Petra - The Ancient City

Petra Travel Blog

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The Siq (a 1.2 km passage caused by the separation of tetonic plates) - the perfect entrance to a city, isn't it?

In the morning, we took a cab all the way from Wadi Rum Village to Wadi Musa.  At this point, we were traveling with another couple whom we had met in Wadi Rum.  They were both living in Egypt and were very good with the Arabic language.  At Wadi Musa, we dropped off our items and headed into town to grab some things for lunch.  We found a fresh fruit market, and purchased some bananas, and then we found a bakery and got some pita bread for the day.  We then walked back to the hostel and one of the attendants took us down to the entrance to the Petra site.

After purchasing a two day pass, we began our walk toward the Siq, which is an approximately 1.

The Treasury
2 km long passage in the rock.  This Siq was formed not by man, but by two tetonic plates moving in opposite directions.  Of course, this became the perfect defense to the city of Petra, and could very well be the reason why the city was never conquered.  Just walking to the Siq, you can see some small structures carved out of the rock, a prelude to the impressive structures to come on the inside.  We started our journey down into the Siq at about noon time, so we moved off to one side and ate our lunch.

After lunch and fully energized, we began our walk through the Siq.  It was breathtaking how high the walls went up.  The path was sometimes paved, and wide enough to allow horses and carriages through for people who did not want to walk.  At the end of the Siq, you can begin to see the most famous carved building in all of Petra - the building known as the Treasury.

The Monastery
  As you emerge from the Siq, the 20 story structure stands before you - completely carved out of the cliff face and standing in incredible condition.  That site alone was worth the journey to Petra, but there were still many more things to see!

As we walked through the city, it became clear just how big it was.  The rocks themselves were beautiful, let alone the carved structures.  We were able to see the ampitheatre and the main thoroughfare as we walked toward one of the other famous structures.  The Monastery stands at the top of a hill, over 800 steps from the base.  We stopped at a restaurant near the base of the hill for a refreshment before we began the climb.  As we got higher above the city, we were able to see just what a spectacle it was.

View of Petra
  Reaching the top, we were greeted by the Monastery, standing tall before us.

Beyond the Monastery are many lookouts over the hills of the Petra area.  On a clear day, you can see as far as Israel to the west and the Dead Sea to the north.  Off to the south sits the tomb of the priest Aaron, brother to Moses.  We were able to see it, but did not have the time to hike there (it would have been al all day trip).  After resting up and enjoying the view, we hiked back down the stairs (much easier this way) and headed toward the Siq.  It was at about this point that we realized we had a good hour of walking to get to the gate, and that our driver would be there in 45 minutes.  So, tired as we were from walking around the city all day, we picked up the pace and arrived back at the entrance only a few minutes late.

We arrived back at the hostel hungry, and thought it a good idea to walk down the street to a local restaurant.  There I had one of the best meals on the whole trip, a great chichen schwarma dish.  Although our hostel boasted that it plays Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (part of this was filmed in Petra) and Lawrence of Arabia every night, we were far too tired to partake.

princessbride029 says:
Great blog, thanks for sharing - it looks and sounds incredible!
Posted on: Mar 01, 2008
Kana says:
Nice blog! This is one those trips I must take some day... :)
Posted on: Jan 25, 2008
Kerris82 says:
I'm sure the pictures don't do justice to the wonderful experience you had. I hope that I too will be able to see this first hand. You describe it so well. Wonderful writing.
Posted on: Oct 01, 2007
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The Siq (a 1.2 km passage caused b…
The Siq (a 1.2 km passage caused …
The Treasury
The Treasury
The Monastery
The Monastery
View of Petra
View of Petra
Walking towards the Siq
Walking towards the Siq
The main thoroughfare in Petra
The main thoroughfare in Petra
Stairs leading to the Monastery
Stairs leading to the Monastery
View of Petra
View of Petra
The Monastery
The Monastery
View of Petra
View of Petra
View of Petra
View of Petra
Going up!
Going up!
View of Petra
View of Petra
The Siq
The Siq
The Siq
The Siq
The Treasury from the Siq
The Treasury from the Siq
Inside the Treasury
Inside the Treasury
View of Petra
View of Petra
Ampitheatre
Ampitheatre
Beautiful, huh?
Beautiful, huh?
View of the main thoroughfare behi…
View of the main thoroughfare beh…
Entrance to the Siq
Entrance to the Siq
Aarons Tomb (the brother of Moses)
Aaron's Tomb (the brother of Moses)
The Siq
The Siq
The Treasury from the Siq
The Treasury from the Siq
Structures of Petra
Structures of Petra
View off toward Israel
View off toward Israel
Petra
photo by: vances