July 2017–Petra, Jordan
I have to be honest, I wasn’t overly excited for my visit to Petra while in Jordan. Since everyone claimed it was a must-see destination, and since I had previously put the goal into place to visit ALL of the new seven World Wonders, it also became a must-see for me. So here I was on a trip to Jordan, being escorted and shown around by my Jordanian friend I knew from Abu Dhabi. The timing was perfect, as he was currently visiting his homeland for a few weeks. He truly was the perfect guide around Jordan, spending most of his life there, and having the same excitement as me to visit all of the spots he use to frequent as a child.
Petra was the underestimation of the century! From the moment we entered the gates the red sandstone landscape was breathtaking! The way the sandstone had taken shape looked like a piece of creative art. As we were walking the path, my eyes gazed wide-eyed, taking in the colorful ‘art’ surrounding me. At the end of the sandstone guided pathway, there it was, the most famous part of Petra, the Treasury Building. Stunning, beautiful, grand, delightful; all words that could describe this carved landmark, but none that would do it justice!
Under the impression Petra mainly consisted of the Treasury Building and beautiful sandstone, I had no idea there was so much to discover! Every way my eyes looked, I encountered a new piece of carved architecture and design. Petra, also known as the ‘Rose City,’ is actually 102 square miles, half built and half carved into the rocks. It is filled with elaborate tombs and temples, beautifully carved into the pink/red sandstone cliffs. This architecture is truly a must see! There are so many times when people state, ‘you need to see it with your own eyes,’ and this is most definitely one of those times.
The Rose City dates all the way back to 300 B.C., as the capital of the Nabatean Kingdom. It is, without a doubt, one of the world’s most richest and largest archaeological sites. It is surrounded by mountains filled with passages and gorges.
We walked, we climbed, we picked the highest peaks, for the best views. We spent around seven hours taking it all in, and let me tell you, seven hours in 100 degree heat is no joke! We managed to laugh, explore, chat with the locals, and not kill each other in our times of exhaustion. Throughout the course of the day, we rode on a horse, a donkey and a camel, in between all of our long treks around the Rose City.
We had a lot of fun walking into the ‘houses’ built into the stone. Eyad and I gave each other proper tours around the houses, showing off the glamorous kitchens, powder rooms, and wall art. We mastered the art of real estate convincing each to purchase a few carved one and two bedroom properties.
Go see it, experience it for yourself! Enjoy chatting with the local Jordanians. Some of who actually dress and wear black eyeliner like a pirate. They are there own culture and embrace the true Bedouin lifestyle.