Petra Rocks!

If you’re ever in the area and get a chance to fly Royal Jordanian, do it. There seemed to be more leg room than the average airline (though Mari couldn’t confirm this), the food was great and the flight attendants were all so attractive it couldn’t have been by coincidence. The best part?  Even in economy class there was alcohol being served for free. I imagine the whole experience was close to what it must have been like to fly American flights when commercial airlines were in their heyday…minus the old stewardess buttons with the icon of a woman.
We came to Jordan to see Petra, a previously “lost city” built by the Nabatean civilization. Ever since Indiana Jones walked out of the Siq, revealing the Treasury to us, I’ve wanted to go. The entrance into Petra was a dusty road, open to the elements of the desert, hot and bright. Along the walk rudimentary caves and tombs appear foreshadowing what’s ahead. After we were sufficiently hot, the path turns into the Siq (gorge-like, but made from tectonic forces instead of water). We walked in its shade, at points 80 meters high and only 2 meters wide as our anticipation built with each curve. The subtle descent to the path added to the effect, as it drew us further into the city until it opened up to the Treasury, the structure that’s been Petra’s face to the world. It didn’t disappoint. It stands 43 meters high (about 13 stories), well preserved in rose hued rock. It’s “awesome” in the way the word was originally used.
Actually, “awesome” describes not only the transition from the Siq to the Treasury, but Petra as a whole as well. I hadn’t realized that Petra isn’t just a one trick pony. It really was a lost city. There are over 800 archaeologically significant sites in Petra spread over the mountains and valleys. We walked to the theatre, Royal Tombs and the Monastery, passing on the way other nameless tombs, grand in nature, and realized they didn’t even appear on the maps or trail guides. Over the 2 days we were there, we ventured out and saw Petra from the mountain tops, took the trails mostly used only by the few local Bediouns still living in Petra, and in the early evening sat alone-just in front of the Siq and staring at the Treasury, taking it all in. In terms of things man-made, I think this may be the most amazing place I’ve seen yet.

Posted: June 20th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Jordan | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

One Comment on “Petra Rocks!”

  1. 1 Ruth said at 3:18 am on June 26th, 2009:

    I’ve often daydreamed of the time I spent there. It truly is awesome, as in awe-inspiring. You two are doing a great job on the blog!


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