Petra - 10/19/00

Wow! Petra is all wow. Imagine combining the beauty of Bryce Canyon with the amazing architecture of the Acropolis. Its better than that. We spent three days exploring the vast valleys of this amazing ancient Nabatean civilazation. It really is incredible. These giant heaps of rock in the middle of nowhere. >From the outside and at a distance, you wouldn't imagine there was anything there at all. Just another group of jebels in the desert.

As you walk down from the entrance you catch a couple of minor tombs. Then you get to the Siq. Amazing! Almost a mile of chasm through the rock, sometimes only six feet wide and hundreds of feet high. Its paved, which we weren't too happy about, but it turns out that it was first paved in the first century A.D. and then again by the Romans. Some of the original flagstones are still there.

Twenty minutes of winding down a narrow passage and then you come out on the Treasury (just like in The Last Crusade). The main street extends a mile, lined with tombs, a Roman theater, and palace ruins. The amazing thing is that if you look outside the beaten track there's tons more Petra in every direction. The second day we got up early and hiked up to a ridge overlooking the Treasury. Several hundred feet above the gaggles of tourists arriving, we sat and had breakfast on the edge of a drop, watching the sun slowly making its way down the face of the Treasury. Best part of the trip for sure! We also hiked to the High Place of Sacrifice (animals only), the Monastary, and down the Little Siq until we got tired of "bouldering" over pools of water. The surreal award goes to the bagpiper in front of the Treasury (for once the local Bedouins got to be tourists).

We abosolutely loved Petra. We're sorry but the photos hardly do the place justice.

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Al Siq, the 1.2 km long entrance gorge to Petra

Our first peak of the Treasury

The Treasury (200 b.c) - its all carved from the rock!

This is not a posed photo

The Urn Tomb

The Silk tomb shows Petra's magical colors

The Treasury from above at sunrise

The Theater, also completely carved from rock, seats 7000

Gorgeous colors everywhere

Lisa relaxes at the High Place of Sacrifice

Bedouin friends

Just plain weird

Beautiful mosaics on Byzatine church floor (all rock tiles)

The Monastary, awe inspiring in its size

Overlooking Petra

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