When I told people that I was going to Petra all the responses were the same.  It is amazing, you are going to love it.  I was concerned that I'd be disappointed because of all the praise.  Not the case.  Petra is just amazing.  The history, the beauty, the intensity, just everything. 

Tea with sage
We left Amman early stopping midway for tea with dried sage.  Sage is good for the stomach which we could all use a little of since we got here.

Setting out for the walk into Petra around 11ish.  Sun sets at 4ish and it is a long walk in.  You are wowed and continue to be wowed at every turn. 

Walking through the passage way toward the city is beautiful.  Years and years ago there was a earthquake that created the opening that we walked through. Down the sides, at the bottom of the canyons, the people that lived here carved out water catches so that water would flow downward into the city for use.  You can see it on the picture above in the near bottom left corner. 

This is a small place to pray as people would leave the city.  They would also sacrifice their animals here.  You can't see it in this picture but to the right is a fairly large sized hole carved into the wall for the priest to sit in and oversee the prayer site. 

Camels and donkeys are everywhere.

Remember Indiana Jones?  Here is the Temple of Doom.

All of these small holes are burial grounds.

Check out the incredible colors of the rock.  We were standing in a small cave. 

This was a theater.

Fred and Emily left us after lunch.  On the way up to the Mosque, which is the very top of Petra and the end of the trail, Josh, Jessica and I took donkeys up to the top.

Here is the Mosque at the top.  Pretty amazing.  Truth is the pictures don't do Petra justice…at least from my camera. You can capture the size because the people in front look so tiny.

A million people will visit Petra this year.  There are small tents set up by the locals around the trail selling wares.  This is as touristy as it gets.

We walked down.

Locals hanging out with their donkeys hoping we will grab a ride.

Views from the top on the way down.  Quite an incredible day.  It isn't the same but think of the Badlands in South Dakota meet the Grand Canyon in terms of the physical beauty as the basis for a bedoin city that has existed for thousands of years inside that is like nothing else.  People lived in the caves until 1985 when Petra became a UNESCO site.  The people were then moved out of the area.  After the Jordan/Israel treaty in 1994 people began to come here in bigger numbers to see Petra.  Those numbers grow annually.  Although a three hour drive from Amman, it is well worth the journey. 

Memorable is just one word that comes to mind.   

Comments (Archived):

  1. William Mougayar

    Amazing pics and journey. Thanks for sharing.That camel was cute.

  2. kirklove

    Yeah, that gets a wow.And Josh looks “just” like a local on that donkey. Doesn’t stick out in the least. 😉

    1. Gotham Gal

      somehow josh got the mule. he was bigger than the mule. it was hilarious

  3. Mike Hart

    Badlands meets Grand Canyon with a little Anasazi Indians thrown in. Amazing that people lived in the caves as late as 1995. Sage tea? Should’ve taken the Pepto.

  4. Steven Kane

    Awesome!Btw, if any readers are interested, many tourists don’t go via Amman and the 3 hour drive — it is very very quick and easy to go from Israel, via Eilat border crossing, then 1.5 hour drive.

    1. Gotham Gal

      We are going through the border tomorrow over to Jerusalem. The oppositedirection.

  5. RichardF

    Fantastic, I can’t wait until my son is old enough to appreciate it to do what you guys are doing.

    1. Gotham Gal

      there are people here with small kids. not sure i get why. I really thinkaround 12 and up is the age.

  6. Kelley Boyd @msksboyd

    Happy to be along for the narrative and the photos on this journey. Really fantastic. That cave and the water gorge…very interesting. Thanks.

  7. Tracey

    It looks amazing. It is so on my list….be safe!

    1. Gotham Gal

      it is actually safe. yet there is definitely a weird feeling that i can’tdescribe. it is a third world country which is so foreign to our day to dayand that has a lot to do with it too.

  8. TraceydJackson

    It looks amazing. It is so on my list. Be safe.

  9. Banet

    As a boy I’m required by my genes to point out that while that facade (the Treasury) was used in an Indiana Jones movies, it wasn’t the Temple of Doom — it was in The Last Crusade… It was where The Knight was protecting Christ’s Chalice. 🙂

    1. Gotham Gal

      I had a feeling that I got that one wrong. I have seen them all…includingthe ones with Shia Boeuf but remembering that information is way beyond mybandwidth.