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 Editor's Review
Jordan
 
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is the classic desert realm, complete with oases, camels, nomadic Bedouin, seas of sand and romantic desert castles that were fought over by Saladin and the Crusaders. The principal waterway is the historic River Jordan and the country’s sole port is Aqaba at the tip of the Red Sea, which has a newly flourishing beach resort based on a superb coral reef. But it is to the desert that the experience-seeking traveller should head. Wadi Rum has been an oasis on trading routes for thousands of years, more recently famed for its Lawrence of Arabia connection. But the rose-red jewel is Petra, hidden for 1,000 years by virtue of its location at the end of the Siq canyon – only metres wide in places. You emerge, as though from a door, to a huge city built into solid rock by a civilisation that pre-dated Christianity and Islam. ‘The Monastery’ was a temple to the Arab gods; the trade that helped the city grow was in frankincense. ‘Half as old as time’ is the poetic yet accurate description.
 

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