Our last group excursion was to Jordan where many of our friends from Georgetown had spent the semester studying Arabic. Jordan is a country filled with beautiful desert landscapes and friendly people. I’ve been particularly struck by the excellent Jordanian sense of humor, which seems to be a universal feature of the people here.

Habiba in downtown Amman is a local favorite for desserts

We arrived late at night at the Farah hotel in downtown Amman, a modest hostel that would serve as our home base in Jordan.

Sam overlooking the agora at Jerash

The next morning we took a tour up to Jerash and a few other sites in northern Jordan. These consisted mainly of Roman ruins and castles.

Hashem. Our favorite restaurant in Amman.

Amman’s nightlife is often derided, as one friend quipped “the Hashemite Kingdom of Boredom,” but I was pleasantly surprised by our night out in Amman. We began the evening at La Calle restaurant and soon transitioned to “Tequila Tuesdays,” mostly populated by American students. From there we moved onto dancing at Club Switchback in a fashionable part of town, which was comparable to an above average nightclub somewhere in Europe. All in all a successfully messy night.

Libby recovers from "Tequila Tuesday" on Mount Nebo, in sight of the promised land.

The following morning was the sort of Wednesday that one would imagine follows a “Tequila Tuesday.” Nonetheless we managed to drag ourselves onto a bus down King’s Highway to Petra, stopping off at a resort on the Dead Sea.

Swimming in the Dead Sea

Petra is the place from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. We stayed at the Cleopatra Hotel in Wadi Musa, where the owner Mahmoud treated us very well. I’d highly recommend it.

The Treasury at Petra, at half-person-sized scale

From Petra we went on to Wadi Rum, a breathtaking landscape of desert, rock and Bedouin encampments adjacent to the Saudi border.

Wadi Rum. What I imagine Mars is like


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