Jordan, Day 6: The Ancient Nabatean City of Petra

The “rose-red city”! Petra is the historical city of the Nabatean civilization, one of Jordan’s most famous landmarks, as well as one of the 8 wonders of the modern world. My mom would like very much to see Petra, but these pictures will have to do for now. 

Near the entrance of the site, we immediately began to see the architecture of the Nabateans, carved directly into the sandstone hills. This is a tomb of a very rich family. The four pyramid towers on top mean that there are four people buried within the tomb. 

Daisy looks a bit too happy about being stopped by the gaurds.

We entered the high walls of the city around 9 in the morning, which is the best time to see the colours of the walls in the early sun. Later in the day the rock changes colour many times. 

In some places the walls of the Siq (the pathway to the city) are up to 80 feet high.  

The first glimpse of the Treasury through the rock walls.

The Treasury at Petra! Locals and explorers believed that it held treasures, hence the name. Once it was excavated they realized that it held no secret treasure hoard. You can see where the pillars have been restored by modern artists. Near the top left of the picture you can see the groves in the wall that would have acted as scafolding for the carvers. Sandstone is very easy to carve, but I can’t imagine being up that high to do it! 

Past the Treasury, in the city. 

SO many locals call Petra home. They live there full time selling their wares to tourists, including postcards, jewelry, and many other souvenirs. Small children came up to us dozens of times trying to sell us things. It’s very hard to say no to them. 

Those of us who were brave climbed the 800 step descent to the Monastery at the highest point of the city of Petra. Only 4 of us (including me!) climbed the whole way to the top. The rest took donkeys to get there. My reward for the hike up was a ride down the mountain on a donkey, which was an experience in itself. 

Daisy and Ciara standing in the mouth of the Monastery, which is 47 feet high. 

I wish I could post every picutre I took in Petra. I pick about 1 out of 30 photos to post on my blog every day, and there are so many more experiences that I just don’t have time to convey here. There’s really no way to understand it unless you experience it first hand. Petra was easily among the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. 

My experience at Petra, however, pales in comparison to my night camping in the desert of Wadi Rum. Next post! 


Wadi Musa, Jordan - Petra - The Treasury by therese beck
Via Flickr:
The Treasury