'Match me such a marvel save in Eastern clime,
A rose-red city half as old as time.'
Those words, and these photos, will have to suffice. There's not much I can say, other than it's a magnificent place, huge. We visited over two days and only saw maybe a third of it, the best being the climb up to the monastery and the ambience at the top.
While I was up there, sitting in the teahouse opposite, two young women entering the monastery were obviously struck by the acoustics inside, and sung Barber's Agnes Dei in two-part harmony. Magical. And the something else afterwards that I didn't recognise in the way of an encore.
Amazing, as that's the second time that's happened in this sort of place. The first was at the Roman amphitheatre at Leptis Magna, Libya, where a young female visitor wandered onto the stage area like all visitors, but decided to sing a complete opera aria then and there. I was lucky enough to be up in the seating at the time. Amazing!
Anyway, the Petra guide leaflet suggests other climbs are even better, but more days are needed.
And, having seen the place, my photos and all the postcards on sale don't do it justice.
For me, a much better impression of the city and its atmosphere is conveyed by the 1839 lithographs by David Roberts, many of which were on sale in the teahouses and are often seen in art shops back home.
The elephant in the room. Wind-carved rock shapes in The Siq, pointing the way to the Treasury.
Inside a Petra room-with-a-view.
On the climb up to The Monastery, a souvenir seller takes a break to make a phonecall.
Inside The Monastery.
P.S. Further confirmation of our rate of progress.
While in Dalyan, south-west Turkey, a young Dutch couple stayed at our campsite. They were hitch-hiking to Egypt, taking almost the same route as us, and using buses where hitching was inadvisable.
Well, firstly, five minutes after our arrival at our hostal at Petra, Bertrand arrived on his bicycle. Followed five minutes later by the afore-mentioned Dutch couple. And what's more they had made the considerable detour to visit Cappadocia in Turkey as well, which we had missed.
So another official statistic - we are travelling more slowly than hitch-hikers right across Turkey, Syria and Jordan.
- I'm just glad that we haven't yet met anyone walking our route....... Or has he/she already overtaken us and is just crossing into Sudan??
Posted by Ken Thomas at December 02, 2009 10:04 AM GMT
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