Monday, June 17, 2013

Petra Adventure!

On Saturday morning, we woke up at the lavish Movenpick Hotel right outside the ancient city of Petra. We had another buffet breakfast and this time they even had Nutella. Of course, I lathered a thick layer of it onto my already chocolate-filled croisant and it was excellent. The perfect way to start off  my day.

We left the hotel and we were in walking distance of the entrance to Petra. We walked in and past the booth for tickets in an attempt to get in as Jordanian students and it worked! So instead of paying $50 JD to get in we paid $1 JD. Which rocked. Now I have $49 to spend on myself. Perfect.

The walk through the rocks is over a mile long. There were men at the beginning who have horses you can ride into the city and we politely declined but a fight almost broke out because two different men were fighting over who we should do business with. Unfortunately, it made us want to do business even less. But the walk in was quite nice and we could go at our own pace, and take pictures, and just look around. It's pretty shaded because you are walking basically through a slit in the rocks and they hang over you.

After walking, we finally see up ahead the entrance to Petra and it was overwhelming. I couldn't believe that I was finally there. I had been waiting a very long time to see Petra, being it is one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World and one of the few that still remains today to be seen. It is massive. And the history of the city is very interesting. Apparently the population disappeared and there is no trace of them to be found anywhere, where they went or why they left. One theory is that it is a tomb built for the people of Petra but there is not enough evidence.

We took many pictures in front of the entrance and even saw a bunch of camels! It was a great sight to see.

Although we couldn't actually enter the city in the rocks, we were able to walk around the outside and look into random doors and carved out areas in the rocks. And then came the hike that I was not expecting. You climb to the top of the mountain and look over the entire valley. And there are stairs built into the rocks - some by people and some were just there I guess. But they were uneven and some were small and some were tall and at some points there were no stairs, but just a flat surface on an angle. It was hot and I was sweating but we kept pushing forward and it was actually really rewarding. It was tough and every time we thought the end was near, it wasn't. But that's okay.

We finally made it to the top after about supposedly a half hour. It felt much longer to me but I'll trust my classmates judgement. We enjoyed the sun and the fact that we were on top of the world. After sitting for a while we tried to find out way down another way that the way we came up but we hit a dead end and had to end up climbing back up the mountain just to climb back down. And it was so much faster! It actually felt like we took a shortcut because it took us so long to get up.

Instead of walking out of Petra, a few other girls and myself decided to purchase a camel ride. I wanted to ride a camel at least once coming to Jordan and I don't know how I feel about my decision. It was painful and camels have a mind of their own. And when they trot you just bounce up and down and they almost ran me into the rock walls. But it was definitely worth it to say that I rode one. And minus the pain it was fun!

It was a very long day but it was one of the best. It topped off one of the best weekends of my life. I love that I have stood in multiple places here in Jordan alone where some of the greatest civilizations and men have stood centuries before me. It's amazing to think that these have stood for so long and were so vital in the past.

I woke up the next morning with a sore body, particularly from riding the camel, but it was a memory of a great experience and one I wouldn't trade for the world.

1 comment:

  1. Kaitlyn- One of the first things you will need to do when you get home is to watch Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The temple of Al Khazneh in Petra is where Indiana found the Holy Grail.

    Uncle Pete