Posted by: Gary Guertin | April 4, 2017

29–2 World Cruise–Aqaba (for Petra), Jordon–Day 2, Mar. 28-29, 2017

Hi All, (Written Mar. 31, 2017)

PETRA, one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world (only 15% completed). One of the New 7 Wonders of the World (2007).  One of Smithsonian Magazine’s "28 Places to see before you die". A World Heritage Site (1985).  And most importantly number one on Susy’s bucket list.

I’ll start with what l hope will be a short orientation of what Petra is.  Located 75 miles north of Aqaba, it is a hidden city in the Shara Mountains, dating back to about 4th B.C. (history records).  It was started by the Nabatean desert tribes as a part of a major trading route connecting Mesopotamia and Egypt. The traded goods were mostly frankincense, myrrh, and spices.  Its golden era was believed to be between 50 B.C. and 50 A.D..  It was controlled by the Nabateans until 106 A.D. when the Roman Empire took over.  It was Roman until 330 A.D. when Constantine I (Christian) took over.  In 600 A.D. the Muslim Arabs (Islamic) regained control and have had it ever since.  A earthquake in 363 A.D. destroyed most of the city and is why only 15 % has been excavated.  The earthquake and a change in the major trading routes led to the city being abandoned, deserted, and lost by the middle of the 7th century.  It wasn’t until it was made a World Heritage Site in 1985 that it really became a major tourist attraction and its beauty was discovered by the world.

O.K., now comes the hard part, I have to try and describe our tour to see Petra. Just to give you a perspective, our little tour took 12 hours; 4 hours coming and going by bus, and 8 hours walking, climbing, and resting from time to time, over an eleven mile mountainous route with one women’s pedometer showing 24,000 steps.

Here’s a few shots of the bus ride:

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We arrived at Petra:

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Now there were two routes to see the major sites in Petra.  One was to go in the front and walk all the way to the back (the Monastery) and back.  This included walking up and down 924 steps in one part to reach the Monastery.  The second, and the one we took (only 3 per cent of the tourist took) was taking a back route to the Monastery (eliminated going up 924 steps, but included a very strenuous hike).  Some of our group (6) took the front route while the rest of us (22) decided to take the back route. After dropping off the front route people at the entrance we bused to a point in the back where we transferred to pickup vehicles to go to the start of the back trail because of the rough terrain.

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So finally we started the hike:DSC03700

The scenery was out of this world:

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Susy and I were there:

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Even on these back trails the women had a chance to shop:

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One last look at the scenery before getting to the Monastery:

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Finally we reached the Monastery:

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and our first rest stop:

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Now you understand we are at the back of the city.  To make our way back to the front we have to first descend 924 steps to the city main center.  Here’s a few shots of the way down:

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some of the steps:

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the mountain goats:

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we encountered several locals along the way:

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We arrived at the main center of the city and walked along a main street paved by the Romans. First was one of several theatres:

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This theatre is the only free standing building left:

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another theatre:

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This theatre seats about 4000 spectators.  Petra had about 40,000 residents at the height of its era.

And at the front, the wall of tombs:

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A temple excavated by Brown University:

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Now at the front of the city is the famous Treasury building featured in a "Indiana Jones movie":

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When you come in from the front (the Visitors Center and city Dam) you have to walk along a narrow cannon that opens up to the city entrance and this Treasury Building.  The site is spectacular:

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A walk to the entrance (and the bus to take us back to the ship):

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I want to end by saying I have attempted to give you a feel of Petra through about 30 photos.  I took 340 photos that day, so you all have an open invitation to see the rest of the photos whenever you see me at home.  As I’m writing this we have just passed through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean.  Next post, the Suez Canal.  Until then,

Love You All,

Gary (alias Gagu)

P.S. Ships Port Sign:

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Responses

  1. QUE MARAVILLA !!!!!


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