“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
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
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
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”.
Entering the Siq gates of Petra, there are tourist traps everywhere
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
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
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
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
Our first view of the Khazneh el Faroun, or the Treasury of the Pharaoh
A view of the Treasury
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
Stunning stairways carved into the sandstone mountain leading to the top
More tombs can be found beyond the Treasury
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
Tombs piled on tombs pit the hills beyond the Treasury
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
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.