Hunting for Wonders: Petra

Who I am
Martí Micolau

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Petra? the dream of a lifetime, one of the 7 Wonders of the World, a unique and extraordinary place where architecture and nature become one.
We finally manage to find 3 free days and immediately take the opportunity to fly to Jordan, to discover this fascinating land rich in history, culture and energy.

1 day

October 2: We arrive in Amman at 9.30 in the morning, our driver Hamdi is already there? waiting at the airport and accompany us? for the duration of our adventure.
We then leave immediately towards the first destination, the Dead Sea.
Arrived at the Ramada Resort by Wyndham we immediately put on the swimsuit and we are ready to go to the beach; first we decide to take a nice swim in the sea, our guide recommends us not to wet our eyes at all: the high quantity? of salt in the water can be really annoying and painful if it comes into contact with the eyes!
Bathing in the Dead Sea? a very strange feeling ... the water pushes you up and makes you float,? practically impossible to swim! On the other hand, we relax by staying afloat on the surface while we comfortably read the newspaper ?

This resort? ? also famous for its mud, cos? we begin to spread the mud on our face and body until it becomes unrecognizable, we walk a bit along the seafront while we wait for the mud to dry and then back into the water to clean ourselves ... fantastic!
Before leaving the beach our driver explains to us that where are we from? It is also possible to see Israel, and indeed it seems very close.
We return to the hotel to cleanse ourselves of the salt and have lunch and then resume our journey to Petra, about 3 hours by car await us.
Along the way we look curiously at the landscape around us and we get to know our companion, a kind and sociable man who loves his country and talks about it with passion. The panorama varies from the coast to the small villages of the hinterland, from the desert to the mountains and strange encounters with the local fauna are not rare, such as the camel which with its tranquility? we cross the road or the little goats that come up to greet us.
Shortly before reaching Petra we stop for a coffee? in a beautiful panoramic point along the road and admire the enchanted landscape.

We arrive in Petra in the late afternoon, relax a bit in the hotel and go down to the restaurant for dinner. We stay at the Edom Hotel, a welcoming and comfortable hotel, a stone's throw from the entrance to Petra. The buffet ? very abundant and offers a variety? of traditional oriental dishes, but the thing that fascinates us most? ? the location ... this evening we will have dinner in a cave!
Now we are ready to go to the discovery of Petra by Night.
See Petra? the dream of a lifetime and many times we have fantasized about being here, but the emotions and sensations you experience live far exceed the imagination!
We walk along the avenue that leads to the Treasury of Petra in the darkness of the night: around us we have only the rocky walls of the canyon that overlook the path and the only lights to illuminate the path are those of the moon, the stars and some candles at the sides of the road ... we have the feeling of having entered another dimension, in another time.
Do we feel like we have walked for an eternity? in the silence of the night, broken only by our footsteps and those of the other visitors, when suddenly we reach the end of the gorge and the Treasury of Petra shows itself before us in all its splendor!

The darkness of the night, the moonlight and the delicate light of the candles that surround the Treasury illuminated by purple, green, white and orange shades make it fascinating and mysterious ... we are in front of one of the Wonders of the World and really there ? better way to describe this place than "Wonder"!

2 day

October 3: We are on our second day in Jordan and today we dedicate the whole day to visit Petra.
We wake up early to have breakfast and, full of energy, we set out. Do we already know the first stretch? why? also last night we arrived at the Treasury, but do the same route at night and during the day? completely different, and also the moment in which the Siq (ie the long canyon) reveals the Treasure to us has a completely different effect!

The square in front of the Treasury today? very lively, many tourists, many camels, donkeys and merchants ... we begin to climb among the rocks why? we want to see the Treasury of Petra from above. The path does not? difficult but? all uphill and there are also many steps to climb: we pass in front of the Royal Tombs and continue upwards for another half hour; tried enough we finally manage to get to the top ... the view of the Treasury from above repays us for all the effort!

After having rested and refreshed we continue our journey, this time towards the Monastery. The downhill ? definitely more? easy and less tiring but the heat begins to be felt, cos? the bottle of water and the hat become our best friends!
To go up to the top of the Monastery we have to do a few hundred steps, so? we decide to be accompanied by a mule.
The panorama that is offered in front of us at the top of the Monastery? truly spectacular!

This monument was built by the Nabataeans between the nd and st centuries BC as a tomb for King Obodas I, but the origin of its name is due to the many Byzantine crosses found inside.
Enjoying this wonderful panorama, we drink a nice mint lemonade and have lunch. ? it's time to go back to the hotel, our driver is waiting for us at 17 pm to return to Amman and, dead tired but satisfied with this beautiful day, we sleep all the way!

Once in Amman, Hamdi takes us to a typical restaurant to let us taste the local cuisine (you eat with your hands!) And finally makes us try the best Kanafeh in the country, a traditional dessert made with kadaif dough, cream cheese and syrup rose water sugar.

Tonight we stay at the Art Hotel Downtown, a very young, clean and comfortable 3-star hotel in the center of Amman.

3 day

October 4: Today we start this day with the Temple of Hercules: built around 162-166 AD the temple? formed by six columns of the height of 10 meters and inside there? a hand in stone, it is said that it belonged to a statue of Hercules 12 meters high! We have fun taking pictures among the ancient ruins and enjoying the beautiful panoramic view over the city? of Amman.
We then continue towards Jerash, an ancient city? Romana about 30km from Amman which developed? from 64 BC (thanks to consul Pompeo) until 747 AD when a violent earthquake devastated? the city? definitively marking its decline.
Strolling along the colonnaded street that reaches the oval forum, we cannot help but think about how this city could have been? 2000 years ago, when these same stones were trampled by the Nabataeans and the Ancient Romans ... we are literally walking on history!

Do we then pass in front of the Temple of Jupiter and the Arch of Hadrian and finish this way? our visit to Jerash, just long enough to buy one last souvenir and we are ready to go to the airport ... our flight awaits us at 18:00.

TIP: If you have more? time at your disposal we suggest you to spend a night in a tent in Wadi Rum, the famous red desert of Jordan also used as a set for many adventure and science fiction films, including Star Wars.

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