March 2011 • The ruins of Petra live up to the hype: they're a spectacular monument to the ingenuity of an Arab tribe called the Nabataean, who carved enormous tombs into the sandstone near Wadi Musa about two millennia ago. Romans influenced and eventually conquered Petra, which accounts for the incongruous columns of the Treasury and the Monastery. Two full days of hiking and climbing pretty well covered the site, but the highlight was being invited to dinner at the family home of Mohamad, the bellman at our hotel. His mother presented us with a mountain of makloubeh, and in true Jordanian style, wouldn't believe us when we said we were full.
Byzantine floor mosaic