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Huddersfield, United Kingdom
January 26, 2012
From journal Pacing Perfect Petra
by Liam Hetherington
Manchester, United Kingdom
May 30, 2010
From journal A Rose-Red City Half As Old As Time
October 11, 2006
From journal Jordan in 5 Days
June 9, 2002
The Siq is actually not the first entrance into Petra that visitors will come across. The first entrance – the gate – is where tickets and passes are checked. From here it is possible to ride horses and ponies to arrive at the start of the Siq, which is about one kilometre away. Prices vary widely according to the tourism climate, most offers are between JD3 and JD5 for a quick ride lasting not more than 5 minutes, but I received numerous offers of JD1.
Do not be overly anxious about wanting to see the Treasury, and thus miss out on what the journey through the Siq has to offer. There are several monuments and stone carvings along the way which hint at how opulently adorned the city must have been then. Nearing its end, the Siq is also flanked by a row of headless statues of obvious Roman influence – easily missed in one’s (understandable) excitement. But, don’t miss this!
From journal Petra - The Definitive Guide
April 13, 2002
Reaching the Siq, the path narrowed as it winded through towering sandstone mountains for half a mile. During the time of Christ, Nabataens built a grand triumphal archway that connected the two halves of the mountain at the entrance to the Siq, to prepare visitors for the cultural civilization that existed within that rocky perimeter. Since fallen from an earthquake that shook Petra in the 19th century, only remnants of the arch are visible on the sides of the entry. (Wonderful drawings from artist David Roberts in 1839 show what the arch originally looked like.)
As we continued along the Siq, the sandy path turned into pavement. At one time, the entire Siq was paved by brick although only a small section of original brick remains. Empty niches cut into the walls of the mountain were used to display figures of their god, Dushara, who was symbolized by sculpted rock. Carved alters and strange stone staircases that ended five feet from the ground decorated the sandstone walls, colored in swirled lines of red, black, yellow, white and beige. Rickety horse-drawn carriages carrying elderly tourists rambled past us as we walked along the brick path, admiring ancient water channels cut into the rock.
These water channels, chiseled into the rock by the Nabataeans 2,000 years ago, follow the roadway on the left, while original terra cotta pipe that carried water from Moses' well in Wadi Musa can be seen on the right. Both provided a vivid, visual reminder of why these people likely prospered in such a desolate land. They were able to collect rain water, pipe it, store it, and conserve it in an elaborate hydraulic system that provided adequate water for 30,000 people and protected their civilization from drought. Mastering their water supply was a great engineering feat considering that the desert only received six inches of rain a year.
Near the end of the Siq, the mountains close in on each other, their dark walls contrasting dramatically against a magnificent pink two story building that became suddenly visible through a cleft in the mountains as we rounded the last bend...beautiful, surprising and breathtaking! Visions of Indiana Jones and scenes from his movie, The Last Crusade were inescapable.
Stepping out of the Siq, the Treasury majestically came into full view. We had arrived in the ancient city of Petra.
From journal Honeymoon in Petra