Sandstone City in many hues

Trip Start Oct 24, 2010
Trip End Jan 16, 2011

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Where I stayed
Amra Palace Hotel Wadi Musa
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of Jordan  ,
Tuesday, January 4, 2011

We did the same early morning routine the second day. This time we mercifully chose an easier route. After passing through the Sig, the canyon, past the Treasury, and the Wall of Facades, we turned right just after the Roman Theater and climbed up into the Royal Tombs.
The sandstone here is layered with alternating layers of hard material and others of softer sandstone. The builders exploited the condition of the rock, by carving out rooms in the soft material, leaving the hard stone as their ceiling. The tombs themselves were fantastic from the outside. Inside there were empty rooms, some quite large. Many had recessed casket sized cutouts in the walls and often had these in the floors as well. Otherwise, they were empty and without statues or inscriptions. It is amazing that the corners appeared square and had uniform lines along the walls. The stone overall had lots of iron content, which provided the rose color to the canyon. Many of the interior stone walls, however, were beautifully colored. Some of these layers of the sandstone had other minerals which left other tones of light and dark blue, white, grey, pink, and darker red. It appears these colors were in the softer layers. The carvers appeared to be attracted to the most colorful stone to make their rooms. Some of them were quite spectacular. This area is in the shade most of the day. Only late in the afternoon did the sun hit this area. By that time the hordes of tourists had arrived and I was somewhat hesitant to join the throng. Therefore you and I must be content with shaded scenes of their bright hued quarters. 

After touring the Urn Tomb, The Renaissance Tomb, the Palace Tomb and others, we crossed the old riverbed that ran through the city and explored the Roman Colonnaded road. The Roman paver stones were still visible 2000 years after being laid over the original Nabataean street. Along this central street there were once fountains, with water conveyed in clay pipes from the springs above the city. There were workshops and a market along the southern edge of the Cardo Maximus road which led to The Great Temple and the Tenemos Temple and Arch. We visited the Great Temple Complex, which was destroyed over a century ago by earthquakes and has been recently discovered by Brown University. It was a huge complex and stood at the center of Petra. It was dedicated to the God Deshura

We walked back and took a few shots of the Royal tombs as the sun began to hit them. As the crowds of Russians began arriving by bus, we headed back out walking against the flood of humanity that was filling the valley.  By the time we had walked out to the visitor center, we had been on our feet walking for 8 hours.

Here comes day 2.

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Bro Don on

An amazing place, will go on my Bucket List! Get a better sense of the incorporated painted rocks with your photos. Seems to have decent English placards, thanks for including a few. Great benefit in avoiding the tour groups!

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