Whirlwind Trip To Amman, Jordan and the Ancient Ruins of Petra

“When you look at a city, it’s like reading the hopes, aspirations and pride of everyone who built it.”

—Hugh Newell Jacobsen

There is so much to see in Jordan. Two days is not enough. But that was all the time we had.

We made the most of it.

We stayed in a seedy hotel in one of the Amman districts - our hosts were very young and genial

We stayed in a seedy hotel in one of the Amman districts – our hosts were very young and genial

One of Amman's ancient treasures, at the top of a hill lies the Amman Citadel

One of Amman’s ancient treasures, at the top of a hill lies the Amman Citadel

Ruins of a Byzantine church, also behind the walls of the Amman Citadel

Ruins of a Byzantine church, also behind the walls of the Amman Citadel

Within the walls of the Amman Citadel are the ruins of the Temple of Hercules

Within the walls of the Amman Citadel are the ruins of the Temple of Hercules

The Roman Amphitheatre lies in a valley in the hilly city


The Roman Amphitheatre lies in a valley in the hilly city

Petra, meaning ‘stone’ is an Arabian historical and archaeological city in the Jordanian governorate of Ma’an, that is famous for its rock-cut architecture and water conduit system.Established possibly as early as 312 BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans,it is a symbol of Jordan, as well as its most visited tourist attraction. It lies on the slope of Mount Hor in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Arabah (Wadi Araba), the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba.
The site remained unknown to the Western world until 1812, when it was introduced by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. It was described as “a rose-red city half as old as time” in a Newdigate Prize-winning poem by John William Burgon. UNESCO has described it as “one of the most precious cultural properties of man’s cultural heritage”.

(from http://cristimoise.net/2012/11/22/petra-jordan-4/)

Entering the Siq gates of Petra, there are tourist traps everywhere

Entering the Siq gates of Petra, there are tourist traps everywhere

Many sandstone tombs dot the hills leading to the gorge

Many sandstone tombs dot the hills leading to the gorge

The Urn Tomb is one of the most impressive ones on the way to the gorge

The Urn Tomb is one of the most impressive ones on the way to the gorge

This is the entrance to the Siq gorge, a naturally occurring channel carved in ancient times by  formed by the torrent, the Musa, which the Nabataeans blocked with a dam and channelled to carry drinking water to the city

This is the entrance to the Siq gorge, a naturally occurring channel carved in ancient times by formed by the torrent, the Musa, which the Nabataeans blocked with a dam and channelled to carry drinking water to the city

Towering rock walls of the Siq

Towering rock walls of the Siq

Some tombs have also been carved into the wall of the Siq gorge

Some tombs have also been carved into the wall of the Siq gorge

As we wend our way through the Siq, there are police patrols protecting the archeological treasures from vandalism. Note the spiked hats which police wear throughout Jordan

As we wend our way through the Siq, there are police patrols protecting the archeological treasures from vandalism. Note the spiked hats which police wear throughout Jordan

It's a long way down the Siq gorge with amazing rock formations to admire on your way

It’s a long way down the Siq gorge with amazing rock formations to admire on your way

At some places, the Siq becomes quite narrow

At some places, the Siq becomes quite narrow

Our first view of the Khazneh el Faroun, or the Treasury of the Pharaoh

Our first view of the Khazneh el Faroun, or the Treasury of the Pharaoh

A view of the Treasury

A view of the Treasury

Another view of the stunning Treasury from my husband's camera

Another view of the stunning Treasury from my husband’s camera

Camels with brilliant trappings are available to the weary traveller in front of the treasury

Camels with brilliant trappings are available to the weary traveller in front of the treasury

Stunning stairways carved into the sandstone mountain leading to the top

Stunning stairways carved into the sandstone mountain leading to the top

More tombs can be found beyond the Treasury

More tombs can be found beyond the Treasury

More tombs appear to our right as we continue our path

More tombs appear to our right as we continue our path

On our right there are more souvenirs for sale against a backdrop of tombs

On our right there are more souvenirs for sale against a backdrop of tombs

Tombs piled on tombs pit the hills beyond the Treasury

Tombs piled on tombs pit the hills beyond the Treasury

Stunning detail in the exterior carvings, simple and unadorned square rooms inside

Stunning detail in the exterior carvings, simple and unadorned square rooms inside

One can never tire of marvelling at the work the ancient Nabateans put into the burying of their dead

One can never tire of marvelling at the work the ancient Nabateans put into the burying of their dead

Our trip to Petra left my husband amazed. You would think because he is Syrian that he has seen a lot of ancient marvels, but this one was truly overwhelming to him. It was well worth the long hot trip from Amman to Jordan, even though we only had one day to allocate to these ancient treasures.

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