In a comment conversation with Discovering Your Happiness, I mentioned that I had visited Petra in Jordan back in 2000. She said that she’d love to see pictures. So, at her request, here is a look back at my visit to Petra, in June 2000.
Back in 1997, I started dating someone, P. At the time, I was studying Ancient Civilizations at Carleton University and I was fascinated with Ancient Greece and Egypt. P was also interested in Egypt and so we started planning a “Millennium Trip” that we would take in the summer of 2000. What started as a bit of a joke, culminated in a four month trip to Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, and Greece. It was amazing, mind-blowing, eye-opening, terrifying, and life-altering.
Petra was fascinating, but oh my god, so much walking. And it was hot. So freaking hot. We bought a 2-day pass to Petra because we knew we couldn’t see it all it one day. We didn’t even get close to seeing it all in 2 days. But what we did see was amazing. We stayed in the nearby town of Wadi Musa. I can’t remember the name of the inn we stayed at, but I remember it being clean, and having lots of stairs. Which after a day of walking around Petra was not what my legs wanted.
In order to get to Petra, you start at the Petra Visitor’s Centre. From there, you can either walk, or take a donkey through the cliffs. We opted to walk the 1+km canyon (known as the Siq). I remember in sections it was so narrow I could almost touch both sides. But the colours of the stone were amazing. Petra is also known as the Rose City, due to the colour of the pink sandstone it is carved into.
The structures carved into the cliffs are so detailed and immense. When you think about the amount of work that went into this site, you start to get a little weepy. Because you feel so small.
On day 2, we decided we would climb up to the structure known as the Monastery (or Ad Deir). Of course, my legs were KILLING me from the day before. Muscles I didn’t know I had were SCREAMING at me. We started Day 2, sitting at a restaurant in Wadi Musa, eating breakfast and drinking fresh squeezed juice (I had fresh squeezed apple juice, which amused me as it even had apple seeds in it). I want to say we then walked to Petra. But no, we struggled and staggered. We even stopped at a couple of shops to rest our weary bodies. But we persevered and did not use a donkey.
It took us most of the day, struggling up steep, slippery stairs cut into the cliffs, but we finally got to the Monastery. And I still laugh at what greeted us there: a family of Nomads selling cans of Coke out of coolers. And even funnier, was that as we sat there, we got talking to the other tourists taking a break. Somehow the conversation got around to this American named Tom. P and I met Tom back in Egypt, these other travellers met Tom when they were travelling through Syria. We all had a good laugh that we’d managed to meet the same person.
We took the back way to leave the Monastery and even that was not disappointing. We met another Nomadic lady, and she was selling water and various trinkets from a blanket spread on the ground. I bought a pretty little silver container, decorated with coloured glass and lined with blue velvet. I’m sure I still have it somewhere….but without tearing my apartment to pieces I can’t find it.
Wow….hard to believe that trip was 17 years ago this year. I am so glad I’ve kept the pictures, as flipping through them sure has made me smile.