Like most people, Petra was the reason we initially wanted to visit Jordan. The rose-coloured city that was built by the Nabateans some thousands of years ago is undoubtedly Jordan’s most iconic sight. Petra covers a large area and you could spend weeks exploring the city. Because of our setback in Dana, we had one less day in Petra than we had initially planned. It meant we had less time to explore and hike all the different trails but we were able to cover the most significant sites.
We woke up before sunrise to be one of the first to enter the city. From the Visitor’s Centre, we walked through the valley which took us to the Siq, a long and narrow canyon that leads to the entrance of Petra. As we approached the end of the Siq, Petra’s most famous site, the Treasury (Al-Khazneh) is revealed. Carved out of sandstone, this structure was a mausoleum and crypt for one of the Nabatean kings.
From the Treasury, we walked down the Colonnaded Street, passing the Theatre, Royal Tombs and the hike up to the High Place of Sacrifice. At the end of the street, we had reached the beginning of the hike up to the Monastery (Ad-Deir). It would take 850 steps to reach the monument. Like the Treasury, the facade is carved out of sandstone and only when we were there could we appreciate how large the structure was. We were able to find a quiet spot away from the crowds with an incredible view of the Monastery. At this point we realised we still had a two hour hike to the main gates, so we made our way back as the sun started to set.