I feel like Indiana Jones
Trip Start Jan 17, 2007
75Trip End Aug 29, 2007
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On our way down we visited several famous sites: Mount Nebo (where Moses died) and we looked across to the Dead Sea, to Madaba (where there is a huge mosaic in a church with an ancient map of the Middle East...apparently it is the world's oldest mosaic map...then we went into a man's shop and he explained the whole process to us...), to Wadi Mujib reserve and looked at a huge gorge and valley, then to Karak Castle and had some lunch (and I got an Arabic keyboard), then to Dana Reserve (another national park) and finally to Shobak, where we had some tea (bad idea) with a Bedouin man, who invited us to come back later and camp with him...I practiced a lot of Arabic!
We arrived in Petra in the evening and prepared ourselves to wake up nice and early the next morning...We also watched Indiana Jones 3 to prepare..
We got up at and arrived at Petra at 7 am...it was great because there were viryually no tourists!
We wandered down the Siq and first saw the treasury...it was very impressive!
2 things to warn you about for Petra:
1) It is exhorbantly expensive to get in...there used to be student discounts but they did away with that...now it is 21 Dinar for one day (26 for two and 31 for three) which equates to 25 Euros or so and 37 $ CDN or so...(and god knows where the money goes)
2) Be prepared to be harassed for camel/donkey/horse rides, jewelry, tacky souvenirs...and which if purchased, you will be ridiculously overcharged (and they also don't treat the animals very well, as one horse was pulling a carriage and fell down and was bleeding and it's owners decided to make it pull some more tourists up to the front before getting medical attention and the horse was being used again the second day!)..I eventually became so annoyed that I couldn't even be polite anymore...I learned how to say 'a camel ate my mother' in Arabic and that shut them up!
So to set the record straight, yes Petra is cool and if you are in this part of the world, you may as well spring for it...but if you're greatly looking forward to it, you could be disappointed...
Really though it is nice!