Day One at Petra in Southern JordanIf you've ever seen Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, you have seen one of the better known monuments at the ancient archeological site of Petra. The giant monument seen near the end of the movie is carved right out of a huge cliff face and you first approach it down a long, narrow and winding canyon. There are many many structures carved into the rock here, but this is the first one of real signficance you come across walking into the park and it's called the Treasury. As you come toward the opening where it lies, the canyon narrows even more, but you can catch part of it in the background hinting what is to come. When you get there it all just opens up like a stage production. It's magnificent. Its ancient and you can see/feel that immediately.
|My first Camel ride|
|Coming out of the canyon slot and seeing the Treasury in the background for the first time|
|The facade of the Treasury structure. Note the people in front for scale.|
|Sitting in front of the Treasury building. Think I'm wearing every piece of clothing I have here to stay warm.|
They also told me I should go on the Petra at Night tour/walk that same evening as it wouldn't be repeated during my time here. It cost 12 Jordanian Dinars (about $16+ USD) and turned out to be wonderful. Once past the park entrance, there are small tea light candles lining the entire mile or more of path down through the canyon and opening at the Treasury (see above). It's just sublime. The weather was very cold that night and ended up sleeting/raining once I got down there, but didn't take away from the experience at all. They played and sang for us all once everyone had gathered and were sitting on the steps or portico of the Treasury structure.
|Sunset from my hotel balcony|
|The town of Wadi Musa at Petra|
|A sea of lights in the open area in front of the Treasury structure|
|Night sky sitting inside the Treasury portico looking out|
|Colored rock bands and patterns all swirled together by time and nature|
|This is on the ceiling of the Museum Chamber. It's all natural rock.|
|My shadow on the patterned rock in a smaller adjoining chamber|
It can be very persistent and while I always, but always deal with it outwardly in humor and lighthearted conversation, inwardly it can definitely be wearing. I struggle with this because while it is very distracting for me, at the end of the day I get to go home and they do not. They are just trying to make a living and stay fed and clothed in mostly very poor conditions and economies. Many of these sellers/peddlers are kids and that is hard to see wishing they were in school and studying for better opportunities for their futures. I cannot judge and try hard not to. It's tough for me though.
|Store souvenir kiosk along the path up to the Monastery. Lots of these on the trail.|
|Path up to the Monastery|
|Path coming down from the Monastery|
The Artist in me sees the sublime beauty and aesthetics everywhere, both manmade and natural. The Historian appreciates the ages, lives and stories here while the Climber in me just wants to scale this incredible rock for the next 100 years (no climbing allowed though). An amazing experience all around and I feel blessed once again to be on this journey. Now for Day Two here...