Thursday, 6 January 2011

Petra, Jordan

For most people Jordan means the ancient city Petra and if you are going to visit the country you should really go there, as it is an incredible experience, why on earth it isn’t one of the Seven Wonders of the World is totally beyond me. A city of palaces, theatres and tombs that has been carved from the solid rock, to see it at night is truly amazing.
There are many relatively cheap and comfortable hotels, as well as some expensive ones, right next door in the town of Wadi Musa. You can then walk down into Petra through the Siq after you’ve bought your ticket at Petra Gate. Take a bit of advice here and don’t take the horses as the men who operate the trips often ask for a personal tip as well as the traditional tip and can get quite shirty. The walk into the city is about half an hour down the road laid by the Romans, I took my sandals off for a bit to try and get closer to the legionaries who laid them, whilst the huge walls of the canyon towered above me.
The site of The Treasury as you enter the city is one that will stay with you forever but you will need to bring some water with you as the size of the city is huge and you can explore paths that take you high up into the hills to see other tombs and monuments. Do make an effort to climb up to the Monastery (above), the biggest tomb where there’s also a small cafĂ©, the bushes outside inhabited by Palestine Sunbirds, tiny birds of a vivid iridescent green with a curved bill almost as big as they are.
It is the incredible patterns of the vast range of shades of reds, yellows and oranges found in the rocks here that stick in your mind. There are only two toilets in Petra but they’re worth looking at for the amazing patterns on the roof of the cave. It was rather bizarre holding the gent’s door open so a group of Swiss ladies could photograph the roof in there! There are two cafeterias/restaurants in the city where you can get traditional Jordanian and western food and some small stalls serving snacks however I combined the two by buying food in Wadi Musa before hand where it’s a lot cheaper!
Have a great day now.

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