The Siq

We woke early for our 7:10 pickup to Petra. Crossed the Jordanian border with the pink Care Bear on my back, I dispelled the strange glances by stroking my lush beard. Driving across the Jordanian desert, we gawked at Bedouins and the Lawrence of Arabia-esque landscape. Petra was relatively cooler, perhaps only 40C due to the altitude. It apparently snows in the winter, but no sign of that now. We walked down the narrow Siq, the natural canyon entrance to the city. The way is lined by small altars in niches, and a statue of a caravan that serves as a directional road sign. The architecture is Roman-influence, but uniquely Arab. The whole thing has the same “lost city” feel that Tikal had, although in the desert and not the jungle.


The Treasury

The ingenuity put into defense from enemies and nature was incredible. When the Jordanians built dams to protect the site from periodic floods, they found Nabatean dams in the same spots the modern engineers chose. Also, because the facades are carved from a solid rock face, they have to go from top to bottom. Clear planning must have occured to have a unified architecture. The walk uphill to the parking lot was rather sweaty, but at least we didn’t become the ugly Americans by hiring a horse drawn cart to haul us home. We slept on the bus ride back, and took an exhausted swim in the Red Sea. We had burgers at a British pub for dinner. It wasn’t good, but at least it wasn’t falafel.