We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
A very cool company, Intrepid Travel. Not expensive either, and they go everywhere.
Mrs. BD wanted to schedule their trip to Jordan, but they are sold out for this fall. Friends told us that Petra was one of the most interesting places they had been to, and they have been everywhere. We rarely opt for organized tours, but for Jordan we thought it might be OK with us even though it's not exactly an exotic place. Mrs. BD wants to see all of the TE Lawrence places. 7 Pillars is a fine read.
Maybe I am a jaded traveller, but I have seen enough Greek, Roman, and Phoenician rockpiles to last a lifetime, and I've read it all, too. Jordan would be something different, with maybe a side trip to Israel.
to places I don't speak the language, I prefer organised tours.
Saves a lot of hassle, you always get a translator/tour guide as part of the package who not just can talk to the locals and get things done but knows the culture and can work around any bureaucratic and other nonsense that you run into.
You can have your desert and mix in some Roman stuff. In 1975 the archaeological expedition I was on in eastern Jordan (in the lava desert way northeast of Amman and north of Azraq, where Lawrence spent the winter of 1917-1918) took the day off and went further east to Qasr Burqu, towards the border with Iraq. The Roman frontier fort there was on the literal eastern rim of the empire - what you had to have done to get yourself posted there probably doesn't bear thinking about - but it still stands and is, as the guidebooks say, Worth A Detour (a big one in this case).
I have been to Petra and it is a nice visit. It is very old and has a mysterious history. However, the pyramids of Egypt and the many other sites in that country are more worthy of your time. Of course, Egypt is not a safe place to visit. Nor is Syria. Petra will consume no more than two or three hours before you are ready to get back to the bus. Ride a pony down the narrow ravine leading to the site, observe the numerous shallow burial chambers carved in the stone cliffs and view the famous temple facade everyone has seen from movies and TV. The interior of that temple is disappointing in real life because it is very small. Farther along you can see more burial caves and what remains of a small ampitheater. It is pretty much beat up. Which is why they don't put it in the brochures. That's about it. Go to Greece or Italy or Spain or England or Morocco. Or someplace else. A safer place. Happy trails.