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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Petra

The Big One - truly amazing, I actually think that in over 20 years of travelling, this could possibly rate as the single most amazing sight I have ever seen. Or to be more precise, group of sights. And maybe that is the key to Petra, it is in fact so much more that the Treasury - that edifice cut out of bare rock that reveals itself to you at the end of a narrow canyon. The Treasury is what you come for and doesn't dissapoint, but what takes you breath away is that fact that the whole site just keeps unfolding and revealing more and more as you walk deeper in. The Royal Tombs, The Street of facades, a colonnaded Roman street, a mosaic floored church, a hilltop monastary. You can really imagine the hustle and bustle of the city in the 1st to 5th Centurys when it was at its peak as a trading centre, you can almost hear carriages on cobblestones. I kept thinking of barter town in mad max as well as Indiana Jones of course. We spent 2 days in the area, enough to wander at leisure. We often had bits of it to ourself. Nat in fact had a total Lara Croft morning and left before breakfast to tackle the monastary. She was first in the park and first to the monastary - even beating the local bedouin shopkeepers and some disgruntled Germans, thats my girl!. In a moment of enlightenment we decided if we were in charge we would introduce an Oyster style animal card which you could by and exchange for use on any of the forms of transport in there which got very confusing as to which sections they travelled and how much it cost. There were camels, donkeys, horses and carriages. I reckon I would turn one of the caves into a Star Wars cantina complete with music and Jim Henson characters too. Yet another movie set you couldnt help thinking of. It was very Tatooiney down there.

Outside of the historical site, we managed Hammams and got scrubbed till several layers of dirty skin came off and also ducked into the 5 star Movenpick for huge ice creams in luxury settings. There was also the cave bar, a novel re-use of a former rock cut tomb which served a nice bloody mary.

Heres the pics - this will be a test of your fandom as theres about 130 and I couldnt bring myself to whittle down further.. Enjoy!

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