Petra, Jordan 8th Wonder of the World?

Petra Travel Blog

 › entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
JETT Bus at the stop over

I have been travelling around the Middle East for a couple of weeks now and have finally gotten two days off. What to do, oh what to do? Well for me the no. 1 thing was to get to Petra but I was not sure how to do so, how long it would take, or how much it would cost.

 

Research showed that I could take either a bus or a taxi and that the bus was much cheaper. I opted for a bus as it would give me an opportunity to meet people and have a chat. I planned to do Petra in just one day as I also wanted to see Amman. So I arrived in Amman and the hotel advised that the JETT bus what the best way to go. They wrote down the directions of the booking office and I jumped in a taxi and off I went.

The 1st Century AD Tomb before The Siq
It costs just 14 JD (about £10) to do the return journey of about 500kms and about 3 hrs each way.

 

I had to turn up at 6am to depart at 6.30am and as such it was an early start from the hotel. I stocked up on sandwiches and water and arranged for a taxi to pick me up at 5.30am to get me there on time…it worked perfectly and at 6.30 I was sat on the very comfortable JETT bus on my way to Petra.

 

We stopped on the way at a café where I had wonderful Turkish coffee (sweet for preference) and used the bathroom. Then it was back on the bus and off.

 

The flat desert road eventually gave way to smooth mountains, we passed through numerous towns and villages. The scenery became much more mountainous and we arrived in the chaotic town of Petra.

Carriages in The Siq
This seems to be a town that supports the tourist trade there and there are numerous hostel, hotels, bars and restaurants. Something for all budgets I saw backpackers hostels and also a Crown Plaza and a Movenpick Hotel.

 

The JETT bus stops at the main parking area for the Petra compound and we were advised that it would be returning at 4pm and to be back at the bus by 3.30pm.

 

You gain entry by walking past a selection of traders selling souvenirs �" they are friendly and not very pushy so I determined that I would stop there on the way back for my needs..no sense in walking all the way carrying them.

 

There is a visitors centre and the ticket for one day was 21 JD �" there are discounts for longer tickets.

first glimpse of The Treasury
Then it is through the gate and along a long and winding desert road to head for The Siq. Horses, carriages and ponies are available for those who don’t wish to walk and for those with limited stamina this may be a good option as it is about 2km to the entrance to The Siq. I chose not too, partly as I don’t like to use animals in tourism and also because I did not want to miss anything. There are a number of small tombs around the road and you can walk upto and into most of them. There is also a very impressive tomb on the left hand side �" it is apparently from the 1st century AD and it is totally open to wander into �" many people were. I took some images and then carried on..keen to get into the main complex. The entrance to The Siq seems to have a fallen archway �" the remnants can be seen. There are some local spear wielding guards and I was a bit miffed by this as I never feel the need for this kind of kitsch but there were welcoming and friendly.
The most famous site at Petra...the Treasury

 

The Siq is a huge and long gorge, formed in part by a massive earthquake and then by water erosion. It is spectacular. Carriages can be hired to take one through and many took this up…the gorge was often filled with the rattle of these carriages speeding through. By itself The Siq is worth visiting but all the way through it the expectation keeps on rising until suddenly you get your first view of The Treasury �" peeking through the gap..the soundtrack of Raiders of the Lost Ark is running in your head as you emerge in front of what is, for me, the most spectacular sight I have seen. I have visited the Pyramids and so many temples I can’t recall…this place knocks them all into a cocked hat!

 

I stood spell bound for some time just looking at the façade in front of me..then I started taking pictures.

A temple gate
I took a great many. After about 30 minutes of staring and standing there I decided to see what else was on display. The gorge continues but soon opens up into a broad valley. There are many other grand tombs on either side �" none quite as stunning as The Treasury �" many very worn, but the sheer scale of the place overwhelms one.

 

Donkeys can be hired as can camels but I did not see many people taking this up. It is better to scramble around and explore. There are so many tombs to look at. I was up and down the rockface all morning �" until I had exhausted myself and had to go and have a cup of Turkish coffee at one of the many vendors around the main complex. As I sat there I started talking to 3 ladies �" all from Scotland, sisters with their elderly mother and all were astonished and had been there for 2 days already and still had not seen everything. It was then that I realised I was not going to see it all…if you just walk past everything without popping in or snooping around the tombs then you probably can do it in one day.

Church mosaic
.but I can’t. This was not a major problem though as I know I will be coming back to Jordan and each time I am positive I will fit in another visit to this extraordinary place.

 

After bidding the lovely Scots farewell I set off further down the valley into the Romanesque temples �" I was drawn in again and had a great time snooping about and even climbing up into a 20 meter high temple �" much of it in disrepair and probably quite dangerous.

 

I was running out of time and hadn’t made it to the monastery yet…I never did. I found a winding stairway that headed up behind some of the more impressive tombs and climbed it to the top. I was completely shattered when I got to the top but the view was stunning and my admiration for the people who carved it was very high.

On the way back..it snowed
I had just enough time left to have a look at the church (some great mosaics) and then had to hurry back to the bus stop.

 

You must, simply must, see this staggering place. Never before have I been able to interact so closely in such and astounding place. I heard that it is only 20% excavated at the moment �" if this is true then there is so much more to do I can’t comprehend the task ahead.

 

On the way back it snowed.

 

 

My final thoughts are that for an explorer 3 days would be a good amount of time �" for a sightseer 2 days and 1 day is really only suitable for someone wishing to see, but not feel the site. I AM coming back as my work will bring me to Jordan on a regular basis �" for those of you who may only ever get one chance I advise 3 or 4 days.

Me..you can see the size of some of these things
I promise you that you will not regret it.

 

There is so much to see in Jordan that one does not really know where to begin, Jerash, the Dead Sea and so much else….what a place!

 

 

Essentials:

 

Stout walking shoes

Suncream

Water

Camera

Waterproof clothing

Warm coat in the winter

Lots of energy

 

 

PS. I have been very picky on the images I have put in this blog �" I took around 200 and you can see many more of these in my Random Travel Photos Blog in due course.

savitri says:
Very nice pictures of Petra, hope i can go there someday
Posted on: Mar 21, 2011
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
JETT Bus at the stop over
JETT Bus at the stop over
The 1st Century AD Tomb before The…
The 1st Century AD Tomb before Th…
Carriages in The Siq
Carriages in The Siq
first glimpse of The Treasury
first glimpse of The Treasury
The most famous site at Petra...th…
The most famous site at Petra...t…
A temple gate
A temple gate
Church mosaic
Church mosaic
On the way back..it snowed
On the way back..it snowed
Me..you can see the size of some o…
Me..you can see the size of some …
Entance to The Siq
Entance to The Siq
The Siq
The Siq
Camels
Camels
Tomb
Tomb
Tombs
Tombs
Tombs
Tombs
Tombs
Tombs
Donkeys will carry you
Donkeys will carry you
Romanesque ruins sit in the centre…
Romanesque ruins sit in the centr…
The locals are friendly and colour…
The locals are friendly and colou…
The Royal tombs
The Royal tombs
The valley
The valley
The Amphitheatre
The Amphitheatre
The Amphitheatre
The Amphitheatre
Inside one of the tombs...look at …
Inside one of the tombs...look at…
One side of the valley - the Royal…
One side of the valley - the Roya…
Fallen coloumn
Fallen coloumn
15-20 meters high temple
15-20 meters high temple
One of the royal tombs -still bein…
One of the royal tombs -still bei…
A small hut on the top of the moun…
A small hut on the top of the mou…
On the way back - another veiw of …
On the way back - another veiw of…
The first main tomb
The first main tomb
Sponsored Links
Petra
photo by: vances