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Sunday, June 11, 2017

DAY 13 - Petra...the "Rose-City"

One of the New 7 Wonders of the World - MY TOP WONDER!

This view was outside our hotel overlooking the beautiful valley below.

 
WINDY, CRAZY hair-do day in the morning behind the hotel

Don't think I'm going swimming today in the lovely pool.
Petra, originally known to the Nabataeans as Raqmu, is a historical and archaeological city in southern Jordan.
This site is in the biblical land of Moab!

Hey - this is the scarf we wore just yesterday while we visited Wadi Rum!
Many people will ride horses to go into the UNESCO World Heritage Site
Our first glimpse of the amazing carvings in the rock



Djinn Blocks - 50 BC - 50 AD
Cube-shaped monuments are known as 'Djinn, a type of spirit in Arab folklore.  There are a total of 25 of these in Petra.  These monuments served as tombs or memorials to the dead.

Note the stairway to Heaven in many photos.



The people of Petra lived in caves until 1995, but now they have their own village.  All the people (Bedouins) work for tourism.

Established possibly as early as 312 BC as the capital city of the Arab Nabataeans. 
 The Nabataeans were nomadic Arabs who took advantage of Petra's proximity to regional trade routes to establish it as a major trading hub. The Nabataeans are also known for their great ability in constructing efficient water-collecting methods in the barren deserts and their talent in carving structures into solid rocks.


 The upper monument is the "Obelisk Tomb."  It is crowned with four elongated pyramids that represent the deceased.  There is a carving of a male representing the head of the family buried in the chamber tomb beneath.
A dining hall is below the tomb where banquets were held honoring a God or ancestor.

Very windy day, so we tied up our hair like the locals do.

Cousin Lloyd makes friends with a couple of cats.

Here we go through the Siq, a natural sandstone gorge, winding its way to the ancient city of Petra. This was a popular trade route.  A triumphal arch was spanned across the entrance, but it collapsed in 1895.

The name of the site is called ‘Petra’, a Greek word meaning ‘Rock’, because the city was carved inside red-rose sandstone rock. The city of Petra is comprised of hundreds of tombs, houses, a theatre that could fit more than 3,000 people, temples, obelisks, and altars where animals were sacrificed to calm the angry gods or ask them for favours.

In 2007, Petra was named one the NEW 7 Wonders of the World and also as one of the "28 Places to See Before You Die" by Smithsonian Magazine.




Parts of the original paved road can be seen along the route.
Limestone was used to pave the ancient roads. 
It's a cloudy day, and yet the colors shine - what beauty I have never experienced!
ENJOY the photos of Petra as I couldn't quit taking them - MAGNIFICENT!!









Note the "elephant" rocks - can you see the trunk and eyes?



This looked fun, but we enjoyed walking in and out of the ancient city.














Here is our guide showing us that this was a place for two 'love-birds' to stand - Rich wasn't here, so I had him stand with me!



More steps towards HEAVEN!




 After 2 km of walking, we finally arrive to the magnificent and famous "Treasury"!  We've just come through the narrow gorge made famous in "Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade."  How cool is that!
The Treasury building was taller than I imagined. It was intricate, with fine detailing on the pillars and columns. Likely carved around 100 B.C., the elements etched into the soft sandstone rock speak to why so many myths and stories circulate today. Is there a bounty of treasure hidden under the pink carved rock?  Throughout the decades, many have believed this story. The pockmarked surface from gun shots aimed at the upper urn tell the story. Each gunshot represented someone’s dream for undiscovered treasures.


Rain is starting come down!





Just had to hop in for a quick photo!

Sweetly sings the donkeys, but Bedoins DO NOT treat these poor animals sweetly!




















The Theatre seated 3,000 people and has been partially restored. 




I saw several mountain goats on the hillsides.






The ceilings were gorgeous!!

What a day this has been so far!

The colors are spectacular, aren't they?

Photo is turned, but no matter.....this was in the women's restroom


I bought this book for a friend - it was very popular as it was true!

I ended up climbing to the top of this a little later in the afternoon - so fun!

Fun way to get around - this family is enjoying it!  The Bedouin young boy is making money!

Looks like a Castle, but it's built right in the rock.  Incredible!






I'm Singin' in the Rain!

"The Great Temple"
This is the largest free-standing structure in the ancient city.






Two of the guys with our tour group are "Indiana Jones." (with their hats anyway!)
Time for me to go exploring by myself while the others have a fancy $20 lunch!  I had packed mine earlier and it was so fun taking off above everyone up into the hills.




Some mountain goats below me



These photos don't give you all the beauty with the vast colors

Don't think I want to fall here!

"Crusader Fortress"  - 12th century AD










The paved flooring had gorgeous colors.








The Urn Tomb - 40-75 AD










More gorgeous ceilings!






Time to head back before the big rain storm hits us!
Back to the Treasury!



Mini water canals



Inside the Visitor's Museum - many artifacts from the past













Turns out they shut down the Petra site early and there was some flash flooding.  Good thing we got out of there early and didn't get stuck inside.
What a day - back to the hotel!




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