Discovering Petra… Part I

Alright- get ready for a really long picture post- I am dividing it into 2 posts, so as to retain your attention… Here goes the first half… up until the famous ‘Treasury’…

Dawn broke, and at 15 minutes past 6 we were at the ticket counter to buy our tickets … The ticket counter was tiny but who cares… I just wanted to see the city of Petra  the “Site“)- a city established in 312 BC- and still existing-  something that was difficult to fathom. The local Bedouin tribe still inhabit the city and you will see a number of them when at the Site…..

The narrow road leading up to the entrance
The narrow road leading up to the entrance

The street leading up to the entrance of the Site, was dotted with tiny stores,  especially making reference to dear ‘Indiana Jones’- I could see how these guys made their money!

Yippee- our tickets!
Yippee- our tickets!

On procuring our tickets, we were good to go! We were the first to buy tickets, the only other tourists being a couple with a guide.. We let them walk ahead so as to get ‘people free’ pictures.

Hello Site- All ready for the long walk
And……. the gates have opened!

One word of advice- Please go early, reach before 7 especially in summer (it really gets hot after that, and tourist buses start coming in after 8). We got beautiful views of the site and could walk about in peace without having to see people milling around.

It was a long walk- something we realized on our way back!
It was a long walk to the Siq- something we only realized on our way back!

The modern gravel path- one side for the horses and the other for pedestrians… (picture above) led down to the gate of the Siq..That is where people on horses are made to dismount.

Guys on horseback kept telling us to rent a horse- but smart me wanted to walk for the pictures. I didn’t want to torture the horses- Oh and the ride till the entrance of the Siq is free however you will be required to tip these guys- so bargain and do not pay more than 5-10 JD per head.. Carriage rides can be used till the treasury- but sitting in a carriage instead of walking through the Siq is not something I wanted to do. In retrospect- I should have availed the facility on the way back.

Beautiful… even before we reached the main site or the famous Siq- The Obelisk Tomb and the Bab El Siq Triclinium

Excavations in the past demonstrated that it was the ability of the Nabataeans who occupied Petra- to control the water supply that led to the rise of the desert city, creating an artificial oasis. This city was watered by a perennial stream. The tunnel (Pictured below, was 88m long and was cut into the rock to divert waters away, given that the region was prone to flash floods…

A secret tunnel?

Apparently called the ‘secret tunnel’, tourists could use this to bypass the Siq (not recommended if you are not surefooted and fit)… Not a good idea for me………

Beginning the 2 km walk through the Siq..
Beginning the 2 km walk through the Siq..

Picture deliberately taken with people – to give you an idea as to how high the Siq looms above..

The next few pictures are self explanatory…………………. Just so you know- the Siq is the 2 km passage to Petra- rather to the Treasury!

Bang in the middle of the Siq
Bang in the middle of the Siq
Jutting out into the sky…
Humans to help provide scale...
Humans to help provide scale…

Now I know why it is known as the “Rose City’! The color of the stone is unique and rose red depending on the light..

As we walked toward the Siq
The most picturesque part of the Siq
The camels through the Siq…. Our first view of the famed Treasury
Wan a camel ride- anybody??
Want a camel ride- anybody??

We were a little tired by the time we reached the Treasury… But the idea of having it all to ourselves didn’t let us take a break…

The Khazaneh or the Treasury!
The Khazneh or the Treasury!
Behold the Treasury...
Behold….. the Treasury…
Check out the URN atop the treasury- It is said that the Pharaoh's treasure is stowed here..
Check out the URN atop the treasury- It is said that the Pharaoh’s treasure is stowed here..

So glad we were early- very rarely can one get unencumbered pictures…

This elaborate ruin took my breath away…. They have tours into the treasury but only one day a week- was so bummed we missed it.. but oh well- I am definitely going back to Petra someday…………

Well…… This was part I- Do have more to go- another 15 pictures or so- but shall leave that for Part II!

Hope you guys enjoyed the pictures- and if you did- you know what to do!!!!!!!!!


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