Most travellers visit Jordan with its history in mind and understandably so. Voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, the Lost City of Petra, the two-thousand year old rose red city of the Nabateans, stretches up out of the rocks, the jewel in Jordan’s cultural crown and the primary lure for many a traveller since its appearance in the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
It’s not just the magnificent Petra that entices the visitor; Jordan is steeped in stories from the distant past, with the majestic relics to prove it. Look – here’s the spot where John baptised Jesus at Bethany by the Jordan. Elsewhere, follow in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia from his headquarters fort at Azraq, through to the deserts of Wadi Rum, where the movie was filmed, soak up the therapeutic benefits of a visit to the Dead Sea, trek along routes that were mentioned in the Old Testament, take in the view of the Promised Land that was revealed to Moses, and gaze out over a landscape that has changed little in the last 2,000 years.
Still, whilst its history is important, the small Kingdom of Jordan is looking forwards. Its relatively stable economic and political position in the Middle East has resulted in modernisation, with capital city Amman reaping the benefits. Foreign investments have flooded in and with new hotels, glitzy bars and restaurants springing up in their wake to accommodate this ex-patriot demand, the city is no longer just a base from which to explore the ancient sites, but an attraction in its own right.