenty to see, from Roman remains to natural wonders, from Crusader castles to biblical sites.
The most important and largest city is the capital Amman. Here, modern office blocks, restaurants and boutiques rub shoulders with traditional coffee bars, craftsmen’s workshops and the atmospheric souks (markets). The climate in Amman and many other areas is pleasant, although the summers are hot. But four-fifths of the country are desert, land of the Bedouin and some of it is hauntingly beautiful. Lawrence of Arabia described the dramatic rock formations at Wadi Rum as “vast, echoing and God-like”. Also in the desert is the breathtaking ancient city of Petra. It was created 2,000 years ago when beautiful buildings were carved out of sheer rock faces, and many of them are still there today. There are obelisks, temples and a Roman-style theatre which once sat 3,000 people, all cut out of the pink stone. Read More
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