A six-hour night bus to Eilat, crossing the border with Jordan, another two hours from Akaba to Wadi Musa. After a sleepless night, tired and preoccupied with life, I was hardly in a mood to be impressed with anything. But when after walking the great Siq (canyon) of Petra, I registered a glimpse of the famous Treasury facade among the high rocks, I couldn’t stay indifferent. This is was the most impressive thing I saw in the Middle East.
But I get ahead of myself, let’s start from the beginning.
The Wadi Musa village, that overlooks the Petra site was built by the Jordanians to house the Bedouins that up until recently have lived in caves of Petra
The Siq, a narrow, natural gorge, that winds up for more than a kilometer, is the only entrance to the ancient city of Petra
Carriages with tourists roam the Siq every few minutes
Look familiar? The traditional style of the Bedouin men from the Al-Bdul family was used as an inspiration for Jack the Sparrow character in Pirates of the Caribbean
Camel caravan, carved in stone
The moment that takes you completely by surprise
Despite its name, Al Khazneh (the Treasury) was never used as such. As other facades built by the Nabateans, it was a burial site of some prominent person.
Amazingly, Nabateans didn’t use slave labor for these grandiose project, and did all the work themselves, as free citizens
This friendly and laid back local followed us for some time, hoping to offer us a ride on his donkey
The local cats are assertive
The children are happy to pose for the camera, while not selling post-cards
The camels, as they should, are completely indifferent
Further inside Petra, is the Royal Tombs facade, that was used as a burial site for Nabatean kings
The burial halls reveal surfaces, curved out along perfectly straight lines
King Abdullah’s portrait, a flag and a traditional dress. Jordan in a single image.
Martian landscapes surround Petra
Waiting for us the rent the services of his donkey, our good-looking new friend was a perfect model
Bedouin girls are pretty, but they can’t compete with the extravagance of these men
The column remains of a pre-christian Roman monastery reminded me a tire storage
On our way back, I noticed this amphitheater. While copying the Roman style, like other Nabatean structures, its curved from rock, instead of being constructed. The grazing goats don’t find it strange at all
Back in the hotel, we finished the day absorbing a view of a nighttime Wadi Musa.
a 20-kilometer trek was waiting for us.