Between the summer of 2013 and spring of 2014, I was based in Jordan’s capital Amman, living just off the popular thoroughfare of Rainbow Street. The end of my time there coincided with the commissioning of the new edition of Lonely Planet’s guide to Jordan, and I was very pleased to sign on to the book and share my experiences of the country, along with co-author Jenny Walker. That guidebook finally hits the shelves this week.
As well as covering Amman for the guide, I also updated chapter on the Dead Sea, as well as all the the area around Irbid, the wonderful Roman city of Jerash and the Jordan Valley.
Jordan is a fantastic country to visit, a relative oasis in a tough neighbourhood, but one whose tourism industry has been taking a beating in recent years. Yet the startling ruins of Petra are somewhere that should be on anyone’s travel bucket-list, while only this week the country got its fifth UNESCO World Heritage site with the inscription of ‘Bethany Beyond the Jordan’ – the site where Jesus Christ is believed to have been baptised. That this announcement came in the week when the guidebook hits the shelves may just be coincidence, but Pope Francis visited the Baptism Site while I was carrying out research for the book, so wonder wonders if he has the inside track to a higher reviewing panel than a mere guidebook writer.
Although it can’t guarantee an answer to such theological and editorial conundrums, the new Lonely Planet guide to Jordan, will help you navigate your way around one of the Middle East’s most interesting destinations. It’s available to buy here.