Petra Travel Blog› entry 11 of 13 › view all entries
While Egypt had never interested me until I was actually there, I have always wanted to see Petra. I feared that my expectations would not be met - since I'd seen so many beautiful photos and heard such rave reviews. I needn't have feared - it exceeded my expectations and was a trip highlight - equal to hiking Mt. Sinai.
But first let me tell you about how we got there.... After a few rather unpleasant hours in Nuweiba's ferry terminal, we arrived in Aqaba tired and more than ready for our hotel, but we still had over an hour drive to Wadi Musa. We negotiated with a taxi for the trip - I'd been told by Samer in Nuweiba to expect 25 JOD each, so when we were offered 15 JOD each, I jumped.
Here comes the next story. While Jac & I encountered a few misogynists in Egypt, we had our worst experience in the Petra Marriott. It was completely unexpected since it was, after all, a Marriott, and also since we'd heard Jordan was more liberal in gender relations. When we arrived, we all needed a drink very badly so we headed to the hotel lobby bar. One round flew by, another round flew by. When I ordered my third drink (my 3 friends were slightly slower than I), the bartender told me it was too 'dangerous' for me to have 3 drinks and I needed to stop. ! Are all you women out there as pissed as I was (and by pissed I mean angry!)
Of course, I ordered a 3rd round for the entire table - he unhappily brought it, we glared at each other, drank up and retreated without asking for a fourth.
Majestic would be a good word to describe Petra. Amazing another. Mind boggling, yet another. To think an entire civilization of 10,000 people lived there.... In addition to the amazing architecture and engineering feats, the beauty of the rock is truly breathtaking. I took more pictures here than anywhere else - every where I turned was gorgeous. Every corner held another exquisite view. I've posted a few pics here, but I'm quite sure they don't do it justice.
While we'd heard most tourists spend 1.5 hours inside Petra - just walking/cameling/carriage riding in to the Treasury and then back out, we spent all day and walked all the way to the monastery - for splendid views.
While the entrance tickets were extremely pricey (US$50 each!), the site is so well maintained it was worth it. Clean bathrooms, clean paths, obviously well taken care of ruins, and the ongoing excavation all make it money well spent. A World Heritage Site and one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, I'm very glad I saw it before I die!
We were referred to a taxi driver who didn't speak much English but didn't smoke and was a great driver. Hazm Flahat - Mob 0776 442930. He was always on time and has a cousin in the shops outside the Petra gates who can make you a special price. :-)