Jordan 2012 Day 7 – Petra all day

Figured that Petra was worth spending another day, and we knew we were right when we visited on the first day. The place was huge, when we considered the other not so well known parts of the Petra complex and definitely worth the walkabout. The day’s sole activity was to roam this vast grounds that were once inhibited by the Nabateans.

American movies influence at the Petra shops.
American movies influence at the Petra shops.

Walking through the long Siq became easy already since we had did it a couple of times the day before. Still mesmerising to look up and then feel small as the towering walls enclosed on the people passing through.

Another walk through the Siq.
Another walk through the Siq.

There was always the anticipation of seeing the Treasury at the end of the Siq, expecting a different view at different time of the day. True enough, it looked different as the sun highlighted the part it’s sun rays shone true and of course there were camels as accessories.

Day break at the treasury.
Day break at the treasury.
For transportation and tourism.
For transportation and tourism. Dressed for the occasion.

So it was all about freely walking about to see and feel the entire area that had a culture once thriving in the past. The simplest was to follow the map and go to these points of interest. Though without a guide, there were information board to provide some form of knowledge to the simple traveller. As we walked about, there were offers of donkey rides, which we didn’t take, wife being an animal lover not wanting the poor donkey carry us.

Lone donkey, animal commonly used by the Bedouin for transportation.
Lone donkey, animal commonly used by the Bedouin for transportation.

It was a clear day and as much as we loved the fact that the photos will turn out nice, it was just really hot. The climbing of the stairs was made more difficult by the heat.

High place of sacrifice.
High place of sacrifice. Required some climbing, the panoramic view from there was worth it.
Various steps going up and around.
Various steps going up and around.
Qasr Al-bint Temple.
Qasr Al-bint Temple.
Donkey hides in the shade while tourist climb past up the stairs.
Donkey hides in the shade while tourist climb past up the stairs.

Roaming around a corner, we was surprised to find another architectural wonder that looked like the Treasury, only bigger! It was called the Monastery.

Huge Monastery, bigger than the Treasury. I am at standing at its entrance.
Huge Monastery, bigger than the Treasury. I am at standing at its entrance.

From the Monastery, there was a path that led to the End of The World. We had to see and trekked on. It wasn’t really fantastic at the end of the path though, just that you could see the vastness of brown, hills and sand. There was what looked like a home built near the cliff and overlooking the End of the World.

The end of the world view??
The end of the world view??
Living spaces atop the hills.
Living spaces atop the hills.

The place was really huge, had to settle for late lunch at the only restaurant there.

More carved in spaces for the Nabatean.
More carved in spaces for the Nabatean.
View of Petra inner compound from the top.
View of Petra inner compound from the top.

After our break, it was more of walking. We were looking for a place where we could view the Treasury from the top. The directions were given in the lonely planet and we found our way there. It was quite some climbing before we reached the top. Then there was some climbing down to a ledge. There was a bedouin there and he offered me some tea. I had an awesome photo opportunity there!

View of the theatre from atop.
View of the theatre from atop.
The life, drinking Bedouin tea while viewing the Treasury and the world below.
The life, drinking Bedouin tea while viewing the Treasury and the world below.

We left after sweating the whole day, with aching muscles and memories of this new Wonder of the World, truly worthy of its status. We could stay another day but it was time to explore the other places that Jordan had to offer. Dinner was at some random food place.

Chips and meatballs.
Chips and meatballs.
Chicken with rice.
Chicken with rice.
More bedouin tea in a Chinese tea pot.
More bedouin tea in a Chinese tea pot.
Sweet pastries for deserts.
Sweet pastries for deserts.

Jordan 2012 Day 6 – Karak Castle, Shobak Castle and Petra

One of the biggest highlight for the trip was the visit to one of the seven wonders of the modern world. From the dead sea, we travelled south, visiting some of the crusaders castles along the way. The first one being Karak Castle.

View of the castle from the road.
An old cannon beside the castle wall.
Exploring the ruins with a view of the surrounding hills.
Within the castle we were shielded from the light and the heat.
View of Karak Castle
View from the castle top of another part of the castle.

We had a guide to brought us around the castle whom gave us information about the some of the areas. It would not make much sense walking around by ourselves. Left for the next castle, Shobak castle.

Shobak Castle also atop a hill. Much harder to get to compared to Karak Castle.
Mostly in ruins but door arches and stairways still visibly seen.
Solid blocks of stone made up the walls of the castle.
Arabic inscriptions on the wall of the watchtower.

We drove towards Petra and checked into a accommodation Cleopetra Hotel, sited at the Wadi Musa town, minutes (of driving) from Petra.

Simple room.
Bathroom that came with a tub.

Got out from the hotel and stopped at a local restaurant for lunch.

Restaurant with Alfresco dining. Parked our car just outside, no summon auntie to worry about.
Some local drinks for the simmering heat.
Lunch of mutton rice and soup.
Chicken with gravy and rice.

Continue and drive towards Petra, an immensely popular attraction and stores linked it to the Indiana Jones movie to market their products. Purchase our 2 days entrance tickets.

Our tickets.

So we started our walking journey towards the Treasury, the representative image of Petra, hidden from the outside world amongst brown rocky hills.

Start of the long walk in.
Along the way we saw squarish blocks buildings.
Nabataean tomb.

After some 10mins of walking, we entered a path lined by 2 tall walls of rock known as the Siq. Along the way were what looked like manmade drains carved out by the local people years ago.

These looked like manmade drainage system craved into the rocky walls.

Almost 30 minutes of walking on sandy floors and the sight of the Treasury that first greeted us was awesome.

The excitement reached its peak when this came into view… Beautiful treasury of the Petra.

It was a tiring walk but well worth it. We were in awe at the intricate details of this carved in building and the sheer size of this architectural feat. We sat at the bench there just taking in the moment for quite a good amount of time.

Treasury, visited by many tourists.

The treasury was just part of the Petra archaeological park which was huge. We only noticed after we started to move further inwards and realised there wasn’t much time left as the sun began to sat. As we were intending to do Petra by night, we had to walk around quickly before the area closed for the night.

More tombs.
of different sizes…
and as huge as these.
What’s it looked on the inside.
Looked like roman architecture with the cobbled road as the sun started to set.

We had to leave the park first before reentering for the Petra by night. It was again a long walk out and we drove back to our hotel to get some quick snacks before heading back to Petra. Separate tickets were sold for the night event and there sure was quite a crowd.

Petra by night tickets.
The path was illuminated by candle lights that were left by the park staff after the sunset. These were the only light source.

There were much different walking at night except that it was cooler. The made the walking a little easier.

Hundreds of light bags on the ground in front of the treasury.

The walk ended at the treasury. We were the first few in line luckily and as we arrived into the opening, we were ushered to sit in rows on the mat, and were not too far from the performing area, served with some mint tea.

The treasury illuminated by the ground bags.

Then the show began. First there was some old flute blowing then followed by some singing. To be honest, it wasn’t really interesting. Before you knew it, it was over

The entertainers.

Then we had to walk that same distance back again. Drove back to the hotel for the night after this long day. More to explore the next day.