Historical Sightseeing

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May, 2016

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…half as old as time itself.
I can honestly say that, of all the many places I have visited in my life, Petra was the most magical. I had seen photos, heard of other people’s experiences, seen the iconic scene in Indiana Jones movie, and my expectations were high – but at the same time, as has happened to me so often in the past, I somehow didn’t really expect these expectations to be met.

We arrived at the car park at the top end of the ravine to be met with the sight of many poor donkeys and ponies, clearly suffering in the heat, waiting to take tourists through to the site. Whilst we too were suffering from the heat, we decided to walk the mile or so through the gorge as we didn’t wish to add to the animals’ exploitation. It was actually quite pleasant as we were out of the sun, and our guide pointed out the many interesting features along the way. At every bend in the gorge – called the Siq – we held our breath in anticipation of seeing the city, but our walk continued on. Eventually, our guide pointed out some interesting formation in the rocks above us and, as we were gazing upwards, instructed us to turn around – and there it was. The Treasury of Petra, the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, totally living up to all those expectations. I have to say that my emotions overtook me as my skin prickled with goosebumps and my eyes filled with tears at the sheer majesty of the structure. Even as I am writing this several years later, I can still feel that wonder and emotion.

There is obviously a lot more to see on the site of this magical centuries-old city, but nothing to beat that amazing first glimpse. Visit it if you can!


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