Breathtaking Petra

Petra Travel Blog

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Exceptionally beautiful colors

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.

Petra's treasury
   But, when we arrived at our hotel, we were told it should have been 15 JOD for the entire taxi.  That clinched our opinion of our driver, Zaki.  If you ever meet a taxi driver named Zaki in Jordan - AVOID!  He was the craziest driver I've ever had in my substantial years - we think he may have been using a substance, any substance, otherwise there's not much explanation for his behavior.  He drove like a bat out of hell, weaving between trucks and cars.  Now, that's not new for us, but the fact that he did it sometimes with no hands, or with a coffee cup in one hand and a cigarette in another, or a cell phone with a shrieking woman on the other end - that was all new.  We were told Zaki is not a common Jordanian name (unlike Mohamed for example), so AVOID Zaki taxi drivers.
Petra - playing the Al-Rababeh
  We were happy to make it to the hotel in one piece.

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.

"I need business today"
  Thus ended our first night in Jordan, thank goodness followed by our second day in breathtaking Petra.

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.

Camel stop
  We found the Bedouin children selling items inside to be beguiling - when one of them said "I need business today" we all just cracked up.  They've obviously been trained on how to appeal to the tourists - many of them told us we had 'beautiful eyes' and of course the stock phrase 'special price for you'. 

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.  :-)

vances says:
I'll remember to avoid the wacky zaki taxi!
Posted on: Mar 27, 2010
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Exceptionally beautiful colors
Exceptionally beautiful colors
Petras treasury
Petra's treasury
Petra - playing the Al-Rababeh
Petra - playing the Al-Rababeh
I need business today
"I need business today"
Camel stop
Camel stop
On the way from the monastery
On the way from the monastery
Special price for you
"Special price for you"
Carriage at the entrance
Carriage at the entrance
Along the entrance to Petra
Along the entrance to Petra
Entrance
Entrance
Some guards
Some guards
En route to the monastery
En route to the monastery
Petra Hotels & Accommodations review
Nice but not necessary
Small for a Marriott, it did not live up to Marriott standards. While the rooms were wonderful, some of the staff was questionable and they had a few… read entire review
12,246 km (7,609 miles) traveled
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photo by: vances