Petra, the Almost Grand Tour.
I stayed the night in Wadi Mousa, so I could be in Petra when they open. Getting in before the tour buses arrive with day-trippers helps me see it they way they show it on the Travel Channel.
Petra opens at 0600. After I had breakfast and checked out of the hotel, it was 0715 before I made it back inside the gate. Even that late, I could tell I was still ahead of the game. Most of the ‘camel ride mister’, ‘you need guide mister’, ‘you want to go to High Place’ people weren’t out for the morning yet. It made for a quiet walk in.
I stopped and got the obligatory selfie in the Indiana Jones gap in front of the Treasury. This time it was sans other people. (It was the only picture I wanted, and represented the whole trip. It just is what it is.)
Okay, I actually took half a dozen. But, who’s counting?
From this point, the rest of the place was new to explore. There was the Street of Facades, the Theater, the Colonnade, the Temples of the Kings, and the Basilica. There was a bunch of other stuff too, but I don’t remember the names.
They say that most tourists don’t go any farther than the Treasury, and then they head back out. That’s sad. There is so much to see that you need to go deep into it and look around. From the Basilica hill you can get good pictures of several things that are too big to do up close. This is especially true of the Great Temple, which is a multi-terraced affair.
I made it almost all the way to the Monastery. I turned back from the heat and steepness of the trail. Sorry Travis, I almost got pictures. That being said, the Middle of the complex rests in an open area between two sandstone formations. It holds the bulk of the stuff to see, and offers the best picture taking. Do yourself the service of at least going in that far.
Mission complete. I made my tour of the Canyon of the Crescent Moon and returned out before the heat of the day really got brutal. (Okay, I know it’s not a crescent moon, but I couldn’t resist the Indian Jones reference,)
Now, to kill 5 hours somehow, until my bus heads north to Amman.
As a side note, you can catch a taxi straight to Petra from the airport. They have it listed with a standard rate on the taxi stand board out front on the arrivals level.
Now, only 3 hours left to kill.
I found a quite spot in the back of the museum that nobody was using for a bit. Only 2 hours to go now.
And … I’m in a bus! There was a little bit of In-Sha-Allah in this last part, but that’s what makes life interesting.
Now, get out there. Do stuff!