Leaving Wadi Rum

It was a beautiful view as we drove out of the Wadi Rum Desert but it soon became a rather monotonous long straight road through nothingness. After a few hours of watching the sand go by we came to a small hill and as we got near the top Mahmoud asked us to close our eyes and wait until he counted to ten before we opened them.Geeze oh petes! all of a sudden we were looking at a long wide rugged canyon with Petra way off in the distance.

Straight road through nothingness


As we drove on Mahmoud would occasionally point out where the Petra Siq (canyon) was located but until I actually at the Siq it is difficult to grasp some of his descriptions.

We checked into Mövenpick Hotel got freshened up and then headed up to Little Petra.

First view of Petra from a distance


Overview of Petra

Little Petra
Little Petra was a great teaser getting us ready for the big show the next day. Just like Petra Little Petra has its own siq entrance and several facades carved into the rock cliffs. I instantly had flashbacks to being in Fethiye, Turkey and seeing the Lycian tombs which are of a similar design.
Road to Little Petra Little Petra
Little Petra
  The next day we never used the car. The entrance to historical Petra is across the parking lot of the hotel and through a large park like area. We were unaware of the walking requirements to see Petra and perhaps it was best that we didn’t know. Otherwise we might have been worried about whether our beat-up old bodies with bad ankles and knees would be able to perform adequately to walk the 10 miles round trip (I’m sure we walked much further than that). With the aid of Aleve, Tylenol, and a slow pace we did just fine. Actually if you cannot walk the entire way there is a combination of horses, horse carts, donkeys, camels, and horses (again) that will take you the full distance both ways. But you will need a pocket full of cash because each one only takes you a short distance.

The Siq

It was particularly nice to be able to walk through the Siq and have the ability to stop, take it all in, and shoot a few photographs along the way. A mile of nearly all vertical photographs. The Siq is a master piece of natural beauty and combined with its manmade features it is mind-boggling. A huge water cistern was built at the entrance of the Siq and a water trough carved into the wall runs the full length of the canyon allowing the water to flow to the ancient living areas of Petra more than a mile away.

The Siq at Petra

The Siq - Note the water troughs carved into the cliffs.


As we were about to exit the siq we saw the view that Petra is so famous for as a small glimpse of the Treasury was exposed through the narrow rock cliffs. OH MY!!! While the construction and basic design is similar to that in Little Petra and Fethiye’s Lycian tombs the size and artistic design of the Treasury sets this apart. It is something that a person just needs to see for themselves. A photograph or video simply cannot fully depict the awe.

The Treasury The exit to the Siq


The Street of Facades, Theater, Byzantine Church, and Museum located further into the Petra site are interesting but the Siq and the Treasury are really the main attractions.

Street of Facades at Petra

Street of Facades at Petra


Can you hear me now?

Jordan is a nice country and we always felt very safe and welcome but we never quite had that warm glad-you-are-here feeling that we did in Egypt. Other than Petra the towns and hotels seemed to be more geared for business people and commerce. Unlike Egypt I would not be at all concerned about renting a car and self-driving throughout Jordan. There are enough signs in English and the drivers are well behaved. Driving a rental car shouldn’t be much trouble.

Jordan was definitely worth seeing and even though Petra Moon Travel Company was practically invisible to us throughout our visit the services and accommodations they provided were excellent. On the last day we received an added bonus. Since our flight to Paris didn’t depart until 2:00 AM they arranged for us to retain our hotel rooms (for free) until our driver picked us up at 11:00 PM for the drive to the airport. Murad, thanks for the ride to the airport and driving us around Amman.


Egypt, Jordan, and Paris 2009
Egypt Home | Cairo Area | Abu Simbel & Aswan | Luxor | Northwest Jordan | Wadi Rum | Petra | Paris

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Revised April 05, 2009