The Nabataeans Petra

We start our journey to UNESCO World Heritage site, Petra by taking almost an hour crossing from Israel into Jordan. The security process is long and slow, especially in this direction. A large border crossing fee, at least three passport checks and stamps, metal detectors and questioning. Then transfer to a Jordanian guide and bus for the two hour plus trip.

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The warmest and cutest part of our welcoming to Jordan.

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We drive the long, relatively new highway linking the port of Aqaba to Amman…with a steady stream of 18-wheelers moving cargo to and from the port. A stop for this view before we turn off on the winding mountain road down to Petra below. From this angle, Petra lives up to its nickname, the hidden city.

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Our Jordanian guide, Mohammad gives us a travelogue, history of Petra, and interesting insights about Jordan, its people and relationship with Israel for the full two hour trip. Then he starts in on Petra itself.

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The amazing Nabataeans literally carved this enormous complex of tombs, temples, siqs and treasury right into beautifully colored limestone. The history is interesting, but the visuals tell it all…so let’s just look at a very few of its wonders:

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As-Siq, the impressive 1,200 meter long, narrow gorge hemmed in my cliffs up to 80 meters.

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Marsha’s hand in one of the carved out water channels.

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Carved details abound reflecting a range of Classical, Egyptian, Mesopotamian and local styles.

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The Siq opens up in a surprise as the Treasury comes into view, carved right into the red cliff, amazingly protected and preserved.

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Indiana Jones look out.

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The street of facades and the Theatre. An amphitheater that can hold 7,000 people.

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Extra commentary. Succinctly put.

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It goes on and on for a fast four hours. Our guides are amazed at the smallest crowds they’ve ever seen at Petra with the most beautiful spring-like weather. Most stay away this time of year because it’s usually too cold. We truly lucked out. Lots more amazing photos if you’re interested. Will post them on SmugMug for those who are later.

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Exquisite natural rock formations and colors.

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Must support local crafters. We do.

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See the elephant? From the side, this formation looks like a fish.

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See the cute bedouin kid with a lamb?

Exhausted after our three mile walk of mind-blowing sights (it takes more than three days to cover the entire site) we head back to the bus for the trip back to Eilat with a delicious lunch stop for authentic Lebanese food. A reverse border crossing and thoughts of how to fill our free day tomorrow. No problem for Marsha, no rest for Joel. Eilat Botanical Gardens in the morning and a Red Sea cruise in the afternoon. Excuse me while I kiss the sky.

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5 Responses to The Nabataeans Petra

  1. Rhoda Altman says:

    Blown away with Petra!
    Rhoda

  2. dona says:

    geez. that might need to go on my life list. absolutely amazing. thanks. xo

  3. judylobo says:

    Always wanted to see Petra – thanks for taking me there.

  4. Pauline Candaux says:

    I totally know your feelings about this exquisite place!

  5. Susan Pushman says:

    Beautiful pictures! So interesting.

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