Trip Start Dec 24, 2010
7Trip End Dec 30, 2010
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Where I stayed
The view started as something barely average but it only got better from there, much better. The first kilometer was an open walk through a hilly dry area with some signs of old masonry and Bedouin architecture. I was beginning to get worried if this was all the Petra was going to be, when we entered the Siq, one of the most majestic entries to a monument. Even before the Siq is a dusty old walkway with carved rock formations on both side. Most prominent among them are the djinns which are essentially cuboids of rock representing ancestors
The Sig is a long entry passage (anbout 2.5 km long) which has steep sandstone walls on both sides extending up majestically, displaying vivid colors. The walks also had an aqueduct cut into them since the town was downhill from the entrance. There are also carvings of caravans etc, explaining that Petra was one of the most prosperous city of its times. The sun and the colors form a spectacular show on these tall sandstone walls.
The Siq opens into the treasury, a 30mt by 40mt facade that is cut into a rock, since the last 1800 years and still looks crisp. It is nothing short of unworldly, the way the treasury appears at the end of the siq. Further on, there is an amphitheater, a few tombs and a scores of houses which are just cut into the mountain slopes. There is a huge temple, now destroyed and some mosaics. After steep climbs, there are also 2 major features, the monastery and a very high rock that gives a full view of Petra.
We decided to walk around, see a couple of the easily accessible tombs, grab a bite at one of the few snack shops and then use a mule to climb to the monastery
The ride down was far easier with the mules seeming more stable walking down. We called it a day as our legs were hurting by this time and got back to the hotel by 5. After some rest and a little food in a street-side open restaurant we were still looking for more rest. I walked down for dinner alone and then got some sleep. The heater was acting up and it did get quite cold in the night. Also the smell of smoke didn't help. I wished that people would understand the concept of non-smoking. But since I couldn't change it all, I slept.