As I've hinted at in past posts, there's a very good reason Petra is a World Heritage Site. UNESCO goes into great detail on Petra's "Outstanding Universal Value." Personally, I was just glad it was as amazing in person as the photos and movie footage it's featured in.
The pleasant walk into The Rose-Red City first provides a view of ancient silica quarries, partially-carved tombs (which we jokingly referring to as "art school"), and Djinn blocks. The latter, freestanding cube-shaped monuments to spirits from Arab folklore, give the site a Flintstonian feel.
The next section is The Siq, a narrow passage through the mountains leading to the carved city of Petra. Exploring the colors and textures of the sandstone canyon was one of my favorite parts of the visit. You can see my full homage to this natural wonder in my last post "Pet Rock."
One hazard was the horse-drawn buggies designed for those unwilling or unable to make the walk. They'd come zooming by with little warning, although after a while we began listening for thundering hooves echoing off the canyon walls.
At the end of The Siq, the carved facade of The Treasure emerges. This is the iconic view you see most often, but is no less spectacular to behold.
Cue the Indiana Jones theme song!
Unfortunately you can't go inside The Treasury, known in Arabic as Al-Khazna, but you can wander around and admire the carved facade. Crafted by the Nabatean civilization in 60BC, the structure is actually a gigantic tomb, covered in Greek-influenced columns and carvings.
The scene in the Treasury plaza is a chaotic pastiche of camera-wielding tourists, camel-wielding touts, and wheelbarrow-wielding maintenance men.
We continued down the Street of Facades towards the Theater, which was also under renovation. Plenty of cool stuff to see along the way, though.
The fact that the Theater was off-limits didn't stop Aftab, who hopped the fence to take a better picture. I'm happy to note he didn't end up on an episode of "Locked Up Abroad."
There was no shortage of touts trying to sell us camel rides or trinkets, but they weren't nearly as aggressive as I'd expected. Some of them, like this young girl who approached us with an armful of necklaces, were surprisingly friendly.
We weren't able to stick around for the hike up to the Monastery, as a member of our troupe had to get back to Amman for a flight. (A handy excuse just as the heat was starting to crank up.) But the stroll back through the Siq rewarded us with a delicious color show.
Then, sadly, back to reality.
And thus concludes the lengthy curation of my many-many Petra pics. Check out the links below for other posts and allllll the photos uploaded from our Jordan travels. Next up, our side trip to Beirut!
For more fabulous travel snaps check out Delicious Baby's Photo Friday.
* Photo Friday: Pet rock
* Photo Friday: unexpected Petra
* Photo Friday: waking up in Petra
* Wanderfood Wednesday: epicurean despot
* Teambuilding in Amman: the hills are alive
* In my Dead Sea bowling shoes
* Photo Friday: Middle East teaser
* browse all Jordan posts
* browse all Jordan pics
* browse all Petra pics