Petra, day one.

Petra Travel Blog

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Emerging from the Siq, our first view of the treasury.

I've spent the last five days in Jordan but am writing now from the border town of Eliat, Israel, where I'm stuck for the next two days. More on that later. Backing up a bit:

I arrived in Amman and settled in to await Jiyoung, who was arriving the next afternoon. I was, of course, super anxious to see her after being apart for a month so I made sure to arrive at the airport on time. I was happy to see her plane arrived as scheduled and lined up with the rest of the people waiting to greet everyone.
And I waited. And then I waited some more. After about an hour, I started to get worried. I began trying to inquire as to where the rest of the passengers (i.e., Jiyoung) were, but got no helpful responses. After an hour and a half I was told that all the passengers had already come out. My panic rose. I finally found someone who tried to help a little bit and dialed the airline for me so I could ensure that she had been on the plane; she had. So then I began a 30 minute "session" with airport security to either let me behind the gate or to get off their butts and find out where she was. They didn't do that but they did pick up the phone a few times, to no avail. Finally I saw her and we were once again reunited.Massive relief. For some inexplicable reason (and it was, actually, never explained), immigration decided that there was a "problem" of some sort and made her sit for an hour and a half with no clue what was going .
. waiting for an hour at the wrong bus stop, we decided to take a taxi into Amman. We settled in and got ready to head to Wadi Musa and Petra.

We headed down to Wadi Musa the next day, found a place to stay, and eagerly went to sleep awaiting the next morning when we would go to the 2,000 year old dead city of Petra, one of the new seven wonders of the world.

It's a fitting title. After a 2.5 km downhill walk to the entry gate, we walked another km to the entrance of the Siq, a 1.2 km passageway snaking through a ravine that closes in on both sides to little more than 2 meters at one point. At the end of the Siq is one of the most amazing monuments in the world, the Treasury of Petra.
The Monastery
Since we arrived early, we got to meander through the Siq alone, eagerly glancing around each corner for our first glimpse of the Treasury. Finally, we made it around the last bend and our jaws promptly dropped to our chests. The sight was one of the most amazing ones I've encountered in my journeys throughout the world.

The first thing that struck me was just how big it was; almost 40 meters (120 feet) tall. It is completely carved out of a sandstone cliff, a preposterous feat. Its preservation is truly remarkable and as we stood there amongst the dozen or so other tourists, the feeling was one of raw admiration and incredulousness.

We continued on past the Treasury and took in the rest of the incredible sights that Petra has to offer. The whole city is completely carved out of the sandstone cliffs in the area.
Houses, tombs, temples, and even a 7,000 seat theater are all visible through the city.

After another 2 kms or so (we ended up walking over 21 kms (13 miles) that day!), we got to the foot of a mountain and began a trip up that would include over 800 stairs. This led us up to the Monastery, the second most famous sight of Petra and one that's even bigger than the Treasury. It did not disappoint!

After a few breaks, we hiked the last 6 miles back up to Wadi Musa excited, exhausted, and eagerly looking forward to our second day at Petra. This time we were going "exploring"....
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Emerging from the Siq, our first v…
Emerging from the Siq, our first …
The Monastery
The Monastery
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photo by: vances