Category Archives: Jordan

Impressive Petra!

Petra, one of the 7 Wonders of the World

Petra in Jordan is impressive – established sometime in the 6th century BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans – they carved the entire city out of the rock. They didn’t build columns – they kept carving the rock until they had columns. Given the back-story, it’s some of the most impressive architecture I’ve seen.  I highly recommend visiting Petra.

The Monastery at Petra, The Monastery of Petra, (aka Ad-Dayr or Ad-Deir in Arabic), in Jordan
The Monastery of Petra, (aka Ad-Dayr or Ad-Deir in Arabic)

Petra was named one of the new seven wonders of the world in 2007; it was  declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985.

The Monastery is massive - Petra, Jordan
The Monastery is massive! Petra, Jordan
at the Siq, the narrow passageway to Al Khazneh ("The Treasury") at the ruins in Jordan
at the Siq, the narrow passageway to Al Khazneh (“The Treasury”)

You may recognize this spot (above photo) in Petra from the film, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The movie’s fictional “Canyon of the Crescent Moon” was modeled on this 250-foot-high (76-meter-high) sandstone slot canyon known as the Siq, which that leads directly to Al Khazneh (the Treasury). Siq pictured above.

in front of Al Khazneh ("The Treasury") in Petra, Jordan
in front of Al Khazneh (“The Treasury”) in Jordan

Established possibly as early as 312 BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans, the site remained unknown to the Western world until 1812. UNESCO has described it as “one of the most precious cultural properties of man’s cultural heritage”.

Jordanians – the most helpful people you’ll meet?

I’ve met great people in every country but Jordan really sticks out for how far the Jordanians went to help us. They were friendly in Indonesia, but Jordanians, random strangers, kept going that extra mile beyond reasonable expectations.  Often they’d tried to help us but most spoke very limited English, so there was certainly some effort on their part.

For example, a waiter actually invited us to stay with him at his home the “next” time we visit. We’ve gone through the conversation multiple times and can’t quite figure out how it came to that, but the invitation was incredibly generous nevertheless.

On that previous driving in the fog adventure story, a guy we met along the way invited us into his house, called someone he knew that spoke marginally better English, to help direct us for this missing road.

Road to Petra – Getting Lost Driving in Jordan

Note: if you have trust issues, particularly with strangers in foreign lands, reading most of this post may not help. Spoiler alert – we lived!  But it was an adventure.

This is the story of our attempts to drive from the Dead Sea to Petra, one of the wonders of the world. We were on a travelers high, having just floated in the Dead Sea, witnessed an amazing Dead Sea sunset, and had a modeling photoshoot. As we drove down the Dead Sea highway, we looked at the rather poorly marked map and noticed that the directions to drive from the Dead Sea to Petra had us driving on a road that wasn’t on our map, which presented some obvious challenges as the sun was going down.  How could that be?

Petra and the Dead Sea might be Jordans two biggest tourist attractions and they’re almost directly across from each other, but all the books and websites said the way to get there is to go back up to Amman and then go down, or go down to Aqaba (the Red Sea), and then back up. That seemed rather inefficient, given how close Petra is to where we were in along the Dead Sea highway, so we decided get in touch with our inner Lewis & Clark and start exploring.