Radiating from the square, the labyrinthine streets and alleyways of the Old City are lined with resuscitated colonial era mansions, their walls and wooden balconies painted pastel shades of sky blue, lemon yellow, lime green and burgundy.
Maybe you've seen Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade as he travels on horse to reveal Petra's Treasury carved out of its rock surroundings. In some ways this was Petra's unveiling to the world, and perhaps Jordan's unveiling as a tourist destination.
Imagine a place that is so naturally beautiful and full of history you will feel awestruck from sunup to sundown. Add to that some hot air balloons and the ability to live inside the cave formations that make this place so special and you have Cappadocia.
Constellations sprinkled the midnight sky like luminous grains of sand on an ink black carpet. Phosphorescent jellyfish filled the sea with pinpricks of light, mimicking the stars above. Between sea and sky, the island of Stromboli loomed before us, a cone pointing to heaven.
When Spain plundered Colombia's gold, it left behind a treasure that continues to draw seekers and sybarites from around the world: Cartagena. It was the muse for Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and is now one of the hottest travel destinations in the world. These are a few must-do's on your visit.
The direct human cost of conflict must be of paramount concern, but addressing these two issues is not mutually exclusive: Collateral cultural losses are often the result of neglect, not mis-prioritization of resources.
Color is coming back to the now-independent free-market democracy. A bit of the Balkan Peninsula, it's only slightly larger than Maryland. But there's variety inside that space, including a mountain-studded interior and an unspoiled Adriatic coastline.
The Female Factory is sometimes misunderstood by visitors who stop for a quick, unguided look-see. One reviewer wrote: "Not much to look at, just a bunch of stone walls." What's so special about the jumble of old gray rocks along the Hobart rivulet?
The news that UNESCO is considering removing Lebanon's Qadisha Valley from its World Heritage list ought to jolt many governments into immediate and decisive action. In Beirut, the threat has been met with little more than political platitudes.
France may be in a slump, with a hyper-kinetic president intent on structural reforms to counter mounting deficits, but it remains the number one international destination for visitors offering more delights than can be fathomed on a 20-day visit.