Dan Israel (2003)

To get to the ancient site at Petra, you have to walk about a mile down a path, to the old dam, which takes you into the Siq, which is a very tight canyon leading through the mountains. As you walk along this path, you occasionally see bits of the original road, as well as the cisterns and pipes used to transport water to the city. It was hot, so the occasional shade was welcome, and as we got closer towards the city, it started to look a lot more like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Finally, we saw the Treasury building. It was very cool looking, and VERY big. Petra is a Nabatean city, so it tied into what we learned at Avdat rather nicely. Almost all of the structures are carved into the rock of the mountains. It’s very big, very cool, and very empty. Tourism has been low, what with the war in Iraq, and so the Bedouins (who rely on tourists buying their trinkets) were relentless with their insistance that we buy stuff from them. It was actually kinda sad, so see them selling colorful rocks that I just could have easily picked up off the ground if I wandered a little. I even found a nice piece of pottery, which I collected as a souvenier.

After walking around for a while, and seeing the various ruins, we headed on back to the taxi. We then had lunch at a restaurant, with the traditional meal of chicken, lamb, and other tasty foods. (And pita, and various dips, of course.) Then we got into the taxi, and started the drive back to Akabah – via the high road.