back in Cairoback in Cairo Everyone has been asking me if things feel or look any different here in Cairo after the revolution.  When I left, there were tanks in my neighborhood, a curfew, lots of gunfire, there was no internet, and Mubarak was still president.  Now, Mubarak is gone, the police are back on the streets, the tanks have rolled out,...

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from ancient to medieval in Cairofrom ancient to medieval in Cairo On Tuesday we started our day with a cab ride to Tahrir to see the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities. We spent a few hours enjoying the Tutahnkamun exhibit, Akhenaten collection, and other ancient art and artifacts of Egypt. We then took a taxi to the Citadel. The views of the city were stunning. We...

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weddles in luxorweddles in luxor This past week has been a whirlwind!  After seeing some sights around Cairo with Ryan, my parents arrived and we left for Luxor.  We arrived in Luxor around midday and decided to check out Luxor Temple in the afternoon sunlight.  It was incredible.  The city of Luxor creeps right up to the edges of these ancient sites,...

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Unfinished ObeliskUnfinished Obelisk Once we got to Aswan and after a crazy taxi experience that entailed some serious driver rivalry, keys stolen from the ignition, a chase involving a tire iron, and a group of tourists, ahem, us, quietly unloading our luggage and finding another cab... (yeah, I know, OH EGYPT!) Anyhow once we got to Aswan, we decided...

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Category : Jordan, Travel & Sightseeing

Petra by day was incredible.  Walking through the long, narrow Siq was an experience in and of itself.  The sandstone features were impressive with different shades of reds, browns, and pinks stretching skyward and blocking the sunlight from our path.

The ancient Nabateans developed an aqueduct system to transport water through the Siq to Petra.  The channel carved into the sandstone is still visible most of the way.

The first glimpse of the Treasury is truly impressive.  After seeing all the natural beauty of the weathered sandstone, the refined detail and perfect symmetry of the Treasury make for a truly surreal experience.

After so much time in the shady Siq, this ray of light beaming through the canyon totally added to the Indiana Jones feeling.  However, the guy pretending to be Indiana Jones with a bullwhip and a scantily clad lady posing for Indiana Jones inspired photos (unfortunately not pictured) actually detracted from the Indiana Jones feeling.  Funny how that works, haha.

I think the architectural style is so interesting.  Apparently Petra was a sort of crossroads in ancient times, and the Nabateans were exposed to influence from many other ancient cultures resulting in the unique style seen at Petra.  Interestingly, the Treasury is actually not a treasury at all.  In fact it is believed to have been a temple or tomb, but it got its name because it was rumored that treasure was stored in the urn at the top.

Anyhow, there is much more to Petra than the Treasury, however most of the other carved facades have been badly eroded.

Look at the colors in the ceiling of the above room.  They were really incredible.  I was climbing up to take some more photos of an adjacent structure when I saw a person dressed in a hooded velvet cloak with a team of photographers who kindly asked that we not photograph them because it was something “very special.”  Brandon suggested it was The Village II.  I laughed all the way up the mountain thinking about that.

You can see how worn away much of the detail is on these other facades, but try to imagine if everything looked as detailed as the Treasury.  It would have been such an amazing sight in its day.

We had the rest of the day to explore Petra and decided we wanted to see the Monastery.  This involved a climb up a mountain in the blazing sun along a rugged trail shared by galloping donkeys.  Honestly, I don’t think I had ever seen a donkey really run before, but these guys were running up and down this mountain and seemed entirely unconcerned with the prospect of plummeting to their deaths… nor did they seem concerned with my safety either!

After the hike up the mountain, we reached the top and saw… nothing really.  But then we turned to our right and there is was, set back in the rock.

The Monastery was truly impressive!  Certainly worth a trek up a mountain!

There’s a few of the insane donkeys, and a tiny little Brandon in the entrance of the Monastery.

We didn’t have very much time before we had to head back down, but when we saw that views of the end of the world could be seen, well, we couldn’t exactly pass that up.

Fortunately it wasn’t the end of the world, and the views were impressive!

Comments (1)

Emily,What an amazing trip!!! I have always been fascinated with Petra, but have never been there. You have fed my wandering spirit and imagination with this post. And the other sites you saw are so interesting also. Thank you for taking the time to share your photos and write about your experiences. I love it!!! Mom

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