Petra — Jordan’s Drama Queen

Petra is amazing!  Imagine a smaller Grand Canyon with incredible buildings, tombs and caves that were carved into the cliffs 2300 years ago.

Petra was the capital city of the Nabataeans who had a “mercantile empire” for hundreds of years in the Levant. Their culture was lost after the Romans took over around 300 AD.  Today, Petra is a UNESCO World Heritage site and on the Smithsonian’s short list of places to see before you die (a list that I am currently reviewing…).

Unfortunately, the photos here that are not stock were shot with my iphone, which doesn’t show colors well.  I lost my camera yesterday.  And nope it wasn’t stolen.  Jordanians don’t steal stuff.

With said iphone, the hiking boots I have been hauling around but not wearing for two months, and a bottle of water, I left my hotel early to beat the heat and the crowds.  The big hike is to the Monastery which is about 6 miles with 800 steps of stone carved into the hillside for the last mile or so. I figured I was ready for it since I survived the hike to the Citadel!

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Muhammed called me Indiana Jones about 60 times because of my hat. “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” was filmed at Petra.

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Your ticket into Petra includes a free ride for the first half mile but mine cost $8 after negotiations. This is my handsome new BFF Muhammed with his habibi, Amber.

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I walked on this path and that cliff is really steep….Machu Picchu anyone?

The Treasury, which is about a mile into the canyon

Some people ride donkeys up the canyon to the Monastery but not me. Seems kind of gringo. Well, and I might fall off the cliff.

Bedouins who run souvenir and snack stands along the last mile cheered me on (while making me promise to return to buy something), which helped a lot actually.  And it wasn’t that hard because Petra feels so spiritual and so exhilarating.  I just wanted to keep going.

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Puppy and I made it to the Monastery!


It seems no work of Man’s creative hand,
by labour wrought as wavering fancy planned;
But from the rock as if by magic grown,
eternal, silent, beautiful, alone!
Not virgin-white like that old Doric shrine,
where erst Athena held her rites divine;
Not saintly-grey, like many a minster fane,
that crowns the hill and consecrates the plain;
But rose-red as if the blush of dawn,
that first beheld them were not yet withdrawn;
The hues of youth upon a brow of woe,
which Man deemed old two thousand years ago,
Match me such marvel save in Eastern clime,
a rose-red city half as old as time.

English poet John Burgon, 1845


  1. Love it! Love you. Thanks for lighting up my Sunday here in the beautiful Wood River Valley in Idaho. XOXO

  2. Wow! Of all the places you’ve visited, Petra seems to me to be the most spiritually inspiring and physically amazing. I think it’s important that getting there takes effort because that adds to the experience.

    Too bad about your camera, but you seem to be doing a pretty darn good job with your iPhone!

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