Wadi Rum

 

In southeast Jordan, Wadi Rum is three hundred square miles of protected desert, where you’ll find red sand dunes, mountains, and narrow canyons snaking between sheer towers of granite and sandstone. A small population of Bedouins live much as their ancestors have done for millennia. Tens of thousands of petroglyphs and inscriptions in the wadi are evidence of human habitation going back 12,000 years.

petroglyphs

petroglyphs

Spend a few hours exploring Wadi Rum by 4X4 with a local guide or stay over night, or for several days, sleeping in a Bedouin camp. There are countless opportunities for hiking and rock climbing in this vast, wild place.

Ronen at a Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum.

Ronen at a Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum.

NAME THAT COUNTRY

Shobak is the Arabic name for the 12th century crusader fortress of Montreal. It sprawls across a lonely hilltop in the southwest of the country, the area known as Edom in the Bible. The castle was built in 1115 by King Baldwin I, the first king of the crusader kingdom of Jerusalem. Like Kerak, its sister fortress to the north, Shobak was built to guard the King’s Highway, an ancient trade route used by crusader armies and pilgrims traveling between Damascus and Egypt. The castle fell to the army of Saladin in 1189 after a 2-year siege.

 

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NAME THAT COUNTRY

The so-called Monastery is just one of the monuments to be seen at the most visited (and most famous) attraction in our mystery country, a fabulously wealthy Nabatean trading city, which flourished from about 200 BCE to 200 CE. It’s well worth the climb to see this rock-cut temple up close, not to mention the gorgeous views.

 

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NAME THAT CITY & COUNTRY

This 2nd-century Roman theater is carved into a hillside in the middle of a lively national capital. Known as Philadelphia when the theater was built, the city was a member of the Decapolis, a group of 10 culturally-similar cities in the eastern Roman Empire. The theater seats 6,000 and is still used for concerts and other performances.

 

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