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“Jordan is, for the average tourist, a long driveway to the millennial beauty of Petra. However, just as restaurants in France have to try that much harder to attract attention if they’re outside of Paris, so Jordan amply rewards the visitor for straying from the Middle East’s high-volume destinations.

Its dense capital, Amman, is not yet a foodie outpost, and if you seek for ruins, whether Roman, Biblical, Crusader or Ottoman, the region’s archaeological stars – Syria, TurkeyIsrael, Iraq – offer denser, grander fare. However, Jordan surprises more by simple abundance than by excellence: for one, there are enough Crusader forts in the vast, still Wadi Rum that you could spend a morning in one by yourself, trying to measure the distance that separates you and your LandRover from when these oases were worth fighting and dying for.”