Petra

28 03 2008

Today was the day for Petra. Knowing the best light was in the mornings, I decided on an early start. I was glad I did, but not for the light! Up at 6 am, and at the entrance to Petra by 7, there are just a few people around as I buy my ticket (21 dinar) for the day.I scan the display by the entrance, but decide not to book a guide (a bit too extravagant for just me) or a horse, so quickly to the gate and in.

This walkway is about 500m long, and takes you to the Siq, or Shaft, which is the ceremonial entrance to Petra.The Siq starts out slowly enough, but has some very dramatic parts. Here are some images from my walk and out:

After walking along Al-Siq, you suddenly come upon Al Khazneh, or The Treasury:

As you can see, the light is better later in the morning, but the crowds are worse. Today was the start of Summer Time here, so instead of the sun hitting the Treasury at 9am, it is 10am – by then the day-trippers from Amman has arrived.

I did walk further in, seeing many other things – but if I tell you all about them here, I will have nothing to say when I am back. But to finish, here are some other photos from the day:

And finally proof that I was there:





Splendid Isolation

27 03 2008

Again, with no map, I am planning my day down to Petra. I decide to drive by the Dead Sea, so pull off the highway following the well marked signs. Double carriageway again, with little traffic.

From NZ the long way

Somewhere after I go below sea level (no photo there as there was a checkpoint) I go through a construction zone. Shortly after I am pulled over. I think it was for speeding through the construction zone. But, I do not speak arabic, the young police officer doesn’t speak english, and he decides to wave me on before his partner gets out of the police truck.

A couple more police checkpoints later (only one of which I show my passport) I am at the Dead Sea. And it is dead. No one around, no real access to the water itself :\ The only places with access are the resorts, all lined up together in a zone. It is all built up for tourists, but with no buildings, or tourists!

From NZ the long way
From NZ the long way
From NZ the long way
From NZ the long way

I drive through a few more checkpoints to a roadway away from the sea and make it to Al Karak. Now, I know I am on the right road south to Petra, but I can’t be sure, so I turn around. When I look at the map, I see I was actually going the right way *sigh*

I eventually make it back to the main north-south highway, which is an efficient, if boring, way to Petra.

From NZ the long way

I realize how much I am traveling in splendid isolation when I check into the Petra Marriott. Splendid views, about 3km out and above Petra. This is not useful for my tendency to be shy and a bit of a loner — something not to repeat when I come back!

From NZ the long way
From NZ the long way

Tomorrow is a full day at Petra!