Slice of a glorious past
Photo essay: A day in historic Petra, Jordan
by Flying Solo 14-Apr-2010
Nestled in the mountainous region of Jordan, in some distant place between Amman and Aqaba, is a treasure of the ancient world – a quiet city save for the clink clonk of horse, donkey and camel hooves. Carved out of rose colored rock, you find Petra, the legacy of the Nabataeans, an industrious Arab people who settled in southern Jordan more than 2000 years ago. My guide book stated that Petra will (not would) captivate even the most hardened traveler. Thus I was motivated to travel clear across the world to pay homage. The long trip was well worth it for the mysterious charm of Petra most certainly melted my heart. From Sharm El Sheikh, which is a sleepy town at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, it is a 4 hour bus ride to Taba. From there I was transported across the Red Sea in a catamaran to Aqaba; another sleepy touristy town in Jordan. The journey from Aqaba to Petra took 2.5 hours through arid and verdant land with Bedouin communities dotted everywhere. I had a lot of hours to ponder on what I was about to experience. Yet I was unprepared for what presented itself to me as I took my first few steps into a slice of a glorious past. I had three hours to explore the city - not enough time. But it was a most soulful journey taken by foot, heart in hand, with eyes wide open looking and finding what I’d longed for, for so very long. Petra is now a world heritage site and one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. The purpose of this photo essay is not to present the wonder of Petra for that task is well beyond my ability. My intent is to simply take you by the hand and share with you what I saw. I came back from Petra a different person – humbled, awestruck, and certainly quieter about what this world of ours is really all about.