Petra


Advertisement
Middle East
May 26th 2009
Published: May 27th 2009
Edit Blog Post

CAN YOU SEE PETRA?CAN YOU SEE PETRA?CAN YOU SEE PETRA?

No, you can't --because it is hidden.
DAY 41

Up early this morning in the desert camp for flat bread with butter and cherry jam and hot tea. We are taking the 4WD back to the main road to catch our bus that is taking us to Wadi Mousa. The ruins of Petra are within the region of this town..

Petra is one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world. It was the hone of the biblical Edomites back in 1200BC. It was also the strong hold of the Nabataeans, who were 6th century (C). Arabic nomads. They were good warriors and established a wealthy and powerful kingdom. They plundered their neighbors and taxed the passing caravans. Even the Romans left them alone when they conquered the area to reign over the caravans until106 AD, when they finally succumbed to the Roman rule. The Romans then changed the trade route to go through Bosra in Syria and Petra was lost to the world.

It is truly a hidden city. The entrance to the city (Al Siq) is gained by a natural fissure in the rock probably caused by ancient eruptions. You have to walk along through this 1200 meter long, and 80 meters deep
MIND THE GAPMIND THE GAPMIND THE GAP

Oh wait we're not in London.
narrow gorge to get to the city. Along the way there are bizarre geological formations, colorful rocks and a water channels cut into the rocks to collect and divert rainfall and water sources and ancient carvings. The locals knew of its existence but was lost to the world until l812 when a Swiss explorer discovered it.

The most notable building is that of the Al Khazneh or the Treasury of Indiana Jones Fame. It is 30 meters wide and 43 Meters high. It was carved in the 1st C, as a tomb of a Nabataean king.

There is the area called the Street of Facades which are a row of Nabataean tombs with intricate carvings. During Roman occupation they built an amphitheater that can hold 3000 then later extended to hold 7000. A truly magnificent site.

Scattered throughout the city are many royal tombs, but the names of the inhabitants have been lost. Only the Sexitius Florentinus Tomb named for the Roman governor that ruled here around 130AD.

The Ad-Deir or the Monastery is only reached after climbing 800 steps. Of course all very steep and winding up the mountain. This is a massive carved tomb
THE LONG AND WINDING ROADTHE LONG AND WINDING ROADTHE LONG AND WINDING ROAD

2.5 kilometers to be exact
resembling the treasury but the carvings are simplified. This was an important pilgrimage site.

During the Byzantine time these tombs were used as churches and some of their designs were carved into the rocks as well.

The journey to view Petra was difficult but exhilarating. The weather is warm and not a lot of breeze as we are surrounded by rock. We walked down through the gorge with our Jordanian tour guide and he pointed out all items of interest. Then he told our group that he wanted to show us something special. We all had to stand along the right wall and as we walked we had to run our hands along the surface of the rock. Then we had to stop at a bend, close our eyes and take two steps forward then look to our right. When we opened our eyes there was the Treasury in front of us. We had arrived. It was beautiful. Indiana Jones was not there at the time.

We walked and walked and our guide took us over rocks and sandy tracks to view the amphitheater from above. We were high up on a cliff. Angie lay on her stomach and looked over the side. No stopping this girl. Francine crawled near the edge and stopped tentatively laying on her stomach near the edge and facing her fears. Yay, getting braver.

We tackled the 800 steps to the Monastery and were rewarded with great views along the way and a great sight at the top, along with chocolate and coke. Next was the walk back down the steps. We made it back to the Treasury and decided to to cut out the remaining two km of our walk to the entrance. We took a carriage ride from the Treasury to the entrance, however the cobblestone made the ride less enjoyable but a relief all the same.

We walked about 12 km throughout the day. We were satisfied with that.

Petra is a site not to be missed as it is truly a wonder!!

After leaving Petra and after an exhausting day we take the time for a Swiss Ice Cream Break on our way back to the hotel. It came highly recommended and we really enjoyed it and deserved it too. The nice thing about eating sugar is that it give you a short burst of energy. So we decide to do a little silver shopping. The shop is highly recommended by our tour leader and we spend 1.25 hours looking at things. We eventually leave because everything we pick up we are dropping on the floor, that burst of energy ran out. We decide to come back tomorrow when we can really enjoy the shopping.

Angie goes back to the room and Francine decides to join the others for dinner.

WHAT A DAY!!!!



Additional photos below
Photos: 19, Displayed: 19


Advertisement

INSIDE THE TREASURYINSIDE THE TREASURY
INSIDE THE TREASURY

Nothing like Indiana Jones
THE TREASURYTHE TREASURY
THE TREASURY

Were's the ATM
FEAR SOMEFEAR SOME
FEAR SOME

Fear alot more than some
FEAR LESSFEAR LESS
FEAR LESS

A lot less than some
STRIKING LINESSTRIKING LINES
STRIKING LINES

And the rocks of the tombs look good too
A SHADY PLACEA SHADY PLACE
A SHADY PLACE

This tree is about 450 years old
GATESGATES
GATES

Our gaite was a bit smaller & more tired
AFTER 800 STEPSAFTER 800 STEPS
AFTER 800 STEPS

Never say 800 & steps in the same sentence again
THE MONASTERYTHE MONASTERY
THE MONASTERY

Worth climbing 800 steps
FROM THE TOPFROM THE TOP
FROM THE TOP

Petra is down there
AND I'M DOING THIS BECAUSE?AND I'M DOING THIS BECAUSE?
AND I'M DOING THIS BECAUSE?

Fear is dirty four letter word
THE TREASURYTHE TREASURY
THE TREASURY

Late afternoon, most tourists gone except Fran


27th May 2009

Awesome!
hey ladies, how amazing, to be honest im buggered and didnt read it all but the pics are amazing and you sound like you are having fun, no matter how homesick you may be (FRANCY). fran you looked burnt in some of those photos, i hope you were just pink from walking up 800 steps!!! haha keep enjopying the adbventures girls, look forward to seeing Frangie getting up to more mischeif too... XXX saraj aymes and amelia
28th May 2009

Hi Fran This looks absolutely amazing, and I am sure even more unbelievable to be there!!!!!! All those stairs will be doing some good. Keep on trucking xxxx

Tot: 2.661s; Tpl: 0.055s; cc: 10; qc: 25; dbt: 0.0467s; 2; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 7; ; mem: 1.3mb