Saturday, 3 March 2012

Wonders of Jordan


Tourists at Petra approach Al Khazneh (the Treasury), whose function in Nabataean times is still unknown. Spurred by Jordan’s peace treaty with Israel, tourism to Petra is up tenfold since 1991, boosting the economy but raising concerns about preservation.

 Amman at Dusk

Lights at dusk reveal the expanse of Jordan’s capital city of Amman. The city’s present-day sprawl - sunbaked white homes, modern high-rises, chic hotels, and commercial districts situated on a hilly landscape - exists side-by-side with historical sites dating to periods of Byzantine, Roman, and early Islamic rule.


Reclining on a rooftop carved two millennia ago, a Bedouin surveys the realm of the Nabataeans, beckoning from the sands of southern Jordan. Forgotten for centuries, Petra still echoes with mysteries of the past; this immense building, Al Deir (the Monastery), was probably a Nabataean shrine.
Church Mosaics 
Petra’s heyday ended when the Romans rerouted trade in the second century A.D., sending the city into a long decline. In a fifth-century Byzantine church, archaeologists found detailed mosaics.
Olives of Ajlun
During the harvest season, farmers in the town of Ajlun - about 46 miles (75 kilometers) north of Amman - ready olives for pressing at oil extraction plants. Olives are among Jordan’s chief agricultural products, along with citrus, tomatoes, and cucumbers.

Turkish Coffee
Turkish coffee, served from an ibrik, is a popular refreshment in Jordan. The long-handled pot - traditionally made from brass or copper - is also used to brew the beverage. 

Dead Sea
Visitors to the Dead Sea float in its famously buoyant waters, among the saltiest on Earth. Located on the border of Israel and Jordan, the inland sea is an increasingly popular destination for tourists seeking the touted curative properties of its salts and minerals.

Jebel Musa
A church and monastery dating to the fourth century A.D. stand at the summit of Jebel Musa, or Mount Nebo, near Madaba in western Jordan. Accounts in Jewish and Christian tradition place the tomb of the biblical prophet Moses at the site, from where he is said to have viewed the Promised Land. Today the mountain and surrounding holy sites draw pilgrims and tourists from around the world.

Jerash Ruins
Sheep graze near the ruins of a colonnaded Roman street in Jerash, 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of Amman. Part of the Greco-Roman Decapolis League under Pompey the Great during its golden age, the ancient city’s remarkably well preserved ruins include public plazas, temples, and theaters.

Red Sea Reef
Resting on a plate of stony coral, a giant carpet sea anemone coexists with bright clownfish in the Red Sea, which meets the southwest tip of Jordan at Aqaba. Isolated from the open ocean, the sea harbors a wealth of endemic marine creatures: One-fifth of the species are found nowhere else.

Wadi Rum
Wind-combed dunes meet parched mud flats in Wadi Rum, a stark desertscape in southwestern Jordan. Revered for its dramatic sandstone and granite rock faces cut into a breathtaking span of sunbaked desert, Wadi Rum was made famous by Lawrence of Arabia, who based his operations there during the Arab Revolt. 

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