|I really like this!!! But I did take this photo in Petra.|
It doesn’t get much better than Petra, Jordan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and now considered one of the wonders of the ancient world. I cannot begin to post photos until I try to convey a portion of Petra’s timeline and history. Where we walk and what we see takes us to a time beyond our ken.
|modern Petra--building and attracting many tourists|
Rome eventually annexed Petra, introduced Christianity to the area, and there is evidence of at least three churches.
To reach the major part of the ancient city, we walk more than half a mile downhill to and then through The Siq, a narrow .6 mile long gorge flanked by tall cliffs. The rock formations are enchanting and colorful as if some painter of nature exercised every color in his palette.
|a horse-drawn cart bringing visitors back up through the Siq|
We pass tombs and monuments, but we are not prepared for the magnificent sight of The Treasury, an incredible façade carved into the mountains and whose decorations indicate that it was carved from the bottom to the top. Treasury is the modern name.
Was it a memorial? A temple? No one knows. What every visitor does know, however, is that this is awesome, a sight that causes one’s jaw to drop in wonder. Think of it--an ancient people using the rudimentary tools of their age to sculpt detail and beauty that we can enjoy THOUSANDS OF YEARS later.
Fans of Indiana Jones might recognize the façade from the final scenes of the Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
Experiencing the full wonder of Petra requires three or four days. We had a scant few hours, and my walk downhill had to be followed by another mile or so uphill, so with sad resignation I did not venture much further into the city. Rob, however, continued to walk and saw some cliff dwellings and other monuments and buildings carved into the cliffs’ walls.
I walked back up the Siq, but seized the opportunity to ride a horse for some distance. Wow! An Arabian stallion! Not quite I think by the looks of him, but he was beloved by me.
After dismounting, I still had a way to go uphill to the Jordanian tour bus, but it had been a glorious visit! Once again I was transported back in time, awed by ancient man’s accomplishments. I walked in his footsteps and on his roadways and was touched in a way I will never forget.
Off the record, there were carts to bring people back uphill, but it looked like an incredibly jarring ride over the rocks and cobblestones. I had the feeling the drivers enjoyed messing with the tourists!
Camel rides were available.
It is important to know that Petra requires significant walking, and a lot of it is uphill. And it is hot.
Depending how one looks at it, there are the ubiquitous memento shops. See anything tempting?
As we drive back through the modern city of Petra, we see men, women, and children going about their daily business. We see the mixture of old and new as this city grows and changes to meet the onslaught of tourists. New hotels are springing up everywhere as are homes and roads and new sidewalks with trees beautifying them.
We stop at Petra’s Magic Restaurant for a late lunch. It is a marvelous Jordanian smorgasbord. Then I doze on the long ride back to the border.
My advice—if you are in this part of our world, don’t pass up a chance to visit Petra. Bring your camera, good walking shoes, a walking stick, and a few bottles of water.
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