Marhaban from Petra.
We traveled from the green of Africa to the brown of Jordan. It was an abrupt change as we drove from Aqaba for 2 hours through bleak, stark ,barren and dusty brown landscape to our next stop to see the Lost City of Petra.
The next morning, we started our 4 hour hike through The Siq, meaning “gorge”or “canyon”. It is a narrow winding gorge, about 3 /4 of a mile long with high perpendicular walls and is the principal entrance to Petra. The entrance is marked by the remains of the monumental arch with niches that were used for religious statues thus transforming the Siq from a mere passageway into a sacred way. There were many of these niches along the way which implies that they would stop to worship as they entered the city.
Please now notice the the water channels cut into the rock -face. These channels were part of the most elaborate water collection and supply system of antiquity.
After a walk through the maze of awesome rock formations, we arrived at the iconic Treasury. Take note of the urn at the top of this monument. While being built as a mausoleum, it is local lore that it became know as the Treasury because it was believed that there was treasure in the urn.
Please take a look at the picture below. It shows the top of a tomb and illustrates the fact that 70% of the site is still underground. The sandstone is so soft that a decision was made not to excavate anymore in fear that the remains would be damaged.
In 1985 when the site was declared a UNESCO site, the 400 or so remaining residents were relocated with the promise that they could still sell their souvenirs within the complex. One former resident is the son of the author of the book, Married to a Bedouin by Marguertie vAn Geldermalsen. I purchased the book and then decided to get wrapped in a headdress.
After a lovely lunch on site we returned by camel! Now I have to share that I have been traveling with Curious George that is my grandson’s favorite character. Trevor and I decided it would be fun to have George travel with me around the world and send him pictures of my trip. Here he is on the camel with me! Oh my, what we do for our grandchildren.
We are now off to our last stop on this whirlwind tour. I have mixed emotions as the others do. While this has been a trip of a lifetime and we have all gotten used to the luxury amenities and experiences, we are also ready to return to our normal life, if we can even remember what that is. I want to call home and ask for a musical welcome reception!
See you in Morocco.