President Obama ended his 24-hour trip to Jordan with a leisurely tour of Petra, a visually stunning ancient city made of stone-cut red rock that was inhabited by the Nabataeans more than 2000 years ago.
Dr. Suleiman A.D. Al Farajat, a University of Jordan tourism professor led Obama on the tour of Jordan’s greatest attraction, providing a stream of details about Petra as Mr. Obama nodded and studied the scenery.
When they arrived at the Treasury, the focal point of the city with its giant red-stone columns carved into the side of the mountain, Mr. Obama paused to take it in.
“This is pretty spectacular,” he said, craning his neck to look up at the rock faces towering over him.
Bedouin legend has it that a pharaoh hid a treasure in the urn at the top. Bullet holes pock the landmark from people trying to retrieve the treasure.
The leisurely tour was the last stop on Mr. Obama’s four-day trip to Israel and Jordan. Afterward, Marine One headed back to the Amman airport where he was greeted by King Abdullah II, Jordanian Ambassador to the U.S. Alia Bouran, Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Judeh and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
Mr. Obama and Mr. Abdullah chatted for a minute on the tarmac before the president jogged up the stairs to Air Force One, waved and disappeared into the plane headed back to Washington, D.C.