Like the day in Giza with the Grand Pyramids, this was one of the days that I was most looking forward to on the trip.
Petra was founded by the Nabateans, an Arab people who flourished in the region from the 3rd century BC to the 2nd century AD. The Nabateans were skilled traders. Petra became a major crossroads on the trade routes between Arabia, Egypt, and Syria. Petra was abandoned in the 6th century AD. It was not rediscovered by Europeans until the early 19th century.
The guide planned an early start. Up at 5 am with breakfast at 6 am, the group left the hotel at 7 am. The Movenpick Petra is located across the street from the visitor's center and the entry to Petra!
The morning walk through Al Siq was amazing. The Siq is a narrow canyon that leads to the city of Petra. It is about 3/4's of mile long and up to 250 feet high. The canyon was deeper than I expected. The walls are made of red sandstone. They are carved with Nabataean inscriptions and carvings.
Leaving the canyon, we stumbled on to the Treasury. It is the most famous landmark in Petra. The Treasury is thought to have been built as a mausoleum and crypt for the Nabataean king Aretas IV Philopatris in the 1st century AD.
After the Treasury, we came to a large open area called the Street of Facades. This is a long, narrow street lined with the facades of rock-cut tombs. The tombs are decorated with a variety of architectural styles, including Egyptian, Greek, and Roman.
Staying on the main road, we passed the Theatre. Carved into the hillside in the 1st century AD, it could hold up to 8,500 spectators.
I really enjoyed Petra. Although I am posting these pictures, I feel like the photos don’t do justice to the scale of Petra. In total, we covered more than 10 miles.
The whole group had a late lunch at the Cave Bar. I had an unusual take on a club sandwich (beef and egg!).