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Petra in Pictures

Without a doubt, the most incredible treasure in all of Jordan, is Petra. I won’t give you a major history lesson about this ancient city. That is something you can google (See, I just did half the work for you!)

However, if you are looking for a Reader’s Digest version, here it is: The ancient city was settled by the Nabataeans as they migrated from NW Arabia, and by the first century BC it was home to nearly 30,000 people. As the rich and powerful Nabatean empire grew, Petra flourished as a city that was the centre of commerce in the area, and the major trade route for caravans passing through from Africa to China. The Roman Empire also thought this to be a lovely piece of property, and they annexed the kingdom into their Empire. The city still prospered, but over time trade routes changed, Petra fell to ruins, and was eventually ignored. Christians and Muslims inhabited the area for small periods in history, but Petra had been all but lost to the Western world until it was rediscovered in 1812.

You may recognize Petra from the role it played in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Regardless of how awesome it may appeared on the big screen, rest assured it is in incomparable to being there in real life.

Shawna bundled by before Petra by Night

When Shawna and I arrived in Petra, it was freezing bloody cold. We had planned on seeing Petra by Night but we’re very seriously considering skipping out on it due to the weather which had us both shivering. Looking back on it now, that would have been one of the dumbest things we could have done….we are so glad we sucked it up!

Entering Petra, you walk down the Siq, a 1,500m deep, narrow gorge soaring 80m high. This is essentially the “front entrance” to Petra. What makes it even more outstanding is that at night this path is lined with candles which gives you the feeling that you are in a very special place. Most conversations were silenced as people walked towards the Treasury, stopping only to try to capture the moment on film. Heading towards the main event of the evening, the Treasury. There we were treated to hot tea while two Bedouin musicians performed for us.

Walking through the Siq

The Treasury at night

Shawna at her spoooookiest

Petra by night, from an ants' perspecitve

Yup, still cold

The next morning we were up early for a full day of exploration. We were through the gates by 8:30AM and roamed through the grounds until we had to take a taxi back to Amman about 3:00PM.

Petra, like we are finding out with all tourist attractions in the country, is expensive. We paid 12 JD each (about 18CDN) for the night tour and 50 JD each (75CDN) during the day. However on the plus side, timing has worked out in our favour and we had arrived at the beginning of their low season. That, in addition to the fact that the Arab Spring has unfairly labelled Jordan as an unsafe place to visit, kept most of the other tourists away. Although it wasn’t empty, we have heard stories of armpit-to-armpit trudging through Petra…and that wasn’t even close to the case for us.

We didn’t have the opportunity to see it all, and if given the chance we would have gone there a second day, but what we did see was something that will stick with us as our highlight of Jordan and one of the most incredible wonders of the world.

Enjoy the pics – We know there are alot, but we took more pictures this day than any other on our trip so far…figured we might as well share them with you!

Obelisk tombs (Egyptian influence)

The Siq - notice the back of the carriage at the bottom to give you an idea of the size of the rock walls

The Treasury by day

Lazy camels at the Treasury


The Theatre, initially could hold 3,000 but was extended to hold over 7,000

Colonnaded Street

Shawna, playing in the sewers

You ass!

Double car garage

Our view from the top

The Monastery, the second jewel of Petra. That's me sitting on the front step.

Local girl selling Shawna postcards

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