30.12.2007 10 °C
For the first time, Petra, is chosen to the included in the New Seven Wonder of the World. Built by the Nabatean over 2000 years ago under Roman influence, Petra can be compared to ancient Egyptian temples built around the same era. Most buildings in this ancient city are carved out of mountains.
Walking through the siq, created by tectonic forces thousands of years ago instead of water erosion, one cannot help but built up an excitment for the sight of the Treasury. Unfortunately, its fame had also brought in busloads of tourists from all over the world.
I bought myself a 2-day pass. On the first day, a beautiful female arabian horse, Summer, brought me to the top of the mountains around Petra where I can look down at the siq and escape the noise of the tourists. I then walked pass the Royal Tombs and the City Centre and started a short 25 min hike up to the Monastry, which measure higher and talled than the Treasury. Quite exhausted, I shared my lunch, chicken kabab, with two kittens at the viewpoint overlooking mountains and the Araba desert 0that stretch all the way to Israel and Palestine. A bedouin guide led me up to the top of a tomb opposite the Monastry where I can sit quietly and draw. By the time I walked down from the Monastry and went through the Great Temple and Royal Tombs, the sun had almost completely set - a perfect moment to have the entire siq by myself in the dark.
This night, I was invited to dinner by a Bedouin family from Wadi Masu (Valley of Moses) and spent the cold night next to the fire. On the second day, I ride Summer, again, with her kind Bedouin owner, Shadi, to the top of the Treasury which has a breathtaking view of the entire Petra city and stopped by the Obelisk at the Sacred Hill.
Late afternoon, I visited Little Petra, a site with vast network of channels (also built by the Nabateans) leading water from top to bottom of beautiful sandstone mountains down to many underground resevoirs. Last by not least, I took a sidetrip to the Shobak Castle, built by King Baldwins around 1100AD but overtook by a Mumlak. Exhausted after two full days of sightseeing, I retired back to my hotel and prepared to go back to Wadi Rum for New Year Eve.
To truly appreciate a landscape, we must include its inhabitants. To truly understand oneself, we must open our minds to all cultures.