Memories of: Petra 2009

One place I highly recommend everyone to visit is Jordan. There is so much history and so much that you simply don’t see on the travel shows. I was privileged enough to be able to visit the country on my honeymoon. Our first stop was Petra and it was astonishing!

Most of us think of the scene from Indiana Jones when we think of Petra – one amazing structure. However, “The Treasury” is just one small part of Petra. There are literally hundreds of tombs carved into the hills and it is impossible to do the place justice in just one day. We stayed several days and did the walk in three times.

Our first day was an arrival day where we settled in to our amazingly lush hotel. We walked into the treasury at night along a candle lit route to have an incredibly sweet cup of Bedouin tea whilst listening to the stories of the region.

The next day we set off after an amazing breakfast and saw the route in daylight. There were so many little tombs and carvings that we found ourselves gobsmacked that this wasn’t all more well known. Little did we know that this was just the tip of the iceberg.

The route entered a tight canyon with evidence of ancient water channels etched into the walls. Some folks took donkeys along the route but I recommend walking as there is so much detail to be seen. Finally the canyon narrowed and the Treasury could be seen through the gap. We emerged into a wide canyon and the Treasury lay before us. We were able to go inside and marvel at the amount of stone that had to be removed to make the small room. The decorations on the pillar were incredibly detailed.

As we explored the extent of the site became apparent as did the mix of history. There were the ancient tombs, some buried, but there were also more recent Roman structures. I wondered whether they were solely used as tombs – there were so many that it seemed impossible that people didn’t live in them.

We walked forever. I spied some concretions in the rock that reminded me of the Martian “blueberries” that had recently been discovered by a probe. Indeed, I began to feel as though I was on another planet.

After exploring another hillside filled with tombs we made our way back and had a lovely bottle of black gold (coke) in the company of some very friendly cats.

We visited the site again the following morning and hiked up to a point overlooking the old city. I could have kept going all day but we had a vehicle booked to take us out to Wadi Rum. I’ll share some pics of that on another post.

I’m still astonished, looking back on my pictures, as to how much there was at this site. If I ever went back I would spend much longer and look at some of the more distant hikes. our last evening was spent doing a cooking course at “Petra Kitchen” and we made the most amazing Baba ganoush! Hope you enjoyed the pictures and I hope you too can make it to Jordan one day. You will not regret it.

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