As per today started early, this time at 0530 to get a bus to Petra at 0630. It was just under 4 hours long so we arrived just after 10. We got a taxi up to our hotel and dropped our bags before heading back the way we had just come, picking up some snacks and water on the way.
The entrance fee to the park was 50JD which is just over £50 with today’s exchange rate but we excitedly paid and made our way in. There is a downhill trek of about 1km before you reach the Siq, the famous canyon which leads to the main area of Petra. Along this route there are a number of tombs and carved blocks to look at and explore. The Siq was impressive and a miuch needed source of shade. It winds through the rock for 1.2km before you catch a glimpse of the iconic Treasury.
We saw the Nymphaeum, a public fountain and the Colonnaded Street which still had a number of pillars intact. Just beyond these was the Great Temple, a huge area which is still being excavated.
Beyond these was Qasr al-Bint, an almost square monument which is set on a podium and was the main and most important temple in Petra.
At this point Emily, who was still feeling less than 100% made her way back the way we came and I carried on up the valley to Ad Deir or The Monastery, a very hot and sweaty climb but worth it. The Monastery is one of the largest monuments in Petra and is similar in design to the Treasury. Once again I was bowled over by the size and craftsmanship which must have gone into its construction. Just beyond was a view point which afford excellent views across the surrounding dessert and mountains.
Slightly further up were the Royal Tombs, the most famous, Urn Tomb, has a distinct facade. These temples lead onto the Al-Khubtha Trail which takes you up into the hills surrounding the main area of Petra and at the end of this strenuous uphill hike you are rewarded with an exceptional view of the Treasury from above, there was a small tea house there which in spent half an hour chilling and hydrating.
The return journey was tiring, having been up so early and to have been walking around in the heat for 6 hours had tired me out. I knew that ever when in was out of the 1.2km Siw I still had 1km to the edge of the park and a further 1km uphill to our hotel. When I finally got back I was ready for a sit down and a cold water.
After a chilling for a little we went out for dinner, the first proper food for the day and much needed, I had an excellent grilled chicken dish with fresh flat bread and Emily had a falafel sandwich. We returned to the hotel to plan the next few days of travel. Tomorrow we head to Wadi Rum.