Monday, December 20, 2010

The Magic of Petra

Feeling well rested after a night of pampering and good meals in our belly, we met our guide,  Jafer,  this morning and drove the three hours south of the city of Amman to the Bedouin community that has inhabited the siq and valley of Petra for the last 1500 years.  Here we visited “Little Petra”, a smaller practice type area that pre-dates the well-known Petra that UNESCO protects.  The carved cliffs are markers for the hidden caves where water is stored, having been channelled from the mountain above.   Then to a wonderful hotel in the Swiss Movenpick chain (seriously, this hotel is HIGHLY recommended with its unbelievable views, 5-star design and service, and pastry chef/staff extraordinaire!  If visiting Jordan, BOOK HERE!)
The afternoon was super.  Off to the site of Petra, dating to pre-Roman and Roman times, and area of many hidden secrets. The Treasury is just one of sights to inspire, with the natural cliffs in shades of red, orange, pink, black, even blue, and like the sand pictures layered by artisans in their bottles of colored sand. We rode horses to the main site (Katie loved that, as she rode her own horse without being led), and we stayed until the sunset played off the colors of the cliffs.  Our van then transported us back to the hotel then on to a Bedouin BBQ that Jafer arranged for us.  Many family groups were out for the evening, with fire grates and food, blankets and candles in tow.  Weekends in Muslim countries are Friday/Saturday, so a Thursday night is a great time to get together with family and friends around a campfire…  lots of laughter, good food and company surrounded by the beauty of the Petra valley.  We were grateful to share this evening not as a tourist, but as welcome guests.

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