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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day 17, Monday - Amman & Petra

Imagine wandering between rose colored rocks towering over you, stretching towards the perfectly blue sky and you will begin to picture my day today. This was day one of my three day-trips which will take me out of Amman to some of the greatest sites in the country, beginning with Petra. Petra has been called the 8th Wonder of the (Old) World and has made it on the list for the 7 Wonders of the New World, all for good reason. The labyrinth of carved stone makes you feel as if you have stepped into another world. 

Indian Jones, anybody? Fun fact: my driver today helped with that movie. Also, he met and drove around Megan Fox for "Transformers"
If you ever go to Petra (and I highly recommend that you do), I have a few tips. First, wear good walking shoes (keep in mind that you will be walking across stone and sand). Petra is big, very big, and if you want to see what I think are the coolest parts, you will have to do a bit of climbing. For example:

Second, bring (or buy, there are plenty of little stores) water. As I mentioned before, it has been unseasonably hot, but if it is at all warm when you visit, water is an absolute must.  I also brought my own snack, but again, there are plenty of little shops where you can buy something if you would like. 

There also appeared to be a few nice restaurants, so if you want to make a day of it, you can take a break at some point and have a nice meal. 

There are also plenty of people selling souvenirs: hats, scarves, jewelry, postcards, pottery, etc. They are not shy about asking you if you want to buy something, but I found that if I simply said “No thank you” they usually didn’t push. I always responded to the sellers in Arabic, which got a good percentage of people to ask me if I spoke Arabic and ask where I was from. 

Generally these questions came from the guys trying to sell horse/camel/donkey rides. You can take one of these animals from one major stop to another if you wish. Technically the price is included in the entrance fee, but a tip is required. I took one horse at the beginning just for fun (though that was before I knew I could take a camel). Horses and camels seemed to go along the main road, while donkeys are for climbing up to the sites in the hills.
I think my horse's name was Sara

Petra has so many things to see and even after spending several hours there and walking across several hills, there was plenty that I didn’t get to.

My shoes after the day in Petra

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