Karak & Little Petra


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Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra
March 8th 2011
Published: March 24th 2011
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If there’s one thing in this world that Michelle like’s its pancakes. If there’s another it would be pancake Tuesday. Luckily pancakes were on the breakfast menu at the Mariam hotel and I wasn’t going to be in trouble for dragging her to Jordan, for what she considers should be a national holiday. Although they were American style mini pancakes, we played our part in eating as many as we could. After breakfast we checked out and left in a taxi for Petra. The new world wonder would be for the next day. Today we would visit Wadi Mujib canyon, Karak Castle and Little Petra. The taxi from Madaba to Wadi Musa (Petra) cost €54 and would take 6 hours, including stops at the sights.

We got to Wadi Mujib canyon about an hour after we left Madaba. Known as the “Grand Canyon of Jordan” it is up to 1km deep and 4km wide. To get there you must take the Kings Highway, which goes through as series of switchbacks to get down one side and up the other. We stopped at a view point to take in the breath taking views of the canyon. As we had got up early that morning we were ahead of the rest of the tourists for the day. We had the view point to ourselves. The wind was strong but the skies were clear blue. The eye was able to scan the landscape and take in the magnificent views that nature had created. You could see where a river had run through the canyon but the dam visible in the distance had obviously cut off the water supply to the area. The high wind soon became too much to handle so we got back in the taxi and descended into the valley.

It took another hour or so to reach Karak and its wonderful Crusader castle. Built in 1142 the castle sits on top of a hill looking down on the surrounding areas. It was once under the control of a French man called de Chatillon who liked to throw his prisoners over a 450m drop with a wooden box over there heads so they wouldn’t lose consciousness before they hit the ground. It seemed again that we were the only tourists visiting the castle. As we entered the grounds a local man started to describe the history of the building. We soon realised he was actually a guide and that this would cost us at the end. We politely declined him and he left us to get on with our visit of the castle. It was exciting to explore as it had many twists, turns, holes and secrets. The guide book advised bringing a torch but of course we didn’t read that until we had actually left the castle. We did use the torch on our phones but a real one would have been better. Supposedly you can see the site of the condemned cities of Sodom and Gomorrah from the top, but since god destroyed these we couldn’t seem them!

Another two hours after leaving Karak we arrived in the town of Wadi Musa, the jump off point if you are visiting Petra, and lets face it, if your in Jordan, your in it to see Petra. We checked in to our hostel and they advised us to visit Little Petra that afternoon. As we were hungry we asked them first to advise us on a good place to eat. Michelle got the directions and we crossed the road and went up four doors. I don’t think we really needed directions. We had some kebabs and there was more than enough food for the two of us. When finished we got a lift down to Little Petra. The entry was free and there was a few tourists there. Again we pretty much had the place to ourselves, except of course when you wanted to take a photo! We wandered around the ruins and climbed a few temples to see what they had in store. We stopped and had tea at a Bedouin tea stall, which was located in a mini canyon between the hills of Little Petra. Our trip was exciting and gave us great hope to be optimistic about the next day and our visit to Petra. We finished up the evening and went to Midtown restaurant and had one of Jordan’s favourite dishes, Mensaf. It is made of lamb, rice and pine nuts, and the combined with yogurt and the liquid fat from the meat. It was delicious and hopefully I will attempt to make it at home.

In a bit. DH







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