The impacts of the rugged scenery found along Jordan create lingering impression unlike anywhere else. Winter days are short, I appreciate every moment of the sunlight and use it to spend it outside. The good side of winter in Jordan, it can be really mild.
Arriving in Petra later in the afternoon meant we had to choose a shorter route for the first day. We opted for side trails, so called Al-Madras trail. The site of Petra is huge, since we planed two days here we decided to get off the beaten track first. We met only two Bedouins living in the area who offered us tea and gave directions.
Whoever travels to Jordan puts Petra on top of their list. The rose coloured city is a visitor magnet. More than two thousand years old, Petra was built by the Nabataeans and it was a vital part of major trading route connecting ancient, Mesopotamia and Egypt. Spectacular structures carved into cliffs, elaborate sculptures and statues, intricate pottery and jewellery. No wonder Petra is one of the world’s most famous archaeological sites today and one of the seven modern wonders of the world. Still, only fifteen percent of the city has been uncovered. I’ve dreamed of visiting for years.
The next day we went to Petra much earlier, the plan was the main trail (around 10 km in one direction), but we met an Italian couple at a local store and decided to make this hike with them in the opposite direction. Our first important stop was ‘Ad Deir’ or the Monastery, probably the most impressive building in Petra. It was such a special moment. Soaking up the sun, having breakfast surrounded with surreal scenery and in good company. Some days are better than I can even imagine.
The Monastery is on top of a mountain and its mostly reached by taking approximately 900 steps up towards it. Since we approached the mountain from another direction we had to go down those 900 stairs, thankfully. The steps aren’t steep and there are multiple opportunities to rest along the way. Be it one of the countless Bedouin tents for a cup of tea or to shop for a scarf, or just a lookout spot over the mountains surrounding Petra.
We strolled through the stone streets giggling along with all the local children who accompanied us on some parts of the path. At one moment I distanced myself a little from the group and just stood there incredibly grateful for the life I lead and marvelling at all the paths taken and the tiny factors at play to bring me to this very moment.
The city had temples, a theatre, a colonnaded street, churches and tombs cut out of the mountain. The Treasury or ‘Al Khazna’ is believed to have been the mausoleum of the Nabatean king. Although we saw it the day before, it was still equally impressive. For a reason this is Petra’s most magnificent facade.
I was blown away by the part called the Siq. This narrow gorge leads visitors into Petra, or in my case out of Petra. The Siq resulted from a natural splitting of the mountains, massive stone walls and mesmerising curving coloured stripes are more than a kilometre long. This was a really special experience, although exhausted after a whole day of walking I felt quite calm and happy.
TIP: If you’re planning on visiting Jordan, I would highly recommend getting the Jordan pass as it offers discounts to some major sites, including Petra.
I hope you like this little photo diary I put together to share my time adventuring around Petra. Let me know if you have visited Jordan and how did you like it. If anyone has any feedback I’d be so appreciative to receive your comments and questions below.