Petra

28 02 2011

I don’t know what to say. I have spent the best part of 3 days wandering around the ancient city of Petra and I’ve had about enough of rock and carved out caves.
It is an extremely impressive site. It is also now extremely expensive – the only way I could justify the entrance fee was to get a 3 day ticket (60 JD ~ 60 EUR ~ 85 Aussie Dollars) and average the cost over the three days. So now I have well and truly seen Petra, from every conceivable angle, and somehow got the special ticket where they throw in sore feet for free.
The highlight is, of course, the Treasury building which you may have seen in an Indiana Jones film. A close second is the Monastery (as far as I can tell the Treasury was never a treasury, and the Monastery didn’t house monks – who knows where they get these names). Both very photogenic from the outside. I was slightly disappointed with the interiors though. The caves behind the facades have been dug out of the technicolour sandstone. Imagine – there are something like 800 tombs, dug straight out of the rock. I felt sure that some of them would be Egyptian style, with a long corridor and then a burial chamber or two. It seems the Nabataeans (and Romans who took over from them) preferred ornate (really over the top ornate) façades and simple (if sometimes large) cubic rooms behind the façade. I must have checked out a hundred caves (it seems like more), and found one that had a second room behind the first – and none that I could crawl around in :(. I assume these rooms were painted at some time in the past (and I saw some evidence of this) – otherwise the corpses may have been rather bored in their big square caves.
Enough history for a few days. I’ll be riding north again tomorrow (and no doubt will bump into a castle or something ancient that demands my attention). Dead Sea is dead ahead.

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5 responses

28 02 2011
Stefan

Yippie, a new post on your blog. I was just searching for flights to Jordan in April. But they are still quite expensive. And you will already be in Syria then.
Hope you feel well again!
What about some photos of Petra???

1 03 2011
Steve

This internet connection is too slow to load the photos! I will soon. You are coming to Jordan in April? Come to Turkey!

28 02 2011
Adrià Rieradevall

hi! we met between wadi rum and petra! now i am in amman waiting going no india!:D that is my blog: http://capalestenbici.blogspot.com/

1 03 2011
Gerard

Funny that I talked to Adrià, the Catalan cyclist also riding Jordan, letting him know that you were also in Petra, and you both met each other on the road by chance! Life is so small sometimes…

By reading your blog I see that everything seems great. Where are you heading off now?

As for me, I’ll be on the track in two months time approximately . Can hardly wait for it, but work is work. At this time I am dealing with logistics issues so that the beginning of the trip is coming closer.

Cheers!

2 03 2011
Steve

You know Adria? Wow, the world is small! We only talked for 5 minutes, but he is the first cyclist I have met in the middle east.

Good luck planning your trip in South America!

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