The “Rose-Red City of Petra,” carved some 2000 years ago by the rather mysterious Nabateans into pink sandstone cliffs, is truly a wonder of the world. The precise grace of these ancient architects is revealed with aplomb, at the end of a steep, narrow, smoothly worn gorge called the Siq, that opens onto the exquisite sunlit façade of “The Treasury,” its exquisite cascade of columns familiar to anyone who has seen an Indiana Jones movie.
The wind-sculpted wilderness that surrounds Amman has inspired prophets, kings, and cinematographers with its awesome dreamscape of sunset-streaked mountains, ancient stone villages, and the magnificent Dead Sea Dead Sea. Amman makes a very comfortable base from which nature lovers can explore the unforgiving dunes and spectacular rock formations of Wadi Rum Wadi Rum, where Lawrence of Arabia first befriended the Bedouin. History buffs could consider trips to Umayyad-era (circa 700 AD) castles.