Jordan
Amman
Aqaba
Dead Sea
Jerash
Petra
Wadi Rum

   Amman
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     The seven hills of Amman are an enchanting mixture of ancient and modern. Honking horns give way to the beautiful call to prayer which echoes from the stately minarets which grace the city. Gleaming white houses, kabab stalls and cafés are interspersed with bustling markets—known in Arabic as souqs—and the remains of civilizations and ages long past.
     Sunset is perhaps the best time to enjoy Amman, as the white buildings of the city seem to glow in the fading warmth of the day.
    The greatest charm of Amman, however, is found in the hospitality of its residents. Visitors to Amman—and the rest of Jordan, for that matter—are continually surprised by the genuine warmth with which they are greeted. "Welcome in Jordan" is a phrase visitors will not soon forget.
     Amman is built on seven hills, or jabals, each of which more or less defines a neighborhood. Most jabals once had a traffic circle, and although most of these have now been replaced by traffic lights, Amman’s geography is often described in reference to the eight circles which form the spine of the city. First Circle is located near downtown, and the series extends westward through Eighth Circle.

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   Aqaba
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     With its balmy winter climate and idyllic setting, Aqaba is Jordan’s year-round aquatic playground. In winter, while Amman shivers around 5ºC (41ºF), the temperature hovers steadily at about 25ºC (77ºF) in Aqaba. The thriving underwater marine life and the crystal clear waters of the Gulf of Aqaba make diving conditions there among the acknowledged best in the world. Snorkeling, water skiing, windsurfing, fishing and other water sports are also popular.

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   Dead Sea
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    The Dead Sea is 65 kilometers long and from 6 to 16 kilometers wide. It is fed by the Jordan River, but it has no outlet. As its name suggests, the Dead Sea is entirely devoid of plant and animal life. This is due to an extremely high content of salt and other minerals—350 grams of salt per kilogram of water, as compared to about 40 grams in the world’s oceans. This concentration is caused by a rapid rate of evaporation. These natural elements give the waters of the Dead Sea certain curative properties, recognized since the days of Herod the Great over 2000 years ago.

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   Jerash
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     Jerash, located 45 kilometers north of Amman is considered one of the largest and most well-preserved sites of Roman architecture in the world outside Italy.
     To this day, its colonnaded streets, baths, theaters, plazas and arches remain in exceptional condition. Within the remaining city walls, archaeologists have found the ruins of settlements dating back to the Neolithic Age, indicating human occupation at this location for more than 6500 years. This is not surprising, as the area is ideally suited for human habitation.

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   Petra
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     The city was the capital of the Nabateans -Arabs who dominated the lands of Jordan during pre-Roman times- and they carved this wonderland of temples, tombs and elaborate buildings out of solid rock. The Victorian traveler and poet Dean Burgon gave Petra a description which holds to this day -"Match me such a marvel save in Eastern clime, a rose-red city half as old as time." Yet words can hardly do justice to the magnificence that is Petra. In order to best savor the atmosphere of this ancient wonder, visit in the quiet of the early morning or late afternoon when the sandstone rock glows red with quiet grandeur.
      For seven centuries, Petra fell into the mists of legend, its existence a guarded secret known only to the local Bedouins and Arab tradesmen.
     Finally, in 1812, a young Swiss explorer and convert to Islam named Johann Ludwig Burckhardt heard locals speaking of a "lost city" hidden in the mountains of Wadi Mousa. In order to find the site without arousing local suspicions, Burckhardt disguised himself as a pilgrim seeking to make a sacrifice at the tomb of Aaron, a mission which would provide him a glimpse of the legendary city. He managed to bluff his way through successfully, and the secret of Petra was revealed to the modern Western world.

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   Wadi Rum
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     Stunning in its natural beauty, Wadi Rum epitomizes the romance of the desert. With its "moonscape" of ancient valleys and towering sandstone mountains rising out of the sand, Wadi Rum is also home to several Bedouin tribes who live in scattered camps throughout the area.
     Climbers are especially attracted to Wadi Rum because of its sheer granite and sandstone cliffs, while hikers enjoy its vast empty spaces.
     Wadi Rum is probably best known because of its connection with the enigmatic British officer T.E. Lawrence, who was based here during the Great Arab Revolt of 1917-18. Much of David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia was filmed in Wadi Rum.

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