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Unread 9 Feb 20, 09:14 AM  
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#1
Gunna
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Mobile Jordan & Petra - 4th February - Petra

Today was the day I would get to explore the world famous Petra. It is somewhere I have wanted to visit for such a long time so it really was a bit of a dream come true moment for me. We had sorted with Khaled that we would meet our guide Samir in the hotel lobby at 7:30am. Petra can get very busy, particularly around the treasury and even though we were effectively travelling in Jordans low season there is still a lot of visitors so we decided to head in early to try to avoid some of the crowds. As we headed down to breakfast at 6:00am the site was already open and a few people where heading in. Once wed eaten our fill we collections our bags and met up with Samir and set off.

It was quite cool weather wise and once inside we started to walk to the siq. There are still Bedouins living within Petra and one thing youll notice if you visit is the constant question of whether you want to ride a horse/donkey/camel/carriage at various stages. Samir advised us not to give any indication of wanted a ride and just to say no. To be honest it wasnt something we wanted to do and it wasnt cheap as one way to the treasury was working out at about 20 a person. Beforehand I had read online concerns on how the animals where treated and although they looked healthy enough I just didnt feel comfortable with it, especially later when we saw tourists, who certainly looked fit enough to walk, riding donkeys 850 steps up the mountain to the monastery or on occasion the horses slipping as they rode tourists in carriages back up the siq. There where signs everywhere advising you to report any mistreatment of the animals by taking there badge numbers and then speaking to the Petra authorities and they would follow this up though.



On route to the entry of the siq Samir explains a lot about the Nabateans who built Petra, their history and how effectively they sort of disappeared. We found out how Petra was rediscovered and how it is so much more than just the famous treasury that most people will know. As we enter the siq we see water channels and dams and learn how they were masters at collecting and storing and using the scarce water they received.



The walls of the siq got higher and higher as we headed further in and Samir showed us carvings, small alters for worship and cave houses as we headed through. Petra is also know as the Rose City due time the colour of the sandstone rock and Samir said it looks different dependant on the time of day and where the sun is as it will highlight different colours in the rock. It is very narrow in places too which adds to the atmosphere and you head in.



After a walk of about a kilometre Samir stops and tells us to look ahead through the gap. We where rewarded with the view of the world famous treasury.




I was still blown away by it despite the fact I had only seen it only last night. It truly is breathtaking to see and something Ill never forget. The scale and colour just takes your breath away and no matter where you are in the area your eyes are just drawn to it. Samir told us more about the Treasury and gave us some time to explore and take photos.



After our time at the treasury we then headed off with Samir to explore more of Petra. The place is huge and can easily warrant a couple of days to get to see what there is to see. There are many walks and carvings to explore and hearing about the history of the Nabateans was fascinating. In the valley was passed an amphitheater, streets, tombs and lots of cave houses.



After a couple of hours it was time to say goodbye to Samir and we were off to explore on our own. He recommended the climb to the monastery which we planned to do so we set off there next. As it was still quiet we thought wed get a head start on the crowds so started the 850 step uphill climb.



Many of the Bedouins have set up shops along the route selling various gifts and stuff to buy and they will try to get you in for a look. Any indication of maybe looking on the way back was certainly remembered as we found out when we came back down. It was a fair trek uphill and took about an hour with water stops but it was so worth it. After what seems a never ending climb you turn a corner and finally see the monastery.



Another stunning site and directly opposite was a Bedouin cafe selling drinks and food with seats facing the monastery so we decided to rest our feet, enjoy the view and enjoy some drinks



We both started with some tea. I got a real taste for the tea here, served with various herbs such as mint, sage, cardamom. We then also had some fresh juices, orange and lemon with mint. I drank loads of the lemon and mint it was so refreshing and delicious. There where also some resident cats and dogs here and we were soon joined and had cats sitting on our knees ( so much for not interacting with them ) as we relaxed with the view.



We must of been up here about two hours relaxing in the sun, chatting and enjoying the view, it was perfect. We finally decided we needed to head back down and explore some more so made the trek drown the trail avoiding the tourists heading up on the poor donkeys and Bedouins who told us we had promised to stop and look at their shop and how they had been waiting for us! Once we where back down we explored some more of Petra starting with the colonnaded street and great temple.



Kirsty chilled in the sun and I headed off to take some photos. We gave some of our biscuits to the local Bedouin children and then shared the rest with one of the dogs before we headed back up to see the Byzantine church and royal tombs.



The views up here again where stunning and we both said that although we knew Petra was more than the treasury just how much there was to explore. We had been inside for nearly 8 hours now and our feet where really starting to ache. There was another walk up to an alter but as they started to close the site at 5pm today and this round trip was about 3 hours thought wed head out for food as time was getting on and breakfast was a long time ago. We headed out via the siq and took in our final views of the treasury.



We had a steady walk back and talked about how amazing Petra had been. It had lived up to and exceeded my expectations and I felt lucky to have been able to travel and finally see this. It was a big bucket list item for me and certainly did not disappoint. Once we left Petra Khaled had recommended a local restaurant to us so we headed there for food. We sat on the roof terrace and could watch the sunset over the mountains. The food was really delicious. We where served fresh baked pittas with oil and thyme to dip them into before we both enjoyed some excellent food, and fantastic hummus and Baba ganoush as well.



After our meal we headed back to our hotel and The Cave Bar. With our hotel being build against some rocks they gave turned one of the old Nabatean cave homes into a bar do we headed in for drinks and dessert. Alcohol isnt cheap in Jordan and we tended to stick to juices and teas mainly ( they where really good too ) but tonight I decided to treat myself to a local beer which was over 8 but since it was named Petra thought Id try it. Kirsty stuck to coffee and we tried an Egyptian dessert called Um Ali which is bread/puff pastry soaked in sweet milk with coconut, dried fruits and nuts and it was really good.



After relaxing and chilling for a couple of hours we decided to head back to our room. Our legs where aching and tired but we both said what a amazing day it had been. A definite highlight of our travels and places we have been fortunate to see. Its something I wont forget.
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Unread 9 Feb 20, 10:23 AM  
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Sparksy72
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The Treasury is truly spectacular- thank you so much for sharing your amazing photos. That hummus and bread look like a perfect way to end a really special day.
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Unread 9 Feb 20, 10:30 AM  
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Gunna
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Originally Posted by Sparksy72 View Post
The Treasury is truly spectacular- thank you so much for sharing your amazing photos. That hummus and bread look like a perfect way to end a really special day.
Petra was truly amazing, lived up to and exceeded all my expectations. As well as going back for the scenery I would happily travel back there for that bread and hummus too!
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Unread 9 Feb 20, 06:06 PM  
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Melbatb
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What fabulous pictures! It really is a stunning place!

The bread and houmous looks delicious!
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Unread 9 Feb 20, 07:44 PM  
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Gunna
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It loved Petra, hard to describe walking through the siq and then seeing the treasury appear, its magical.

Must admit that pitta was some of the best bread Ive ever had, it was delicious!
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Unread 10 Feb 20, 10:28 AM  
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Tinkermom
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Truly amazing, can I ask if you booked all the tour guides prior to going? Any other tips on who to book with etc would be hugely appreciated. Thank you 😊
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Unread 10 Feb 20, 11:48 AM  
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Gunna
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Originally Posted by Tinkermom View Post
Truly amazing, can I ask if you booked all the tour guides prior to going? Any other tips on who to book with etc would be hugely appreciated. Thank you 😊
Hi , the tour guides (Petra & Jerash) came in with the tour we booked from the UK. All we had to do was tip him at the end (about 15) and he was with us for about 2 hours in total, he told us a lot too and it really added to the overall experience of Petra.

This is the company we booked the tour with

select.jo/

We arranged our flights and they sorted the rest (hotels/visas/tickets/transport etc...) all we had to pay for was tips, food and any things we wanted to buy or do in addition on route. They will tailor make it to whatever you want adding in or taking things out. They met us at the airport, took us through security and passport which was a big help. They looked after us right up to dropping us back on Thursday. They where brilliant and if you get in touch Oriana planned our tour and ask for Khaled to be your driver, the guy was amazing, we couldnt have asked for better.
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Unread 10 Feb 20, 12:41 PM  
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Tinkermom
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Originally Posted by Gunna View Post
Hi , the tour guides (Petra & Jerash) came in with the tour we booked from the UK. All we had to do was tip him at the end (about 15) and he was with us for about 2 hours in total, he told us a lot too and it really added to the overall experience of Petra.

This is the company we booked the tour with

select.jo/

We arranged our flights and they sorted the rest (hotels/visas/tickets/transport etc...) all we had to pay for was tips, food and any things we wanted to buy or do in addition on route. They will tailor make it to whatever you want adding in or taking things out. They met us at the airport, took us through security and passport which was a big help. They looked after us right up to dropping us back on Thursday. They where brilliant and if you get in touch Oriana planned our tour and ask for Khaled to be your driver, the guy was amazing, we couldnt have asked for better.
Thank you 😊 thats so much help, can I ask yet another question (sorry) is there a particular time of year thats best to go?
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