Life is a book and those who do not travel, read only one page

Petra

Trip Details

Road Trip 2008 I
Date: Mon, 04/08/2008
Jordan
Motorcyclists: Manolis, Ploumisti
Photographers: Manolis, Ploumisti
Authors: Manolis
Translators: Elias
Photographs: Link

Sightseeing map

The 17th day of our trip found us at the famous Petra. The previous day’s tiredness had already begun to pile up. We woke up at 8a.m with great difficulty while the clock was consistently ringing for some time. We wanted to visit Petra as earlier it was possible to avoid the heat. We took our breakfast at the hotel’s roof garden.

We departed to the tickets offices, having taken our supplies: 4 bottles of water, a guide book, hats and walking shoes. The ticket price was 21 Dinars/person, about 20€! The most expensive ticket - with great difference - we had so far paid. But as it proved later it worth the trouble!

Ancient Petra was discovered by a Dutch and became well known by the Indiana Jones movie. It’s unique for its kind and extremely impressive, even for the most demanding visitor! In fact, it is a necropolis which has hundreds of graves into the rocks. Ancient residents lived in tents. Because of their religion, they consistently believed in life beyond the tomb. For this reason they constructed impressive graves. Except for the tombs it also has other buildings such as theatres, market, temples and some caves that were used like home. The total length from the east entrance (sik) to the Temenos is about 6km while it also has many paths which end to other sights of the town.

During our wandering which endured 9 hours (!) we didn’t manage to see everything. This is the reason why there is a 2-3 day ticket without a great difference in price. By entering the canyon - beside the Bedouins with their camels and donkeys - we met the first monuments. A small taste of what would follow.

In a while we arrived to the narrow passage which was surrounded from sharp rocks with faint rosy colour. The passage was in some points narrow and in others broad, totally 2m. This natural opening didn’t come from erosion phenomenon but tectonic ones.

We walked for 2,5km until we ended to the most impressive and more photographed sight. Through the rock opening emerged the front of Khazne Fira’un or else known as “Pharaoh’s Vault”.

Right then started the valley. At the entrance is the theatre of 8.000 beholders capacity! Opposite we saw the great graves which accommodate the kings and lords of Petra. 

Continuing - just before the passage with the pillars - we rested under the shadow of a 450 year old tree! Some meters away the Temenos Qasr Bint Fira’un was placed, the only building which was the temple of Duschara, god of Navaites. This building was the limit of the central route. From this point and then started a small path - with steps - which ended to the stone grave Ed Deir or “Monastery” as the guide books named it. Climbing, as it proved, wasn’t easy at all! Many stops later we arrived to the imposing grave (43m height) feeling like Jesus Christ on the Golgotha!

Lucky enough there was a cafe inside the rocks that looked like a Bedouins’ tent. The big pillows were great to have some rest and read information about Petra. Before going back, we climbed a hill which gave us the opportunity to enjoy the awesome panoramic view!

The way back seemed shorter. There were less people and the sunset coloured the rocks with a great rosy shade! We made a last stop at the “Vault”. I couldn’t believe I was in Petra… 

We went back to the hotel and later we went to have something to eat. The prices were a bit high - as a tourist area. Later I thought of having a walk to find some card-postal. This is how I met Mohammad, a Bedouin and owner of souvenir shop. When he saw the motorcycle, he loved it and wanted to take photos. I learned from him that in Jordan was not permitted to the locals the use of motorcycles over 100cc!

A quick chat of general interest followed. We started talking about business and we ended up to religion… On my way back to the hotel, I was thinking that no matter how progressive and open-minded could be a man who lives in such a society; he would finally get influenced by his religious believing…