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Trip to Petra

A friend and I visited Petra, Jordan a number of years ago. This is a slide show of photos I took while traveling from Israel to Petra, in Jordan, as well as photos of Petra itself.  

We had been warned that going to Petra was a strenuous trip, and it was; however, it was an awe-inspiring experience, and although I was exhausted at the end of the day, I enjoyed the trip immensely.  Petra is a unique city carved into the rocks by people who settled there more than 2000 years ago (the Nabateans). Petra was chosen as the capital of the Nabatean people because it was located in a valley surrounded by sandstone mountains. The rock is deep pink in color. That, in and of itself, is rather startling. Upon entering Petra you can’t help but be overwhelmed by its beauty and the incredible architectural achievements of an ancient people. In 2007 Petra was chosen as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. The “Siq” is the main entrance to Petra. There are 800 tombs in Petra, but the Kazneh is the most famous. “Kazneh” means “treasure.” The Bedouins believe that the Pharaoh hid his treasure in the urn at the top of the Kazneh while he was chasing the Israelites who were leaving Egypt. The gorge and the Kazneh (The temple) were made famous in the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

The trip is made difficult by the fact that motorized vehicles are not permitted to enter the site. You can walk, hire a horse or a horse and carriage, a donkey or a camel to take you around. The route is approximately five miles round trip. You travel into Petra downhill, however, the return trip is uphill. The roads are made of stone and, therefore, even the carriage ride is uncomfortable. Nevertheless, whatever discomfort may be involved in actually reaching Petra is unimportant as compared to its breathtaking grandeur. In 1985, UNESCO recognized Petra as a World Heritage Site. There are wonderful hotels in and around Petra. However, we chose to return to Israel to stay at a Kibbutz that we were familiar with for a few days. Since we are on “The Other Side of 50,” the trip was somewhat strenuous for us and we needed to take some time to rest before continuing on with our travels. A special thanks to Al Cinamon (www.TJHS55.US) for preparing the slide show on Petra.


March 2, 2010 - 4:16pm

Maxsa R

Having gone to Petra once was enough for me. The site itself was incredible. However, it was unbearably cold and I found the horse and buggy ride really uncomfortable. I was happy to get back to the hotel in Eilat. It was an interesting place to go to once, but I don't think I'd be interested in going back.

March 1, 2010 - 10:23pm

Larry Kaufman

I took the horse and buggy option when I went to Petra, and asked the guide how much I should tip the driver. He suggested $5.00, and the problem when we came up the hill was that all I had in American money was a twenty-dollar bill. Accordingly, I gave the driver 20 Israeli shekels, the equivalent of $5.00 -- but he refused to take Israeli money and told me he could take dollars and make change. I gave him my twenty and asked for $15 back. As he counted out and handed me fifteen singles, he asked, How about something for the horse? I had made going to Petra a condition of going to Israel when we went in March 2007 -- and wouldn't have missed it for the world. I did wish we had been given a little time to wanted around the town -- but we were just herded into a local restaurant for a so-so middle-Eastern buffet. That was the only downside of the excursion. We also got to spend a little time in Eilat, where we hadn't been for over thirty years -- and like everything else in Israel, it had changed dramatically. I wonder what will surprise us most when we go again in June.

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