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!

Petra

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

4 comments

  1. 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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