Petra: a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Even though only 13% of what it originally was is standing today - almost all of Petra was destroyed by wars and earthquakes - its beauty is as impressive as the energy emanating from its rocks, ruins and tombs. I suggest arriving early to make the most of it, as the walk is quite long.
I have always found it important, and part of the process of getting to know the local culture, to explore local markets in certain cities we visited, at least the first time you go there. But when you are in the East, this assumption is fundamental, and in Amman, as in the rest of the Arab countries, local markets are rich with products and well-known Souks.
If you have more time to visit Jordan, it is very worthwhile to venture south of the country in the Wadi Rum Desert, where tourists, adventurers, climbers and hiking practitioners find plenty to explore. This place is also sought-after by Hollywood filmmakers, so much so that the new (2019) movie “Aladdin” was filmed just when I was in this desert (end of 2017).
When touring the territory of Jordan, it will not necessarily be an invitation to consume. The coolest thing about this country is to explore the cultural and food richness and the different customs and aspects that govern society. But, there are small objects and accessories that can be very interesting to take home.
Close by and just over one hour from Amman by car is the amazing Dead Sea, whose waters bathe Jordan, the West Bank, and Israel. It is located 400 m below sea level and is therefore the lowest place on earth. It is a large saltwater lake where one does not sink due to its very high salinity level - about ten times saltier than seawater.
The tour of Amman will surely give you some unforgettable memories and sensations, mainly due to the religious contrasts as well as the architectural and gastronomic richness. The visit can last up to three days, and you can do a lot in just one day trip. Some people arrive at the capital by land, but I particularly find it safer to cross the Israel-Jordan border by plane.
Anyone visiting the Middle East can immediately sense how their people care about making sure tourists will eat very well. Serving good food and good beverage are part of the Palestinian behaviour and way of life. Abundance of bread, meat, tabule, eggplant, stew, spicy dishes and so. These are pretty much the essence of Jordan cuisine.
I believe many of those who will read this article, just like me, have never had Jordan on their traveling bucket list. There are those who recognize it as the country of the archaeological city of Petra; others talk about Jordan because of the Dead Sea. And those thinking of visiting the East are most likely to go to Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Morocco. But few go to Jordan.
The visit to Amman is complete when you get to know the Roman Theater. So much so that some tour guides start the city tour at this place, considered an architectural relic created more than 2,000 years ago during the Roman domination, when Amman was chosen capital of the Roman Empire and was still called Philadelphia.