Silk Road Adentures travel blog

In front of Monastry at Petra

Looking through the Siq towards the Treasury

Outside the front of the Treasury

Looking down the valley

baaa


Wadi Musa is basically a town which has sprung up to cater for all the tourists visiting Petra and is not much to write home about. However Petra is another story.

Short history lesson - The Nabateans built Petra around about the time of christ - it was a massive city when the Nabateans used to toll the caravan routes - making them quite rich in the process.

We set off to explore the site at 7am the next morning which was good as we avoided the hoards of group tours of tourists for the first couple of hours. We walked through the Siq canyon - basically a fault in the earth which has left a narrow canyon in between two big rock faces. This goes on for a km or two before you come face to face with the Treasury building (made famous by Indiana Jones). The Treasury is in fact a Royal tomb (100BC-200AD) for a Nabatean King. The only reason its called the Treasury is because they used to think there was treasure in the urn on top of the facade - which is why there are bullet holes where people have tried to get into it! The room inside the treasury is quite plain - like most of the buildings are here. The Treaury is one of the famous ones as it is one of the best preserved in the area - being sheltered by the elements. Although it is just one of many amazing buildings built into the rocks.

We then made our way to the top of the hill above the Treasury to the high place of sacrifice and were rewarded with great views over most of the site. The best bit however was coming down through the stunning rock valley which appears (as Heidi puts it), as 'chocalate cake' with icing dripping down on top - because thats exactly what they looked like.

As we got down the other side we found ourselves in the main part of the city - which is quite Roman - there was also a Crusaders castle there. From there we treated ourselves to a fanta for 1.50 pound! The temperature was quite oppressive which sapped the energy from us. However we still found enough energy to explore the Royal tombs and then a 1hr walk up steep steps to the monastry (3rd century BC). This was originally used as a church and is extremely impressive and well worth the effort of getting up there. It is in fact about twice the size of the Treasury and also in a pretty good state.

We then made our way back past fat lazy tourists on donkeys and camels and the bus groups which literally walked to the Treasury and then turned around and went back! - mainly Russians and Japanese - some even in stillettos!

The highlight for Heidi though was getting back to the hotel and having a lemon fanta and snickers bar!

That evening the hotel laid on a typical Jordanian meal called Mansaff - this is chicken done in Yoghurt sauce. We also got the standard humus, baba ghanough, and fattoush. Mum you will be pleased to hear that after my 'bottom trauma' and the fact that beer is not easy to come by, I had a couple of dry days!

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