What we might remember along with Petra itself is the lot of trouble getting there: an overnight bus from Cairo to Nuweiba for 9 hours with Egyptian movies from the 60s loud enough to make you deaf and roads that shake you so much there's no way you can sleep, toilets with no lighting, then we arrived in Nuweiba where we had grueling loads of Egyptian bureaucracy to battle and fees to pay, plus the port had grosser bathrooms than that famous scene from "Trainspotting" (worst toilet in Scotland...)
. Finally eight hours later we got on a ferry to Aqaba, Jordan, after long delays and a ferry ride that lasted 5 hours instead of 2 (no the sea had nothing to do with it, the delays were in port and we could see no real explanation for it. In Aqaba we had to wait another hour to get our visa, then as we were leaving the port we had dozens of taxi drivers literally fighting each other for our business (really with punches and all!) to take a taxi to Wadi Musa (Petra) with 3 other Korean and Japanese tourists (to split the fee). Since the taxi could only fit 5 people, the Korean girl sat on Virginia's lap for 2 hours in the front passenger seat! She looked small, but she was surprisingly heavy! Finally in Petra, the taxi obviously tried to screw us and took us to the wrong hostel, but since it was 1am and we hadn't slept in 36 hours or so, we did not bother getting into an argument with the guy and stayed at this hostel. It was the worst place we had stayed in so far: no heating (it gets cold in Petra at night - around 5C), cold showers, very uncomfortable beds... but since we had so little time in Petra we actually decided to stay there opting to save our time to enjoy the monuments instead. On the way to Dahab from Petra we had another adventure: we went from Jordan through Israel to get to Egypt again having to go through borders and customs and even the Egyptian consulate in Elaat, Israel to get a Visa for Egypt again. The positive side was that we saved a lot of time and money doing this and Israel was so clean and beautiful, it was a break for us during the short amount of time we were there. So we were in 3 different countries in less than 3 hours!
Petra is one of those spots which everyone raves about and is guaranteed not to dissapoint. Perhaps we've been spoiled, but we didn't find it so unbelievable, compared to other sites like Ephesus in Turkey and Luxor in Egypt. Certainly the monuments are quite a sight, but perhaps for most visitors is the shock of the dramatic desert landscape that compounds the view of Petra's ancient tombs to make it memorable. For us however, coming from Egypt and somewhat more used to the desert, we had a somewhat different perspective. Or perhaps it was the unpleasant journey to get there that made us appreciate it less.