Sunday, January 25, 2009

Rose Red City

Petra is in some ways very hard to describe. It is hard to share with you the size of rocks both in height and in expanse. It was an overwhelming feeling to walk through the long "crack" as walls of rock tower over visitors making their way to the ancient city. It is also hard to imagine that centuries ago a civilization was able to build this amazing work of architecture in the middle of the desert valley. They believe the civilization first began sometime between 1500-1200 B.C. Since this was a city located in the desert, having a water source was of great importance. As you walk through the "siq" (the narrow crack/walkway into the city nearly 1 mile long), you can see "gutters" that were carved into the rock to direct any rainfall into cisterns or a dam. This early ablility to be able to capture and store water made the city somewhat of an oasis though I always imagined an oasis to look different.
A nearly one mile walk in a sometimes narrow rock cavity

It is known that the Nabataeans buried their dead as many tombs have been excavated. There are also caves carved out in some places that appear to be "work rooms" where tools could be stored while elaborate stone cuttings transformed rock into incredible architecture. The view from the siq approaching the Treasury
Notice the size of the people in comparison to the structure

It typically takes 2 days minimum to see Petra. We visited the "back door" on the first day and took the front entrance on the second day. To be honest we would have enjoyed a third day. One of the interesting things about visiting Jordan is to see the bedouins-and there are plenty of bedouin families living all around Petra and Wadi Musa (Valley of Moses). I am sharing a few photos with you but if you haven't heard of Petra, you might enjoy doing some further reading to learn more about this spectacular wonder.


  1. I have always wanted to go to Petra. It seems so overwhelming, even in photographs. How wonderful you have been able to experience it firsthand!!