Paris – Ile de la Cité

One of two small islands in the middle of the Seine in Paris, the Ile de la Cité is the oldest part of the French capital. Settled in the 3rd century BC by the Celts, Paris's historic centre is home to Point Zero, the point from which all distances in France are measured. But it's... Continue Reading →

Tyntesfield

If I was ever to write an Agatha Christie-style 1920s murder mystery, I'd set it at Tyntesfield, a gloriously Gothic manor surrounded by acres of land in the middle of the Somerset countryside. It's the sort of place where you could imagine cocktail-drenched parties full of bright young things taking place and then a dead... Continue Reading →

Amman

A bustling, vibrant capital city that's home to more than one million people, Amman is a modern metropolis with ancient roots, having been inhabited in some form or another for millennia. Its former incarnations include Ammon, the capital of the Ammonite people during Biblical times, and the Greek and Roman city of Philadelphia. And it's where... Continue Reading →

Little Petra

A short distance to the north of Petra is Siq al-Barid, a small archaeological site commonly referred to as Little Petra, because it's essentially a miniature version of the world-famous ancient Nabatean capital. It's thought that Little Petra is where many Nabateans lived as it's mostly home to a series of dwellings with very few... Continue Reading →

Petra – the Monastery

On our second day in Petra, we set off at 7am to hike to the Monastery, an enormous monument cut into the rose-red rock, high on top of one of Petra's many mountains. Having learned our lesson about hiking in the searing midday sun the day before and with temperatures set to be even hotter... Continue Reading →

Petra – the Treasury and the Siq

I don't mind admitting I've been dreading writing this post, not because I didn't enjoy Petra or because I had nothing to write about, but because it's such an extraordinary, unique place, it's almost impossible to do it justice in a blog post. How do you succinctly sum up one of the great wonders of... Continue Reading →

Jerash

The most striking thing about the ruined Roman city of Jerash is its size – it's a vast site home to two extraordinarily well-preserved amphitheatres, two temples and even an intact mosaic floor. Known as Gerasa in ancient times, Jerash in north-west Jordan dates back to the 3rd century BC and today lies in the... Continue Reading →

Jordan

With spectacular scenery, countless archaeological gems and one of the seven wonders of the world, Jordan is an extraordinary country. Almost entirely landlocked, bar a slither of coastline along the Red Sea, the country is flanked by Syria to the north, Iraq to the north-east, Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, and Israel and... Continue Reading →

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