So after five peaceful days in Nuweiba we travelled through 4 borders. The first,out of Egypt then into and out of Israel and into Jordan. There are two ways to get into Jordan. The first is by boat and the second is overland which we did because the boat was more expensive. Some people have posted on the internet that sometimes it takes 4 hours to get through the borders!
But we risked it and did it and it only turned to be about 1 hour and half or something. Once we were through the first Israeli border we took a taxi (which was quite expensive) with an abrupt taxi driver but he was ok. Once we were through all the borders we met our driver – Aref. We had decided to take a 10 day tour around Jordan with Aref. (mum sorted it all) The owner in our second house in Dahab recommended him.
First we drove to Petra which was 2 hours away. Arefs’ tour included everything apart from evening meals. He dropped us off at the Sunset hotel. We stayed there for 3 nights. It wasn’t a bad hotel.
Petra was an ancient city built between about 200BC and 400AD by the Nabateans who originated in what is now Saudi Arabia and the Sinai and was eventually taken over by the Romans before falling into disrepair.
1st day in Petra:
We woke up early so we could have a full day in Petra. We ate a good breakfast and Aref drove us to the entrance (it wasn’t far) so he could pay for the tickets. Once you are into the grounds you have to walk on a track for about 2 km. The first thing you see are the God cubes also known as Djinn Blocks. It is said the Nabateans worshiped here but didn’t decorate them as they believed their god had no face.
Once you reach the Siq canyon you can just about see the arch that once greeted many people into the trade city of Petra. You have to walk another 1 km through amazing rock cliffs with a few carvings in crevices now and then before you reach the most well known of the structures in Petra, The Treasury. This building had great pillars on the outside with angel like forms on the edges.
At the top of this building there is an urn which has loads of bullet holes scattered about it. It is said that when the Bedouins found this building they thought a Pharaoh built it and that the Pharaoh had hidden some treasure inside so they started shooting at it. Of course there was no treasure and the Pharaoh had not built it. The Nabatean tribe were very skilled stone masons, they took lots of ideas from the Romans, Greeks and Persians ( Iranians) there were amphitheatres and so on.
There are many buildings and caves that we saw today so I’m going to mainly put pictures on and talk about the most interesting and fun parts.
Since we were here tomorrow we decided not to do the off-road routes but stick to the main and easy ones. –
After we had a good look around those incredible buildings we walked on to the monastery. This was the longest main route here so we took a donkey up. Yes, a donkey. Yes it was embarrassing but funny. Since I was the lightest I had to go on with Jed who probably enjoyed it the most.
I had the most sensible and calm donkey which I am thankful for. Most of the way up were steps so we had to cling on and lean forward all the way. Mums’ donkey wanted to be at the front all the time and mine was contented at the back of the line.
Since mum’s donkey was very competitive with TUT’s (The Ultimate Traveller,Ian) donkey and wanted to get to the front all the time it scraped her leg on the rock. When we came to an arch way and had to go 1 at a time and duck our heads both of mum’s and TUT’s donkey decided to both run in at the same time, trying to rush to the front. It was really funny watching them from the back. If only I had videoed it and put it on ‘You’ve Been Framed’ I would have had £250! Oh well I’ll get it next time.
I was glad when we reached the top as my hands were sweating and arms aching but it was funny. The boy who owned the donkeys was called Omar and Jed has never forgot his name since.
This is the monastery-.
After we had a look around we walked it back down.
That was our busy 1st day.
2nd day in Petra:
We woke up at around the same time and made our own way to Petra.
Once we had walked past the Treasury and into the next part we began our walk up the steps (800) to the High Place Of Sacrifice.
We obviously couldn’t take the pram up so we had to carry Jed all the way up. Well technically mum had to carry him since he wouldn’t let anybody else carry him. My mum would get mad if I didn’t mention that. Once we reached the top everyone was tired especially mum but I carried on to the very top. What’s the point in walking to somewhere but not finishing it if you only have a bit to go?
Anyway the view was spectacular as you could see most of Petra and there was a lot more caves and buildings than you would think looking from the bottom.
You can also see Wadi Musa towards the right. When I arrived up there, there were only a few people sat around, so I carried on towards the rocks and sat there for a while until a massive group came out of nowhere and sat around me so I left. TUT, mum and Jed arrived and Jed had a good play around the main area where (maybe) people used to be sacrificed and their blood poured down these slots running down to the floor.
After we took in the breathtaking view of Petra we walked slowly but surely down the other way and we saw what needed to be seen before the groups came rushing down behind us.
After that we made our way to another building which was very much worth seeing especially the ceiling inside.
Since Jed was getting a bit twitchy mum and The Ultimate Traveller took him back to his pram and I decided to have a good look around the top area and I’m glad I did.
A few people spotted me (nobody else was where I was) they decided to have a look up there too so I came down before they arrived.
We had a good look at the Treasury before we left this amazing 7th wonder of the modern world for good.