Majesty in the Mountains

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December 18th 2013
Published: December 19th 2013
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Hello again my fellow travellers!

Where do I begin when all has been amazing? Probably at the beginning I suppose. Today we made our way to Petra and just as with Wadi Rum we decided to go by taxi so we asked a driver outside how much he wanted to take us there and back again and to wait for us for six hours. He said 80JD for both so 40JD each which we thought was a good price.

The driver was a really nice guy who made an otherwise quite dreary ride highly enjoyable with good conversation and challenging riddles. If we had gotten four out of five correct the ride would have been free, but alas, our meagre minds only managed to solve two!

He dropped us off and we entered into Petra, the entrance fee was as we had been told 50JD which is steep but definitely still worth it!

The first we got to see was the graves of the lower-standing citizens and already some of them was quite impressive. We also saw some Djinn Stones which was erected as homes to the spirits of the desert.

After the Djinn Stones we entered the awe-inspiring As-Siq, this is truly one of natures miracles. It stretches for over 1 km of beautiful windswept walls, clad with stubborn trees, before the breathtaking Al-Khazna (Treasury) comes into view. The Al-Khazna truly makes you think about mans capacity for creation.

From the Al-Khazna we walked along the Street of Facades, which is what the stretch of gorgeous tombs are called. Here we also saw the Roman Theater which unfortunately isn't very well preserved.

Next we went up to Sextius Florentinus Tomb where the Roman governor of Arabia is buried. The Palace Tomb, which of course looks like a palace, and the Urn Tomb which is the largest of the royal tombs and which seems to have been converted to a Byzantine church. And, not to forget, the small but beautifully colored Silk Tomb.

Next we checked out the badly damaged Nympheum, Petra Church and Temple of Winged Lions before we took the tough hike up to Ad-Deir (Monastery). The climb up was sweaty but let me tell you that Ad-Deir is more then worth it! It is a monumental work that will live vividly in my memory for the rest of my life!

Afterwards we made our way back down to take a look on the Qasr-al-Bint and the Great Temple before we took the alternative route back. This route goes along the Wadi Al Farasa processional route and it took us by the Roman Soldier Tomb, which is named so because of it's statues of a Roman soldier, most likely a high officer which is buried there. Then past the intricate Triclinium and the stunning Garden Temple up to the breathtaking High Place of Sacrifice. This stretch along the Wadi Al Farasa was actually my personal favorite part of the whole experience, even if the Al-Khazna and Ad-Deir are far more impressive feats this stretch is made in solitude and gives a good opportunity for reflection.

You see, all during our visit so far we had been forced to wave of a seller or camel/donkey/horse ride every ten steps of the way which really gets kind of tedious (although it was a natural effect when there was literally more of them then there were visitors. No, I'm not joking, there really were). However, on this last, almost forgotten stretch we were all alone! No sellers, no tourists, no one. Just us and a sweaty hike up a breathtaking route. I tell you now that if you visit Petra you must not forget about this part. The view from up here is majestic, neither words nor pictures can ever make it justice.

So, sweaty and dirty, but very satisfied, we returned to our driver pretty much spot on six hours after we left him. He told us that he thought we had been joking when we said six hours as most people only stay between two and four hours. I told him we're not like most people and he agreed. He was a champ though and still made for good company on our way back.

I would have liked to tip him for that but cash was a bit low unfortunately. All-in-all this experience cost me 90JD which was about 10-20JD less than if we would have taken the tour organized by the travel agency. And then we got a personal driver and we got to see Petra at our own pace. A reflection in general of this trip is that the tours organized the by the travel agencies are way more expensive then they should be seeing how we can organize longer, more comfortable private tours so far at far lower costs.

Oh, and I must say that the weather was really amazing today! The perfect time for our otherwise shoddy weather to turn and grant us uninterrupted sunshine!

I recommend you plan for at least six or seven hours here to see it all properly. If you can plan for an overnight stay and visit it two times it's even better. And what's the point to not see it properly? Our driver told us there are some people that just run in for an hour, blasphemy I tell you! There are so much to see here and you shouldn't rush the experience!

Until tomorrow I wish you all peace and happy travels!

Additional photos below
Photos: 251, Displayed: 25


19th December 2013

the High Place of Sacrifice
One place I must, must experience is Petra...I've seen plenty of pics...but not seen a blog with the names of the sites of the guided tour you just provided. You must do this again as a fresh blog with your best pics so you can gives names to these sites. Do not simply add photos later to this blog...make it a new blog so it is freshly published...not just pics saved later in this blog. And if you can make sure you have a panorama picture at the top of the page we'll see if it can get some exposure. If you want some tips feel free to contact me. This the blog to do it.
3rd January 2014

It is spectacular!
It is truly a place of wonder! I will as you say re-publish it with pictures and everything, I'm working my way through the journey at the moment and just finished the day at Wadi Rum, I should have this one done in a week or so. =)
20th February 2014

I'm waiting....
Just to be sure, i'm following you now. Don't want to miss your Petra and Wadi Rum blogs with photos. Both are in my bucket list. Keep writing!
25th February 2014

Thank you! :)
I'm sorry for the delay but things have been pretty busy for me lately, I'll really try to get around to getting my pictures up next week. :)
13th April 2014
Colonnaded Street

Only just discovered by accident that you have now put photos with this blog. Worth noting that as the blog was originally posted in December 2013, when you posted the photos later it did not notify on my Control Panel that you had republished with photos. This is an important blog as you have reported and have photos of other areas of Petra that I have not seen before. This photo I have posted on the "Follow that Road" thread in the Photography Forum. Great to see these photos Per-Olof. Thanks for posting them.
1st May 2014
Colonnaded Street

Thank you!
Aye, this was an amazing place and an important update I agree, it's strange that you didn't receive a notification about it.

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