Jordan: Off the Beaten Track at Petra

Here is Petra, the capitol city of the wealthy Nabateans, especially in the first century AD. These early Arabians had a caravan trade that was the envy of the ancient world. If you think mall - an opulent, designed-to-impress mall - you've got some idea of what this city used to be like. After the Crusaders, it was lost to the Western world until 1812. Its imposing carved-into-the-bedrock tombs draw crowds from all over the world, but Petra's very size preserves some of its mystery. Most tourists visit for a day; it would take a month to fully explore its out-of-the-way canyons.

Next up: Lawrence of Arabia territory.

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