Ancient Mystical City of Petra, Jordan
Petra is a mystical place that takes you back in time. A nice walk through the Siq to get to the iconic entrance of the Treasury building carved into the sandstone mountain face is a sight to behold. All the pictures in the world cannot even begin to prepare you for the majestic, jaw dropping beauty of this site. Its amazing that the Nabataean Empire from the 1st century BC were able to carve these sites with such accuracy and perspective. The Iconic Treasury building is only the beginning of the treasures you'll find at this whole complex. It is said that only 15% of all the archeology has been discovered and excavated. Much of this ancient city was destroyed form a great earthquake in 363AD. But there is plenty to see!
We did a Petra by night tour where the whole of the Treasury building was lit by changing colored lights which was only brightened by the thousand of candles lining the sandy floor and a bedouin singing ancient songs passed down from generation to generation. The experience was truly magical! The next morning we made our way into the heart of Petra passed the Treasury Building, witnessing the camel caravans and horses as they have used for 1000's of years. There were caves, carved buildings, temples, tombs, and sacred sites everywhere! I didnt expect there to be so many areas and ancient buildings comprising this city. We walked to the very end of the main street until we started our climb to the Monastery. This is the back most building in the city and a really nice hike up the mountain. Once up, you turn a corner and there she is, so impressive and the largest monument in Petra, that they know of. There was a really nice cafe where you can get a fresh juice, coffeee or tee and plent to see and explore in the surrounding areas. Another short hike was the vantage point that looked out over the valley beyond. It was majestic, so we just sat and soaked in this magical place, imagining what it must have been like in its hayday.
The next day we hiked up to The High Place of Sacrifice, a place where ceremonies were held and goats were sacrificed to give thanks and ask for something from the Gods. The whole place is carved from the rock that is the top of the mountain. We met a local boy who directed us to the other side of the mountain and a trail that led down to the back side and eventually back to the main street of Petra. What an amazing hike! We stumbled across more ancient buildings, tombs and still inhabited caves. Yes, there are still bedouins that live in Petra who's families have lived in this area for generations. It was beautiful because we were the only ones taking this trail less traveled and we had the whole place to ourselves. You are able to get up close and personal with the ancient buildings and caves which i enjoyed just sitting in and feeling the energy from thousands of years ago still present in the rock and sand of the structures. We came across a bunch of characters along the way, cute kids, locals trying to show you the "best" place, people offering you tea every 30min. We followed an ancient river bed that winded its way through the sandstone mountains and led us back to the main street of Petra. A bit tired we enjoyed a refreshing juice and an amazing buffet lunch at a restaurant in Petra before we hiked out of the city and back to our hotel which was right at the entrance!
Petra is the Iconic ancient city that draws people to Jordan but on this BMI tour there is so much more to be seen and experienced! This is truly an amazing country, beautiful heart warming people, vast deserts, ancient cities, and amazing food!
One Love- Scott