Jordan is possibly my favourite country in the Middle East and its people are not only some of the friendliest, but also some of the most civilised. I also had a very great respect for His late Majesty King Hussein.

The good qualities of the Jordanians can be summed up by their reaction to the reduction in tourist numbers following America's big fright. Whereas Turkey has doubled prices at Haghia Sophia and the Topkapi Palace, the Jordanians have halved them at Petra, a gesture much appreciated by our group. It is true that we had to submit to Turkey's extortion, so they did get double the money out of us, but if you want to know which country left the better impression on us . . . !

Turkish officials might like to take note that in the years since then we have only been back to Turkey once, but we go to Jordan every year.

If you haven't been to Jordan, do go. It's a wonderful country still largely unspoiled by hordes of holiday makers. The people are friendly and honest - even the souvenir sellers in Petra are attractive and seem just as interested in being friends as they are in selling the trinkets that make up tourist paraphenalia all over the world.