A Day in Petra, The Rose-Red City
What I like the most from staying at Cleopetra Hotel was their excellent Jordanian home-made meals that they offered to their guests for the dinner. Every guest was just required to pay around 6 JD, and we could enjoy the food as much as we could, served and prepared by excellent family chef in the hotel. In addition, the hotel also provided shuttle services for all guest to go and return from the most famous archaeological sites in Jordan, Petra.
So, the next day, after having simple breakfast, Ahmad, the reception arranged my transport to Petra with two Italian ladies, Nathalie and Daniella. The driver dropped us at the gate of entrance where we could buy our ticket there, it costed us 50 JD for one day entry ticket. So, if you plan to explore the beauty of Petra in two days, instead of buying one day ticket, you could buy two days ticket that just costed you around 60 JD only.
I said good bye to Nathalie and Daniella at the gate. They would walk quickly since they had intention to climb up to Monastery, meanwhile I preferred enjoying my slowly walking trips in order to snap pictures as much as I could.
Before reaching the entrance, I was stopped by many Bedouin men, offered me their services, or their horse services to explore the sites. One man, succeeded approaching me at the beginning, convinced me that I would feel as Indiana Jones as I followed his advise and of course using his horse to explore the site., told me that I would get the most spectacular photos if I follow his routes. So, I said Yes, and I changed my mind five minutes later when I realized he brought me to different routes which are exactly different with routes offered by the local authority. The worst part, the routes were steep and rocky, which were impossible for me to climb up. I am not the rock climber. Hello.
When I complained why we didn’t pass the famous Siq road, he confessed that he would not be allowed to come inside since he didn’t have legal permit. I immediately cancel our agreement. The man looked disappointed, especially since he already allowed me to have photo with his horse. However, he refused when I wanted to give him some money, but not mind when I gave some JDs to his horse.
“That’s too bad. You would not be Indiana Jones for a day. This is chance in a lifetime” He told me with disappointed look.
Yeah. but I prefer to stay alive, mister than taking the risk fell down from the steep ricks. I love myself more than being Indonesian Indiana Jones.
Petra, is also known as the capital of the Nabatean Arabs, and in the same time It’s one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. It’s situated 240 km south of Amman, the capital of Jordan, Petra becomes the greatest tourist attraction within the country that also visited by people coming from all over the world. There is no specific date when Petra was constructed at the very first time, but it began to prosper as the capital of Nabatean from 1 Century BC which was famous with its trade, myrrh and spices. Later, Petra was added to the Roman Empire until earthquake destroyed most of the city caused the abandoning of the city. In the middle of 7th century, Petra was largely deserted and then it was lost to all except Local Bedouin, until 19818 when a Swiss explorer discovered the city. Petra is also known as the Rose-Red city due due its wonderful color of rocks through the rock formations.
So, I left him and follow people towards the Siq, a natural sandstone gorge that winds towards the ancient city of Petra with the length over two kilometers until it reaches the spectacular Treasury. the rocks are huge, gave me weird sensation while I was walking between them. And vehicles are not allowed to enter, except the horse carts that are having permit from local authority. If you notice carefully, there will be two water channels, similar to clay pipes that carried water to the city from the springs. I couldn’t help myself how people could manage their city so well and it happened thousand years ago.
After two kilometers walking, I found the most spectacular view of Treasury from the Siq. it was like entering the other world after walking long through the narrow street of Siq. Treasury or also known as Al Khazneh or mausoleum.
I continued my walks, passed the ancient tombs and the Streets of facade. the design style was said to be Assyrian, based on the similarity of tombs of Mesopotamian architectures in 7 to 6 BC. it indicated how Natabeans got many influences in their architecture from Assyrian, Hellenistic and Roman. In addition, I could find many street vendors along the way and bought one of sand painting in the bottles as present for myself.
I kept walking. My purposed was to climb up to monastery. While I was getting closed to the steps brought visitors to the peak of the mountains, many Bedouin men came to close to offer me to rent their donkeys to get me up there. They said, if I walk, it would take two hours climbing. By riding the donkeys, it just takes 30 minutes only. I was not sure that the donkeys would nice enough to me since I had no experience riding animals in my entire life. So, i decided to climb with my own feet. And voila, after climbing like 3o minutes, i suddenly remember that I have phobia with heights. In addition, the wind became stronger and it made me difficult to stay balanced. Not willing to take the risk, i decided to step down, and changed my mind to go to monastery.
I was hungry like a hell. Luckily, there was restaurant located in the middle of Petra, offering buffet menu for their guests. The food was okay, and it was a bit pricy. After lunch, I walked back to the entrance gate, and I almost couldn’t feel my feet due to tiredness. There was nothing than I wanted to do than arriving to my hotel as soon as I could.