Petra, Jordan

Petra is vast. What I showed of The Siq and The Treasury were the mere beginnings of two very full days walking and climbing around the city inhabited by the Nabateans.

It seemed like every corner you turned and every staircase and path you climbed, there was an immense slab of rock-cut architecture or a breathtaking vista waiting. Some have mysterious and haunting names like the Monastery and the High Place of Sacrifice. Others are giant stones of solitude. One big rock I came upon looked like a huge chameleon.

You can be assured that wherever you take your cup of tea, the view will be impressive. And if your legs can’t keep up with your curiosity, you might find a Jack Sparrow lookalike happy to rent out his camel, or one of his mates their donkey.

I’ll let the pictures do the talking, and you’ll see why Petra is on a lot of traveller bucket lists.

~ Spotted Cow

Jack Sparrow lookalike tea garden PetraNabatean tombs PetraHigh Place of Sacrifice PetraPetra architectureThe Monastery Petra

Making an entrance

Entrances are usually instantaneous. You step up and you step in. But not the Siq. The Siq is the main entrance to the ancient city of Petra, and it is a corridor in the rock, a mile long and in some places not 10 feet wide. Geologically, it is a tectonic fault. This mile-long stroll is an exquisite deferred gratification, especially when you’re excited about visiting Petra.

Enjoy the walk – the golds, reds and browns of the canyon rock, the shallow ledges that hold sacred stones, the plants that eke out life from the stone, and simply watching other visitors.

If you are lazy or you just fancy a ride, you can hire a horse-drawn carriage for a handsome sum in Jordanian terms. Or you can negotiate a horse ride on one of their beasts with flaring nostrils. You’ll get to The Treasury quicker (and bumpier), but your journey won’t be nearly as rich. I reckon, better to do the carriage in the evening, when you’ve finished your long day at Petra.

~ Spotted Cow

Siq signcarriage Siqrocks Siqvisitors SiqAl Khazneh

Weekly Photo Challenge: Treasure

It was my Indiana Jones moment, arriving at The Treasury at Petra. After a mile walk through a crack in the canyon, you turn the corner and catch your breath at first glimpse of the sandstone façade.

In Arabic, it is known as Al Kazneh – the treasury – and it is believed that bandits hid treasure inside. I was on sabbatical, a treasure in itself, after 10 years of sitting behind a desk. I had seen Al Khazneh on Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and I thought “right … !” So I came to Petra.  And what I discovered was far more marvellous than I expected.

~ Spotted Cow

Al Khazneh