We left Amman before sunrise on a Jett bus, which was a luxury bus service that serves mainly tourists in Jordan. The trip from Amman to Petra took maybe about two to three hours, and costs around 10 JD (~15 USD). We checked into our guesthouse, Cleopatra Hotel which was located slightly further away from Petra in Wadi Musa as compared to the other hotels. It was cheap at 42 JD for a triple room, and they also offered free one way service to Petra. It was a clean, albeit slightly noisy option, and had no elevators for those with heavy luggage. But nothing major to complain about.
After leaving our stuff in Cleopatra, we requested for a ride down to Petra. We arrived around noon, and got a 2-day pass for 55JD. Apparently, if you’re not staying overnight (the implication being, you came from Israel), it costs 90JD for a day pass. Yikes! Walking through the Siq (the valley cut into rocks) was really quite an experience. We didn’t know what to expect, nor did we know how long did we have to walk, nor did we really know what we would get to see. So that was quite an experience. There were some carvings along the way, which were pretty cool. Without some signage, however, it is sometimes a little hard for us to figure things out! We were looking at a carving that was supposed to be a camel caravan, and we thought we saw a camel, but we only realized we were seeing the wrong things. 😛
Walking out of the Siq finally, and seeing the Treasury building for the first time is really quite an experience. Although it was not dark, it really felt like walking out of a long, and dark cave and into the light after the journey. As the most photographed sight in Petra/Jordan, we stopped for the shot, and well, had to share the shot with a thousand other tourists. Thankfully, we did not go during the high season, so it didn’t feel that crowded.
The treasury is but a small part of Petra city (though I suspect way too many people just stop there), so after many photos, we decided to move on, and see other sights that Petra had to offer. After a quick lunch where we could see the Roman Colisseum and tombs, we decided to hike up to the High Place of Sacrifice. Although it was not exactly far, it did feel like forever, given my disinclination towards scaling up stairs. After approximately 45 min, we managed to reach the top. The view from the top was certainly spectacular, although getting to the edge was slightly scary.
We proceeded to try and descend in another way that was not exactly path. That was quite a journey. Although we saw a lot of other rock carvings, it was slightly disconcerting, as the sun began to set, and there were no other tourists around. When we finally reached the bottom, we were quite lost, as a plain spread before us, and there were no distinct marked paths which indicated the way back to Petra city center. Thankfully, we saw some local kids, and asked for directions. (mucho pressure to take donkey ride! :() We eventually got back, and hastened to the exit as Petra was closing up.
Dead beat from our adventurous trek, we just ended up eating dinner in Cleopatra. Every other day, the staff at Cleopatra hotel will serve dinner for 6 JD. Tonight, it was a dish called Maqlooba, otherwise known as upside down. I guess it is a chicken cooked upside down? The lentil soup was great, but I thought the chicken was a little dry. The portion was massive, so we went to bed real full.
Call to Prayer in Petra
Looking up from within the Siq
Seeing the Treasury after going through the Siq