6th Wonder of the World

Trip Start Dec 01, 2011
Trip End Jan 20, 2013

Flag of Jordan  ,
Sunday, December 23, 2012

Petra was my 6th wonder of the world that I have seen and Claire finished her journey seeing her final 7th wonder of the world.  I am only missing Christ the Redeemer Statue in Brazil.  I have heard by many that this is the worst of the seven wonders and am not even sure why it made the list.  I have no plans or even want to see it at this point.  About 10 years ago, a website was started to vote on a new 7 wonders of the world.  There is only one remaining original world wonder and all of the rest have been destroyed over time, so they decided to make a new list.  A lot of the wonders are wonders because the countries have such a high population.  Brazil has one, which has a high population; Mexico, India and China also have one.  Jordan is one that really would have been well recognized to make it to this list with such a small population.  

 The biggest shock of Petra was not how big and massive it was, but how expensive it was.  It was a bit of a letdown because of this and the pushy people that worked there.  It was $80 American to get inside.  This is nearly triple the price of any other attraction anywhere else in the world.  We bought our ticket from Jordan to London for nearly $150, so you can quite literally fly for almost the price of admission.  This ticket includes a free map and horse ride from the first entrance to the 2nd entrance.  The horse was more of a donkey and you don’t get to ride it.  You get to go at a slow bumpy pace AND you have to tip the person who guides the horse.  It says in big letters at the entrance free horse ride included.  When I went the guides and they refused to take me, I started licking my chops saying I’m going to get payback now and went straight to the tourist police saying it really is not free and that is false advertisement.  I really have a hard time enjoying traveling when people lie to you.  I just went through all this bull shit in Egypt and had enough.  The tourist police did not help much and he tried to explain tips are expected and it is just like America.  I said most tourist do not tip in America.  In Japan, they will run you down the street and not accept the tip because it is like stealing.  He said if I go to a restaurant that I should also expect to tip.  You do not tip in most of the countries of the world and I was thinking in the back of my mind about asking him where he was going to dinner and I would watch him pay the bill and see what he tips because I was pretty sure he doesn't tip, but just wants money out of the tourists.  That pissed me off a bit, but I jumped on the horse and rode the bumpy road about 800 Meters and both of the guides dropped us off far away from the elevated platform and asked for a tip.  I said “Don’t fart when you have diarrhea.”  I don’t think he thought that was funny, but I didn't think $80 for the price of admission is funny either.  From the 2nd entrance, you walk down a long sandstone corridor/canyon called Siq that is shown in Indiana Jones and it takes about 20 minutes to walk this.  The rock formations are very high (maybe 100ft).  There are not many carvings here, but when you get to the end of Siq, you reach the treasury.  The treasury is the most famous part of the whole complex of Petra.  It was pretty cool.  There are several pillars that are carved into the rock mountain and I have no clue how they did it or how long it took.  It is approximately 150 feet high!  I would like to watch a few videos on this in the future to get the whole story behind Petra.  The story that I got about Petra was that it was built by the Nabetean civilization from 200 BC to 200 AD.  They had a lot of the similar things to Egyptian places like tombs, palaces, treasury, sacrificial alters, monasteries and other stuff.  I recalled a time in the Valley of the King’s in Egypt when I looked into the Egyptian Tombs of the pharaohs.  These tombs were filled with gold and a lot of them were booby traps, so if someone were to ever find the tomb, it may fill up with sand and the discoverer would be buried alive.  I don’t know if there were treasures in Petra, but this is another thing I would like to find out.  A tour guide would have put us way over the limit after spending so much on the entry fee. A few of the other details that stuck out about Petra were; The Treasury is now not accessible to tourists.  You can view it, but not walk on it.  It once had a tunnel that went underneath it and it is also blocked off.  The monastery is huge.  It is almost identical to the treasury, but about a one hour walk from the entrance of the complex.  The color or the monastery and treasury changes throughout the day because of the sunlight shining on it.  The monastery is 800 steps from the bottom of the valley.  There are still ruins being excavated.  If we come back in 50 years, it will be a whole new place.  I think less than 25% of Petra has been excavated.  We got to go off some trails alone where archaeologists were still digging and uncovering the ruins.  Many of the areas are not accessible because they are still being discovered.  There is a theater here that seats nearly 3,000 people that was nice, but nothing compared to the Roman Coliseum.  

 Months ago, me and Claire talked about getting married and decided it was the right thing to do.  I really wanted to buy her a ring and make it special, but we really couldn't afford it after spending so much money on traveling and she said this did not bother her, but she said I do have to ask her properly.  I took a few hints along the way and she said she didn't want it to be in front of a lot of people.  I joked about it with her for ages that I was going to do it in front of a big crowd on Christmas or something, but I was never serious about it.  We did a hike that took about 20 minutes to the top of a mountain that had a sacrificial alter at the top.  It had great views of the canyon and valleys.   I decided since no one was here that this would be a good place to propose.  Minutes before, she warned me that I was on a sacrificial alter and I moved the spot about 20 feet.  I figured this would be a great end to her journey by seeing her 7th wonder of the world and starting a new one with me!  I would say the most important part about this trip is not seeing my 6th wonder of the world, but that I have a future with the girl I love.  It is quite rare that someone will meet a partner that has as much in common as me and Claire.  
We stayed the night in a Bedouin Camp that kind of added to our adventure.  This place is in the middle of the desert, but it gets well below freezing at night.  They even warned us to not go outside to pee because it is so cold.  Once upon a time, the Jordanians/Nabeteans were nomads and set up camps and moved them when needed.  We stayed in this camp for two nights and really had a blast.  Our tent sort of looked like a tee pee with a bed on it, so that was nice to not sleep on the floor.  The owner would go into town when needed to pick up people from the bus station or get supplies from the hotel that they also owned.  Some of the people in the camp would smoke a pipe and some got alcohol, which is pretty much illegal here, but it can be found at some hotels.  It was nearly $10 per bottle of beer, so that was not worth it to me.  There was an area for having an outside fire and also an area for an inside fire that had an eating area.  There were cushions all around the outside of this tent that made it a bit comfy for lounging around on.  We all chatted and told traveling stories until it got really late.  The owner advised us on where to go and found out about a side entrance to Petra that is not open to the public, but he could get me in there.  The 2nd day, i went to this entrance and Claire stayed behind as she wasn't feeling well.  I climbed down the valley through a lot of the back trails and ended up going up a trail that was a 20 minute hike that had an amazing viewpoint of the Treasury.  This was quite a hike as it is uphill the whole way.  I only saw 4 people during this whole hour, so I think that not a whole lot of people know about this.  I can't believe this viewpoint has not been shut down because it must be 200 feet above the ground and there are no rails, so it could be very dangerous to some people.  Smooth rocks do not have traction and can be very slippery.  

 After doing some research on Petra, I found out a bit of information on it.  After it was build into the solid rock, it was taken over by the Romans.  At about 100-200 AD, it basically disappeared and was found by an explorer 1500 years later who was headed to Africa and heard a legend from some Nabeteans about this "Rose City" called Petra.  Petra also means rock in the local language here.  Some of the legend says that the Siq, which is the long corridor that leads to the Treasury was formed by Moses when he used his rod.  I doubt this is true, but some people do believe this.  We were in Amman recently and Mt Nebo is not far from there where they say Moses actually died.  

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