Sequel to the earlier post!
I first saw Petra around the age of 10.
And that was when ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’ released and my dad, a film buff, took us to see the film. Only recently did I know that large parts of the film were shot in Petra and inside The Treasury.
As a brief introduction, Petra is a fabled rose city in Jordan that was once a thriving kingdom which fell into obscurity for centuries after a devastating earthquake. Having been discovered only in the 19th century, it is touted as one of the new seven wonders of the world.
And now I know why.
The morning after we landed in Amman, we drove for about an hour to reach the historical city. Instead of staying at the nearest town Wadi Musa, we checked into the pretty-in-pink ‘Petra Guest house’ that pretty much blends with the archaeological site near it.
The rest of the hot dry day was spent finding our way through the canyon and included a brief 10 min donkey-ride that I was compelled to take (and for the record, would never do again!). The mountains are imposing but impressive and the carvings along the way give a sneak peek into how important a trade route this was during its time.
The canyon today, has its share of souvenir sellers and a few small shops and as we walked, there was one boy selling postcards – I stopped to take a quick photo of him and moved on. After a couple of minutes someone tapped me from behind. I turned around to see our li’l fella pushing a string of postcards into my hand. Thinking he wanted me to buy it, I refused however he told me in impeccable English – “I want to give this to you free since you took my photo” – that was a first! He refused to take the cards back, shook hands with all of us introducing himself (“My name is Ah’mad, how do you do”) and happily agreed for one more group photo!
And so I returned back to the guesthouse that evening exhausted and tanned but with newly acquired historical information and a whole bunch of Petra postcards!
On the last day we drove to the Dead Sea, briefly stopping at Madaba, a small town and Mount Nebo, the burial place of Moses. We also attempted to find our way to the Baptism site (of Jesus) and went down a solitary road eventually doing a U-turn for fear of ending up on the controversial Israel-Palestine land, a stone’s throw away. Reached Dead sea and had a booking at the Kempinski – I did tell ya we splurged but guess what, being off-season we got upgraded to a suite! That quite shut me up about having
exceeded our budget. 😉 Dead sea is the lowest point on earth and loaded with minerals and abundance of salt (Trivia: The salt level is a whopping 33% as compared to other seas that have a ~4% salt concentration) and a day spent here is all about floating in the sea (aquaphobes, do not fear!), smearing the therapeutic mudpack, floating, washing it away and repeating the whole cycle a couple or more times during the stay. And then hoping to look 10 years younger! That said, the whole process was a lot of fun despite the fierce sun and well, the skin did feel a lot more smooth!
And that wrapped up a short but exciting trip!
My 2 cents:
The people are warm, the food delicious and there are enough sights to see over a long weekend. However, despite the fact that we got some decent off-season deals, it might make sense to go during cooler months. At least to float a little longer in the Dead sea!
Related post: A wedding in Jordan