Good morning Petra!!! The city (yeah, I’ll call it that) opens its mighty gates at 6am, but when we were there a week ago my gang and I decided we still wanted to contemplate sunrise from our hotel at that time 😉 – and when we got there around 8am we discovered we were among the first tourists of the day anyway! Pretty empty entrance square, though incredibly I did stumble upon a guy I know– amazing tour guide Ayman!!
But discoveries weren’t over. I mean, you know that classic picture everybody posts when going to Petra? The one in front of the beautiful huge door carved in the rock? Well…you’d tend to think that was at the beginning of the whole thing, right? Because SURPRISE, it isn’t!!! It’s actually about 2km away from the ticket office, and you can either walk them or let a horse do that for you 😀 Here is the kind of scenery you’ll get on your way (not a bad way to immerse yourself in the right atmosphere, if you ask me!):
So you walk walk walk, start to get used -a little!- to the whole thing, and then, BAM!
you’re there 😀 😀 😀 and it’s pretty amazing indeed!!! Contrary to what I personally thought, however, that big gate is not something you enter to explore- entry is forbidden and your path will continue outdoors for as many other kilometres as you like, basically! We, specifically, calculated we probably walked about 13km from first to last step within the city, just by following the route to “the best view in the world” just after the monastery and coming back without ever resorting to donkey-taxi 😉
See for yourself – my absolute favourite parts of the day were talking to 7yo Saba’a who gave me a bonus Petra stone together with my 10 postcards (ok, tourists are not supposed to encourage child labour but she was just too sweet to resist and we talked quite a bit!); getting to all the funny “best view ever” signposts which kept sending you from a viewpoint to the next in what seemed like an attempt to get you lost in the middle of nowhere; and of course, the sightseeing itself because it was just like another world and..yeah well, you can see it 🙂 In general it was really cool to see local people’s lives in Petra (I wonder what they think about it all) and to hear from the pomegranate juice seller that the place is at its most spectacular when it rains. Hmm…
Petrified by such extreme beauty yet? If not… GO!!