Friday, August 26, 2005


Jordan - The Treasury, Petra

We made it down to Petra in the early evening yesterday, just in time to make it to Petra by night.... maybe a separate blog.

Today we were up at 6 to be at the site before 7 in order to make the most of Petra before it became too hot.

We re-traced the steps we took last nihgt by candle- and star-light, it all looking very different. The colours of teh sandstone rocks, their shapes and the inscriptions and carvings in the rocks were all visible in their glory now as we traversed the 1.2 km of the Siq. This Siq is a narrow canyon through the rocks, coming out into a large open space. On the rock-face opposite is craved the Treasury, as shown in the photo. A really amazing sight, truly one of the world's wonders, espcially when you see just how big it is.

From there we followed the canyon round, until it opened out. The rocks were layered with multi-colours, red, pink, yellow, grey,black and white.

The joy of Petra is in the combination of the amazing natural formations and the monuments built but mostlycarved by the Nabateans (500 BC - 100 AD - when they were taken up by the Roman Empire).

We took the eastern route and climbed to the top of the cliffs (a high climb) for spelndid views over the site across to Haroun's Mount (Haroun being the brother of Moses).

Met up with three ladies from Italy (Milan, Bologna and Figline Valdarno) and an English lady from North London, as well as chatting with the bedouins.

The bedouins do not live oin Petar any more but they can run businesses there without paying taxes, so theye are seen renting out horses, donkeys and camels as well as selling refreshments and souvenirs. I did not find them intrusive and, to be honest, they were there first and added a lot of colour to the site.

We have only covered a tiny part and we wil return in the next 2-3 day, for more walking around, including the very high up Monastery - although I might take a donkey up there.

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