Mar 1, 2011

Jordan - Petra

Following Indiana Jones' steps..

We took a bus from Amman to Petra to visit the famous "lost city". Petra is a huge archeological park with countless tombs and temples spread over a basin and different mountains. We spent three days on site, walked and climbed between eight and ten kilometres every day and could not cover it all!! 

Map of Petra, © Wikipedia

About 27 centuries ago, Petra became the capital of the Nabateans, ancient Arab tribes coming from the Arabian Peninsul and settling down on a strategic caravan trade route of this times. The city used to be very prosperous and an artifical oasis thanks to a unique water management system. Petra was annexed to the Roman empire at the beginning of the second century of our era. With its commercial decline, Petra was graduatelly abandonned.

View on the Garden Temple complex

The monuments in Petra blend Greco-Roman, Egyptian, Mesopotamian and local styles and capitalize on the natural geological features of the site: various-colored and strange-looking rocks. Petra starts with an impressive 1.200 metres walk through As-Siq gorge bordered by 80 metres high cliffs which finishes with the fantastic Al-Khazneh (Treasury):


On the way to the Monastery (800 stairs cut into the rock!!)

 Ad-Deir (Monastery)

Inside the Triclinium, in front of the Roman Soldier's Tomb

 The Great Temple

 Beginning of the Street of Façades

 Urn Tomb

In brief, the site is wonderful to discover but the visit is shadowed by the feeling we were considered as cash cows. Petra sight hosts entire families (very young children included) who are dedicated to unload all sorts of souvenirs to the tourists with some discutable selling techniques. Every five to ten minutes, we were shouted at for postcards, camel/donkey/horse rides and so on, sometimes quite agressively! We were whistled at or even insulted when refusing to buy something. So far we only experienced that king of athmosphere in Egypt.


  1. Tres chouettes photos, surtout celle avec le garcon et son ane!

  2. C'est bizarre comme tes commentaires me rappellent le Sénégal dans les méthodes de vente !...

  3. Bem, estou a gostar muito deste vosso diário... no Egipto descobri um método que foi eficaz... ignorar, não respondendo em nenhuma língua aos vendilhões... experimentem...
    Abraço e beijo!

  4. Ora muito bom dia campeao!!! Es um dos primeiros tugas a escrever-nos e por isso muito obrigado!! :)
    Sim, nos sabemos esse truque tambem o fizemos no Egipto so que aqui levam a mal que nao respondas. Assobiam-nos, metem-se a nossa frente ou (o que nunca tinhamos visto: contacto fisico) puxam-nos pelos casacos... Mas enfim, ja passou. O que e pena e que o sitio e fantastico, lindissimo so que nos vamos lembrar desses tristes episodios!
    Abraco maior e tudo de bom ai pra casa! :)