. . . an ideal opportunity to brush up on your Arabic!
Jordan is a relatively small country situated at the crossroads of the Middle East. It is bordered on the north by Syria, on the east by Iraq and by Saudi Arabia on the east and South. To the west it is bordered by Israel and Palestine with the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea on its south western tip.
It is a country steeped in history going back to Biblical times with many astounding sites including the capital Amman, the magnificent Nabatean city of Petra, the spectacular Greco-Roman ruins of Jerash, the desert castles, Lawrence's famous Wadi Rum and many other historical and impressive sites throughout the Kingdom. There are also the biblical sites of Jordan such as Bethany Beyond the Jordan where John the Baptist baptised Jesus, Mount Nebo where Moses saw the Promised Land, Madaba the City of Mosaics and various other sites of this eastern Holy Land.
Jordan is blessed with a Mediterranean climate which makes traveling there pleasurable all year round. The capital Amman is sunny and cloudless from May to October, with average temperatures around 23°C. In Spring the weather is mild and pleasant with lush greenery and it is very similar in the Autumn. July and August are hot and dry but not oppressive.
Arab cuisine is one of the most elaborate and sophisticated in the world. Food is also an important part of the culture and is used to express hospitality and generosity. Jordanians are exceptionally hospitable. Do not be surprised if you are invited to share a meal in someone's home . . . when Jordanians invite you, they mean it! The local cuisine includes a dizzying savoury variety of appetisers, called mezzeh, aromatic breads, wonderful sweets soaked in honey, pistachios and others, not forgetting Mansaf which is Jordan's traditional dish of lamb, yogurt sauce and rice. Traditionally Mansaf is eaten by sharing from a large platter - it is eaten with the hands, rather than using utensils (although it has more recently become accepted to eat it with a spoon from a normal dish).