I could stop right here and just show you photos and that would be enough. Wouldn’t it?
Actually with so many nuances to this amazing “lost” awe inspiring, breath taking city, it really wouldn’t.
My thoughts are few compared to the grandeur of this wonderful place but hopefully they will make you not only think about visiting but taking that first step to booking a ticket to see Jordan in all of its beauty and glory.
I’ll be speaking about Petra in two parts. Making my way to the treasury and then to the Monastery and back. This is mainly to be able to highlight photos from each section without there being an overwhelming amount.
Note: Bring small paper bowls and an extra bottle of water to give some refreshment to homeless dogs and other furry creatures of God you come across that may need a sip. Seeing those happy tails wag is a great way to start the day!
Note: The site opens at 6am, plan to get there then or in the evening for the rosiest views.
Stepping out of my hotel at the mouth of the entrance to this famed city of red, I met my guide who would be with me for 2 hours before pointing me in the best direction to go and see other key highlights of this ancient “lost” city.
We started out early in the morning which along with the evening is a great time to be able to see this city are the light bounces off of it at multiple angles highlight the rose hue. I hadn’t done much research before taking off because I wanted full sensory surprise when actually arriving here, so it was curious to note that the Treasury isn’t as close as I expected.
My guide (apologies but I don’t remember his name) obviously loved this city. Not only did he know much about it but as we walked it was obvious that he loved and appreciated the people that lived and sometimes still live there.
As we started walking through a valley surrounded by Wadi Musa I thought to myself, there’s nothing Rose Red about this. “Where’s the Treasury? Where’s the Red Rock? These stones are beige and I see trees and other foliage.”
My guide though I think sensing my questions decided to take it one step at a time by describing where we were walking and what we were seeing.
He first pointed out the Djinn Blocks which were burial places for some of the prominent Nabateans. As well as Obelisk tomb that lined this well traveled path.
As I noticed one and then a few other visitors make their way past us as we talked about history I started to become antsy. “Yup that’s great, but what about the Rose Red City! This isn’t a city!” After all I didn’t come all of this way and get up this early just to take photos of crowds.” Though I politely kept this thought to myself.
Just when I thought I’d have to speak up and say “Where’s the Red Rock???” The landscape changed before me, from a typical beige to…Rose, and Pink, and Dusky Rose, and the colors I expected to see.
It was the Siq.
My mood changed, not only was I more excited than ever but I just knew that the majestic sight I’d expected was just around the corner. So we walked and he explained things we saw. Ancient idols carved into the surfaces, caper bushes growing out of rock, dams built to stem any tides that might come through.
However not only did he give me information but he told me stories. Stories which I’m not sure he quite expected me to believe, but he told them with interest and at one point handed me a date to snack on. So I listened more carefully and took more note.
He’d often encourage me to stop where I was and turn around, in order to truly appreciate the light and it’s changes and how a spot that looks one way can suddenly change with the cast of the sunlight.
I was now starting to fall under the haze of Petra and appreciate it for all of its splendor and not just some. We continued walking when he suggested that I move to the other side of the walkway and told me to look back. I did so. After a few seconds he told me to look at what was ahead. And peaking out with the sun making it look like Rose gold was the treasury.
Time stopped. If only for a few seconds.
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep standing there, cry or more forward. I chose the latter.
We moved on and brought the “Treasury” into full view. In the evening or morning light you’ll see the rich rose color you expect to see as well as detail in the carved stone. Such amazing detail. It looks like it could have been carved last week.
Note: Great map found here: http://www.grandview.com.jo/petra_map.html
This is an interactive map published by the Grand View resort (now closed due to lack of tourism) that overlooks the Petra valley and Wadi Musa. Hopefully it’ll open again one day, I’d love to stay there for the view.
Note: There’s one thing to note about Petra. It’s very, large. Over 15 square miles, so not only is it much more than the Treasury but you’re not going to see everything in a day unless you move very quickly and don’t really savor all of your surroundings. You can definitely see all of the key points but to really experience every bit of it would take you months. So enjoy the parts you do see and prepare to come back for another trip to see anything you missed last time.
Images and Text All Rights Reserved TravelXena.com © 2016
— TravelXena (@TravelXena) March 19, 2016