Sunday, June 26, 2011

Day 31 Aqaba, Jordan (Petra)

Don't steal any rocks or sand!

On the way there, what a view.

Me holding up the walls of the Siq

First glimpse of Treasury

Treasury, wow!

Katie and Dan climbing rocks and caves
Ah Petra, it is all you imagine and a whole lot more, I cannot do
justice to it with my ramblings as I'm sure I won't be able to do with
the rest of the ports either, so shall post a few pics and describe what
we did.
As mentioned earlier we were on a 'special' bus, in the letter we got
about it, it stated we could take friends or family on the same bus if
we wanted, so we asked Dan (a friend of Katie's) and the married couple
he is travelling with, Dale and Margaret to join us, the more the
merrier. When we went to get the other 3 their stickers the same as
ours, an older lady got quite loud and angry because she thought we were
pushing in and something else, but the tour lady assisting us was really
good and explained to her what was happening but she didn't care to
listen, so apart from that early weirdness the rest of the day was very
pleasant (each bus group is given a sticker to wear so your guide can
easily keep everyone accounted for). Some-times I think the older folks
on this ship need to realise everyone including the younger folks all
paid for their tickets, there are no free trips given out. (but if there
are I would like one next time!)
The trip to Petra was a 2 hour bus ride but between the guide keeping us
informed and the amazing barren landscape the time went quickly enough.
Due to the ship now arriving 2 hours later than first planned we stopped
at a beautiful hotel in Petra for lunch before venturing into the lost
city. And yes lunch was very yummy as usual :)
It was only a 5 minute walk down (please note all the way into Petra is all the way back is up hill) to the entrance gate. The day
was sunny, no clouds, not too humid and the odd breeze, but the sun
could get quite hot, so shady bits were much appreciated. Once at the
entrance gate there are choices of horses, donkeys and carriages for 2
that take you to the Siq, which is the narrow winding canyon into Petra
itself. And when I write Petra I do mean the ruins not Petra itself. The
walk down has one side for people walking and a separate bit for the
horses and such. The walk down took about 30 mins with a stop or two at
different points of interest. We then entered the Siq which can be quite
narrow at times and only the carriages are allowed in there, which made
it quite squeezy sometimes! The walk through the Siq was another 30 or
so mins, again with stops. The end of the Siq is quite narrow and your
first view of the Treasury is just a small magical glimpse. Once inside
the ruins it is quite gob smacking. The whole area is huge and we only
managed to see a small amount, a full day or two is needed to fully
appreciate it. Throughout the city are locals with stands that sell
water and trinkets and food, with the water a much needed commodity!
There are also camels to take you about, but we just used our legs. If
you have a bucket list put Petra and Jordan on it as the people are
friendly and the sites are amazing.
After wandering about for a few hours we had to return to the bus and
now you realise how nice and easy it is to walk in downhill! We had a
rest in the shade at The Treasury and a big drink of water before
leaving and venturing back into the Siq, through there I just kept
thinking that it can't be that bad cause there are people with walking
sticks doing it, so "buck up princess" and get moving. We managed to get
through the Siq without a stop but I do know many folks stopped every
100 metres or so and had a rest. Trouble was I was with younger friends
and didn't want to be the weakest link......Once out of the Siq we again
found some shade and had a rest leaning on some rocks near where a lot
of horses were along with the men asking , "do you need a horse?". Now
if I liked horses more I may have been tempted. But we were on the home
straight and after another 20 mins we could see the entrance gate, so
another well earned sit, a drink of water and off we trudged to the bus.
Katie and Dan may have been able to do it without the stops but
Margaret, Dale and I were happy to rest, then again Katie and Dan sat
and drank each time too!
The 2 hour trip back was lovely as we got to see the sights on the other
side of the road, really breathtaking, quite alien at times. When we got
back to the ship, Katie went for a spa, I grabbed a bread roll from the
HC, came back and had a shower and then sat on the balcony for a while
before we both had an early night.
I was expecting sore muscles today, but all that stair walking in the
last month must have done some good. I must be getting fitter, from
doing no excercise to some excercise...... But all the yummy food
counteracts any chance of weight loss :)


  1. Helen here, I agree with you both. I might post some more pics or maybe you can check out other blogs for a different perspective. I need to get copies of Dan's pics, cause he took more than us.

  2. Brings back memories for me of the time we spent in Israel and the Sinai Desert, unfortunately we did not get to Petra, but it is on our bucket list. Looks like a great day Helen :)