|A fantastic day for both of us. Yesterday, we were before the world-renowned “Treasury” in Petra.
It was a trying day, a walk beyond the difficulty of any walk I’ve ever experienced. It was a full three hours of rough, rocky, uneven terrain, downhill on the way to Petra and strenuous uphill on the return.
|This bus fleet was waiting as our ship approached the pier in Aqaba, Jordan. Yeah, the cattle herding thing… but we said “moo” with a smile this time.
We were enchanted by the history and beauty of this two-thousand-year-old ingeniously built gift to the world and were proud of ourselves for making the arduous trek.
|Water was found in this area, resulting in this fertile green farmland. Enough water was discovered to supply Jordan for the next 60 years.
Leaving at 9:45 in the morning, we were herded to about 40 awaiting air-conditioned buses with a modicum of chaos, finding ourselves good seats in the front of the bus. No security guard was needed on these buses.
|The black goat’s hair Bedouin tents are shown in the back. The white structure appears to cover some type of equipment, protecting it from the elements.
Much to our surprise, we discovered that Jordan is now a peaceful country, its citizens warm and friendly, and its streets clean, although poverty prevails. We did not feel or sense any unrest, as we had in Cairo and Alexandria, Egypt.
|As we entered the area of Petra, the winding hilly roads were scattered with hotels, resorts, and restaurants to accommodate the endless flock of tourists from all over the world that also want to check Petra off of their “bucket list.”
On the two-hour drive, our tour guide pointed out that the borders of Israel and Jordan were a few miles from us. Also, the port to which we’d arrived is used by Iraq, which results in their using Jordan’s port for all their significant imports.
|The rock formations along the way were breathtaking. Little did we know what lay ahead. (Due to the poor internet connection today while out to see, photos will be posted in varying sizes).
Again, as we had assumed that oil is produced in Jordan, we discovered our preconceived notions were wrong. Jordan pays exorbitant prices to buy oil from Saudi Arabia, as does much of the world.
|The further we walked, the more interesting the carved stone was.
The long drive to Petra was broken up by the occasional sighting of the black goat’s hair, Bedouin tents scattered throughout the barren desert, a flock of goats and sheep crossing the road, and an occasional herd of camels, donkeys, and horses.
|When we approached this area, we thought we were there. We did not realize we had much more to walk to reach the Treasury.
|Entrances to caves were everywhere.
|It’s hard to believe the two-thousand-year-old craftsmanship.
|The passageways became narrower and narrower as we continued along.
|The raw beauty f nature, coupled with artistic skills, made the walk exciting, moment by moment.
|Tom carried our heavy bag with water and supplies for the entire three hours of our journey.
|Horses, donkeys, and wagons transported weary tourists to and from the Treasury.
|We expected the Treasury to appear at each end of the long walk through yet another narrow passageway.
|Hard to believe the feasts our eyes beheld.
|Looking up is more of nature’s wonders; we were enthralled.
|Man and nature’s wonder combined was awe-inspiring.
|At last! The Treasury! This sight made us gasp with our hearts pounding wildly, less from the walk, more from sheer joy!
Part 2 of our fantastic expedition will continue tomorrow. With a poor Internet connection while out to sea, posting these photos has taken over an hour of online time. We’ll try to post some links about the history of Petra as well, but we’re having difficulty bringing up web pages.
|And then, slightly more…