Live at Red Rocks (Under a Blood Red Sky)
Trip Start Dec 15, 2009
92Trip End Aug 27, 2010
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Our arrival in Karak rather coincided with lunchtime, but we opted for sightseeing over sustenance and made our way to the entrance. Karak is a walled city more famously known for its ancient crusader castle than the city itself. The castle is quite vast, fairly well preserved, and sits perched on a rocky outcrop above the city, presumably unassailable by design
Upon arrival in Petra we decided to abandon our plans for “Petra by Night” or the two day ticket in favour of seeing the sunset over Petra, a leisurely dinner and watching the Brazil-Chile game in a bar known as “The Cave”. An apt name for a bar literally located inside a 3000 year old Nabataean-created cave.
With much to see and do before our return taxi to Madaba, we arrived at the gate eager to see the wonders of Petra. The day started badly when we discovered that we weren’t allowed to buy the 21JD entrance ticket, but had to buy a 33JD combination ticket which included a horse ride from the gate to the Siq, a group guide and some other equally unwanted “features”
The siq is the name given to the long (1.2km) narrow winding crevasse through the rocks which opens out to the spectacular Treasury – the most famous of Petra’s sights; and we weren’t to be disappointed. Emerging from the relative darkness of the siq, the Treasury sits basking in the early morning sunlight, an enormous tomb carved into the sandstone rock, and so named because locals falsely believed that an Egyptian pharaoh had hidden his treasures inside.
From the Treasury we made our way through the street of fascades, past the theatre and the royal tombs, along the street of colonnades, up the long and winding trail and steps to the second most impressive sight at Petra, the Monastery, another massive tomb carved into the rock that was possibly used as a church in the Byzantine period. The trek to the monastery is no mean feat in the heat of a Jordanian summer and despite a few grumbles along the way and while taking on no less than eight litres of chilled water the kids can rightfully feel very proud of their accomplishment ;-)
An unavoidable and amusing experience during any trip to Petra is the incessant attention of the numerous Bedouin touts, most of them youths at best
We have to note that, despite the heat, Petra is high up there on our favourites list. It is simply too mysterious, unique, beautiful, rewarding and memorable to relegate to the lower leagues.
The return trek was almost as arduous given our time constraints and the increasing heat, however we made it back to our patiently waiting taxi driver on time and set off on the return to Madaba. It’s been a whirlwind tour of Jordan with a few ups and downs (courtesy of the England football team), but it was well worth the detour…next stop the UK where things are expected to be a little less hectic…..