Jordan Series – Petra The Lost City

The desert is getting cold

It is the final day in Wadi Rum. A place where I got smitten, I got enchanted, I got spellbound by the place of beauty and greatness.  However, all the good things to be fully enjoyed has to come and pass. Especially, if you want to have the longing for the place after you leave.  Thus we packed our manta into the sacks, got it on our caravan and set off to the edge of the desert – to the Wadi Rum village. Were the kind locals took care of our carriage.
With a happy heart and a sad mind, we had to leave this beautiful place.  We drove through the Kings Highway – the most scenic road in Jordan. To find the lost city of Petra. Fabled to be beautified by the ancient people of Nabatean.

The lore of Petra

It appears that a nomadic tribe known as the Nabateans began migrating gradually from Arabia during the sixth century BCE.  Over time, they abandoned their nomadic ways and settled in a number of places in southern Jordan, the Naqab desert in Palestine, and in northern Arabia.  Although Petra was inhabited by the Edomites before the arrival of the Nabateans, the latter carved grandiose buildings, temples, and tombs out of solid sandstone rock. They also constructed a wall to fortify the city, although Petra was almost naturally defended by the surrounding sandstone mountains.
Building an empire in the arid desert also forced the Nabateans to excel in water conservation. They were highly skilled water engineers and irrigated their land with an extensive system of dams, canals, and reservoirs.
The buildings in the stones where so intricately carved so magically that all the cultures that came after the Nabateans decided to keep the city for themselves and build their own pieces into it.  Creating a spectacular sight, with engineering marvels and artistic beauty.
However,  Petra’s importance declined as sea trade routes emerged, and after a 363 earthquake destroyed many structures. The Byzantine Era witnessed the construction of several Christian churches, but the city continued to decline.  The city that used to house tens of thousands of people became a city hidden in the heart of the mountains and known only to the living nomad tribes of Bedouin.  It remained unknown to the world until it was rediscovered in 1812 by Johann Ludwig Burckhardt by share luck.  Once again became the center of the world, the marvel of architecture and the mystery of the world that is still now.

The destined meeting

When we reached Petra we stayed in Little Petra with a 17th son whose father was the first to accept travelers into his cave.  Our host moved out of the cave for a simple reason – a wife from the city. But on a regular basis, he still goes to his cave to spent time away from the noise and the twisted minds of the people.
After resting for a while and having tea with the host we took off to visit Petra. Before we left the host showed us a special trail to follow for the best view on the first day.
As in any place, you might notice some scams going on. The locals offer you a free ride which “is included in the ticket” for the whole 10M. After which they ask you to pay money to continue the ride.  And even if you pay to have a horse ride it is not worth it. Simple because you have a 1.2km of a beautiful hike through the gorge that opens up to the most beautiful view – the treasury.
Even the amount of people that were there were not an issue. The marvel is simply out of this world.
The walk through the lane of the history of many many cultures leaves you wondering about the meaning of life.  As all the magnificent spots and expeditions there has to be something strange happening.
While we were trekking through the secret trail to the top of the mountain we have met 2 local Bedouins living at the top of the mountain.
  
Who shared with us some tea, lunch and a few words of wisdom. Which led us to some deep thoughts of over own.
We were so entranced in the thoughts and the secrets of life that the Bedouins shared.  Which I will share in the separate entree!

The way back

Once we came back from our thoughts we were already on the way out and off to eat the best kebab and shawarma on the whole trip.
Followed by an uneventful ride home to sleep.

Author

Simonas Radkevicius – https://www.instagram.com/sim_rad/

Photographers

Arune Meistaite – https://www.instagram.com/arunemei/

Simonas Radkevicius – https://www.instagram.com/sim_rad/

P.s. Pictures are all originals. If you would like to copy or use them you have to get permission from the authors.

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    Petra, which lies south of Jordan ’s capital Amman on the edge of the mountain clad desert of Wadi Araba, was at the crossroads of the main tradeThe ancient rock city of Petra is thought to have been first established around the h century B.C, by a nomadic Arab tribe known as the Nabataeans.

    • Yes you are right. However, they were not the first people to live in the region. But they were the first to carve the mountains!

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