Petra... sounds so sweet & yet it took me 2 decades to get here after first hearing about it!
1989 - Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade, in Petra! It's about seeking the Holy Grail.
Coincidentally, I was here when the Gaza War broke out in Jan. 2009. Israel was attacking the Gaza Strip and all hells broke lose! Well, in Gaza I mean.
It was calm & all fine in Jordan!
Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade (Full Movie)
(You can see Petra at 6:30 in the video below:)
2009: The year began with a bang... the long awaited trip to Jordan looked set to blast off & indeed it did, with a bang from Israel! Darn, the Israelis started a war on Gaza!
Cursing & swearing with uncertainties, I headed my way to Hong Kong where I boarded the Jordanian Airlines flight to Amman on Jan. 6. How did it all happened? It's a tug of war for me to take this faraway trip, one which I had been looking forward to since the days of Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade! A war? OMG! So close & yet so far! Should I or should I not go? Oh, darn! Despite the misgivings & uncertainties & perceived risks, I went ahead.
It was all calm when I landed early morning in Amman. Dead quiet, the entire world was sleeping! So near (to Gaza) & yet so far! Thank God!
Soon enough, I was on King's Highway & the Palestinian driver (yes, of all people, strange how life turns out sometimes ;-)) took me to Mt. Nebo, Kerak & on course to Petra! The long awaited Petra, it's been what? 20 years since I had that desire to go! What a long wait it had been. & it'll take another few hours of sleep before I will get to the 2 day adventure of the times! After a good night sleep, I couldn't wait & rush my way to Petra. It was early & yet it's already crowded with tourists from all over the world. I wanted a ride on a horse & had the first taste of what it's like here in Jordan. Always had fancied being on horses but never did have much of an opportunity having been staying in big cities most of my life. Well, my dream finally came true. Both, in fact. Being on a horse & coming to see Petra.
In fact, I had no idea what Petra is truly like except for that facade (Al Khazneh, the Treasuries) which we are all probably familiar with (after having seen hundreds of those pix on traditional media or via the internet). After my short excitement of being on a horse (it was truly cool and I'd try it again if I've the chance; my dream this time would entail riding a horse on the rim of a crater or lake), the walk on winding paths through the Siq is quite a journey in itself. I love the colors of the rocks (as I've had been since visiting the Grand Canyon, Canyonlands & the many canyon national parks in the U.S.) and was treated to a display of natural work of arts.
The next morning, I went up on the back of a donkey (again, my 1st, although poor donkey has to go about 800 steps!) to the gigantic Monasteries. Here, we are greeted with some of the best sceneries of this country. It was a pleasure up here high on the mountains, having some picnic and enjoying the breeze among great vistas. I met lots of travelers from all over the world up here. Since Petra is now one of the new 7 wonders of the world, the world is now rushing to pay a visit! Indeed, it is a very special wonder! I love it here!
1st Day at Petra (The Treasuries)
2nd Day at Petra (The Monasteries)
After the first 2 nights, I was ready for even more adventure. Jordan proved to be much more than I've thought. Leaving for Dead Sea, enroute I visited Little Petra & Wadi Rum. A night at Dead SeaMarriott proved to be much needed & relaxing. I then enjoyed The Spa at the Marriott with a Mud Spa. It was an entire new experience having black mud from the Dead Sea all across the body. Revigorating & rejunevating. I then head for Amman & a trip to the northern part of Jordan, which included the amazing Jerash. There's more to this trip so for those interested, stay tune to another review of Jordan itself!