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    Posted April 9, 2014 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Photos that could only happen in Jordan

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    A Glimpse Inside Jordan


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Cheryl Somoano travelled to Petra and shot these photographs in 2011. She said that the people were very kind and were her favorite part of the trip.

    "These settings in Jordan were ethereal and transported me to the times of the ancient Nabataeans," Somoano said. "Back home, at any particular time on a given day, I like to close my eyes and recall what is going on in all the different parts of the world that I've visited and these photos represent what I see when I think of Jordan, with Bedouin tribes and their goats roaming the landscape, or the stillness of dusk at the monastery."
    - Alyssa Jackson, CNN iReport producer

    I recently had the chance to experience the other-worldly beauty of Petra and the Wadi Rum desert. No one could have prepared me for the natural geologic splendor that is Petra (known as the Rose City) where rocks resemble the surface of Jupiter with their vibrant swirls of orange, pink, blue and white. Or for the ingenuity of the ancient Nabateans who carved elaborate structures out of the sandstone during their lengthy rule over the caravan trade route between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea. Beyond the well-known Treasury, there are 60 square kilometers of tombs, colonnaded streets, amphitheaters, and an awe-inspiring Monastery perched 650 feet above ground and best reached by donkey. We were lucky enough to be some of a handful of people left in Petra during sunset, and then to exit by candlelight through the famed Siq passageway.


    Nearby in the Wadi Rum desert, bedouins still thrive in the open...moving throughout the year according to the needs of their goats and livestock. If you are lucky, they will invite you in for tea, sheep's milk cheese, and a dose of their unique wisdom that is fueled by a life of living for the moment.

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