Petra Journals

Honeymoon in Petra

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A June 1999 trip to Petra by wanderluster

Al Beidha (Little Petra) Photo, Petra, Jordan More Photos
Quote: This journal focuses on the Petra section of our month long honeymoon to Egypt and Jordan. We stayed at a unique restored bedouin village while we explored the ancient ruins of Petra, hiking to high places, temples and tombs of forgotten people.

Honeymoon in Petra

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Overview

Petra's Siq Photo, Petra, Jordan
Quote:
Intricately carved temples, tombs and theatres were chiseled out of pinky-beige colored sandstone by Nabataeans back in 6th century BC in this remote desert canyon known as Petra. Once a thriving trade center and capital of the Nabataean kingdom, caravans from Oman and Yemen traveled through this wealthy city hidden in the mountains en route to Damascus. Today archeologists and bedouins co-exist harmoniously in this ancient city, while tourists explore beautiful facades, mysterious caves, and worn paths to high places. Hidden from the public by guarded bedouins for hundreds of years, much of Petra is undiscovered, as archeologists unearth new findings continually and predict that 75% of the an...Read More

Taybet Zaman Beduoin Village

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Hotel

Taybet Zaman Beduoin Village Photo, Petra, Jordan
Quote:
Staying here is like stepping back in time, as the flat-roofed complex echoes exotic sounds and scenes from yesteryear. Taybet Zaman, now a five star hotel, is a restored bedouin village high on a hill overlooking desolate landscapes. Stone homes are connected by stone archways, walls, terraces and roads that wind through the complex in a maze-like manner. Original inhabitants of this village were Nabataean people from western Arabia. They were nomadic farmers who collected sandstone blocks and rubble to build winter shelters for their families and animals. In the spring, they gathered their belongings and journeyed to better pastures, living in tents or caves until the cold forced...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 13, 2002

Taybet Zaman Beduoin Village
10 km south of Petra
Petra, Jordan
962-3-215-0111

Ancient City of Petra

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Attraction | "Petra's Hike to Monastery"

Ancient City of Petra Photo, Petra, Jordan
Quote:
The Monastery, located at the far northwestern corner of Petra, beyond the Colonnaded Street, looks like a larger version of the famed Treasury near the Siq. The hike to this monument took an hour each way. Although the path rises to an incredible vantage point over the Petra valley, the walk was easy. We followed the broad sandy (sometimes stone) path which gradually climbed up and around the mountain. En route we passed the Lion Tomb where two lions are carved into the stone. A bedouin woman and her two children sat nestled in the shaded tomb, selling trinkets to passing tourists. Young boys rode by on donkeys, offering rides to the top for JD5 ($7 US). There was no need. Even ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 13, 2002

Ancient City of Petra
Petra Gates To El Khasneh
Ma'an Governorate, Jordan

Al Beidha (Little Petra)

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Attraction | "Exploring Al-Beidha or "Little Petra""

Al Beidha (Little Petra) Photo, Petra, Jordan
Quote:
A two hour walk north of Petra are the ruins of an ancient village thought to be over 9,000 years old. Excavations carried out from 1958 to 1983 revealed that this Neolithic village was inhabited as a permanent settlement in 7000 BC, placing this site on equal terms with Jericho for being the oldest known community in the Middle East. Prehistoric man who wandered through these sands were hunters and gatherers of wild plants. Early inhabitants who lived in these caves began to settle into a community, raising sheep and goats while tending to crops of wheat, barley, lentils, olives and dates. Later, in 3,000 BC, they began making pottery and burying their dead in rock cut tombs. Nickna...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 13, 2002

Al Beidha (Little Petra)
North Of Petra
Petra, Jordan

Petra: The Siq

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Attraction | "Petra's Siq"

Petra: The Siq Photo, Petra, Jordan
Quote:
After paying the JD25 admission, we left the Visitor's Center and followed a sandy path in the open valley toward the mountains. Here horses were waiting to take tourists to the Siq a mile away. Their eager owners tried to entice us to ride with reduced fares of JD2, verses the posted rate of JD7, since it was such a slow season. We walked along the level path, curiously gazing at sandstone pillars, caves and hollowed out tombs along the way. Those dark ghost tombs mysteriously carved into the distant mountains were just a foreshadowing of what we would see in Petra. Reaching the Siq, the path narrowed as it winded through towering sandstone mountains for half a mile. During the time of Ch...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 13, 2002

Petra: The Siq
Entry Hike Into Petra
Petra, Jordan

Ancient City of Petra

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Attraction | "Petra's Amphitheatre"

Ancient City of Petra Photo, Petra, Jordan
Quote:
Two thousand years ago this must've been a magnificent sight. Even today the incredible ruins exude a certain drama as the grandstand surrounding the stage is accentuated by mysterious dark caves and tombs. Constructed out of rock, this outdoor theatre held 8,000 patrons in seats chiseled from stone. Long staircases cut into the pink sandstone led to the forty rows. Climbing them proved difficult in places, as the stone was badly eroded, leaving smoothed edges instead of steps. Seats in the nose bleed section were practically nonexistent, as one could slide right down to the next tier on worn waves in the stone. The stadium was massive. I can only imagine the boisterous crowds tha...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 13, 2002

Ancient City of Petra
Petra Gates To El Khasneh
Ma'an Governorate, Jordan

Ancient City of Petra

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Attraction | "Hiking to Petra's High Place of Sacrifice"

Ancient City of Petra Photo, Petra, Jordan
Quote:
This hike is not recommended in the heat of the day. Yet we went around noon on a very hot day in June. "To get it over with," were my husband's words, knowing I would not leave Petra without doing this hike. We accessed the trail between the Treasury and the Roman Theatre, climbing jagged stairs cut into mountain rock. Many of the steps near the top were badly eroded, their edges worn and smooth. Although we ascended the stairs for nearly an hour, the path didn't seem that steep (climbing Mt. Sinai was much more difficult). But the intensity of the sun did make us stop to quiet the pounding of our hearts. Hiking on a hot day makes it hard to visualize the ancient religious proce...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 13, 2002

Ancient City of Petra
Petra Gates To El Khasneh
Ma'an Governorate, Jordan

Ancient City of Petra

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Attraction | "Petra's Great Temple"

Ancient City of Petra Photo, Petra, Jordan
Quote:
We wandered around the ruins of the Great Temple located on the south side of the Colonnaded Street. Having become somewhat familiar with the layout of temples after spending three weeks in Egypt, we tried to identify various structures among the ruins. "Where's the Holy of Holies?" I asked David, perplexed. A woman overheard me and came running toward us. "Great question!" she exclaimed, eagerly informing us of how her team had uncovered things that would lead them to believe it wasn't a temple after all, but rather an administrative center. She introduced herself as Martha Joukowsky, the director of Brown University's archeological team who had devoted seven years to the project thus far...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 13, 2002

Ancient City of Petra
Petra Gates To El Khasneh
Ma'an Governorate, Jordan

Ancient City of Petra

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Attraction | "Petra's Byzantine Church"

Ancient City of Petra Photo, Petra, Jordan
Quote:
During the Byzantine period, Christianity came to Petra. Many of the large tombs and structures were converted into churches, evident by crosses visible on walls of the Urn Tomb and Monastery. The Roman Christians also erected this church with its' artistic mosaics. Located northeast of the Colonnaded Street up on a hill, it is a site not commonly explored. The archeologist at the Great Temple told us to visit, and I'm so glad she did. It was a gem! (We were surprised to see so many pottery shards underfoot, including a clay handle from a pot, as we walked to this site.) When it was built in the 5th century, the church originally had four limestone columns supporting a second stor...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 13, 2002

Ancient City of Petra
Petra Gates To El Khasneh
Ma'an Governorate, Jordan

Moses' Spring Photo, Petra, Jordan
Quote:
Housed in a small white domed building in Wadi Musa is ‘Ain Musa, the spring where Moses struck water from a rock for the Israelites as they passed through en route to the Promised Land. Inside the rectangular room is the large rock from which the water gushed forth thousands of years ago. Today bricks have been built around it, and around most of the spring, allowing easier access to the water. Walking across the brick floor, you can watch the water flow through the center of the room and out the building. In the middle of the room is an eight foot wide well where you can dip into the spring and drink the water. Our guide insisted that the water was safe to drink, and proceeded t...Read More