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Old 01-02-2006, 08:44 PM   #1
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Mods: I don't know for the life of me what forum to put this in! So please feel free to move!!

XPosted to Livejournal and emailed to a bunch of people. Fo shizzle.


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Okay, let's face it; the real reason you go to Jordan is to see Petra. There is nothing like it in the entire world and it's one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, it's perfectly preserved and looks much the same now as it did 2,000+ years ago, and the size and majesty of it defies description. The challenge to hike it all the way to the top of the mountain and back is daunting to everyone who attempts it for the first time.



The Siq: The beginning of Petra is mostly open and takes maybe about 15 minutes by foot. After walking through the open area, one comes upon the Siq. The only entrance to the city of Petra, the Siq is a narrow, naturally formed canyon that winds and twists for about 1.2 kilometers.



Signs of civilization abound in the Siq, but it was mostly kept up as an entrance to prevent invaders from entering the city.



The end of the Siq presents the first and one of the most famous and breathtaking views in Petra.



The Treasury of Petra is the first building of Petra one sees after exiting the Siq, and is one of the most photographed sites in the world. It's not actually a treasury, however - recent excavations have revealed the tomb of three great kings who resided here underneath the structure.



In the center at the top of the treasury is a sculpture of an urn. The Bedouin peoples who reside in the caves of Petra (and claim to be the direct decendents of the Naboteans who built Petra) have a yearly commemoration where they shoot their rifles at the urn. They believe that Pharaoh hid his treasures in the great urn and that shooting it will eventually rain Pharaoh's gold down onto them. That myth is the main reason it carries the misconception of being a treasury.



Lining the walls of the canyon beyond the treasury are yet more ornate tombs.



Petra opens up after about a kilometer into a wide expanse with buildings carved all into the mountainside in all directions.



This building, another ornate tomb, was converted by the Byzantine Christians into a church in the 6th century AD. Petra has been used and inhabited long after the Naboteans were eliminated.


Okay, upon arriving at the end of the 2-3 mile path and eating at the restaurant there, the Petra pilgrim has a choice: to attempt the infamous 900 steps to the summit of the mountain, or to turn around and go back. To call the 900 steps a difficult task would be an understatement, but there's no way I would be deterred even if it would kill me in the process!



I didn't have one at this point...SO OF COURSE I WAS GONNA GO! Reverse psychology, man!

The steps start out small enough, but keep in mind they are 2,000 years old so many of them are worn out or completely gone.



This is maybe 1/8th of the way up, and it gives you an idea of just how far one has gone even by this point (you can see the carved buildings way off in the distance).

(continued in reply)
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Old 01-02-2006, 08:45 PM   #2
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About 35-40% up...deep into the chasm. At this point, thoughts of turning back are increasing.



This is about halfway up the hill, and at this point the legs are hurting pretty bad...



Almost there: maybe 50 or 60 steps to go. The design is sinister at this point - not knowing what is at the top, one thinks each plateau is the end of the road, only to see more stairs in the distance! Argh!

So what is at the top, you ask?



The monastery. This is the most breathtaking building by far in Petra...made even more astonishing by the physical stamina required to reach it and view it. It's at least two times larger than the treasury, and every bit as ornate.

At this point, I found a bedouin cave with floor pillows and crashed for a while, having surmounted the infamous task attempted by so many over the centuries. How did I feel after all of this, you ask?



Like the one on the left, of course.

That's all for now!

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Hope you enjoy. Peace!
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Old 01-02-2006, 09:29 PM   #3
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Truly awesome pics dude
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Old 01-02-2006, 09:53 PM   #4
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Freakin' sweet, man!! I soooo wanna go to Petra. And marry into the royal family there, while I'm at it, especially if any of 'em look like Noor.
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Old 01-02-2006, 10:36 PM   #5
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Noor?

Nice pics Major!
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Old 01-02-2006, 10:38 PM   #6
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thats freakin amazing....
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Old 01-03-2006, 12:28 AM   #7
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JAke:

Queen Noor is the Queen of Jordan. She was born in the US from an Arab-American family and she married King Hussein. The Jordans (??) are increadibly proud of this king and of her too (she's really beautiful) and when I went there all over the country were pictures of the two of them and postcards and stamps...




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Old 01-03-2006, 02:33 AM   #8
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Learn something new everyday!
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Old 01-03-2006, 03:49 AM   #9
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If anyone else is interested, I have many other photo journals from other travels that I can post here! Let me know
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Old 01-03-2006, 04:17 AM   #10
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Post em man!

And where are these ladies you keep talking about?
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Old 01-03-2006, 08:52 AM   #11
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Wow...thanks for the trip down memory lane, goy. And honestly, I don't remember it being that tough of a climb to the Monastery! So, I guess what they say is true about the bad parts of memories evaporating, and the good ones remaining.

Ahhh.....

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Old 01-03-2006, 08:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by worldwidemike@Jan 3 2006, 06:52 PM
Wow...thanks for the trip down memory lane, goy.* And honestly, I don't remember it being that tough of a climb to the Monastery!* So, I guess what they say is true about the bad parts of memories evaporating, and the good ones remaining.*

Ahhh.....

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[snapback]96217[/snapback]
I was hoping it wasn't just me needing to do more exercise, but I noticed on the way up that everyone was pretty exhausted by the last plateau before the final flight of stairs.

When we were heading up, people coming down were giving us encouragement in about 4 different languages So when we finally started down, we did the same to people heading up who looked exhausted, spent and impatient too (read: everyone at that point )

I'm glad you all liked the pics! I'll post more journals I've written (and have yet to write) over the next few days/weeks!
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Old 01-04-2006, 12:16 PM   #13
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haha i already saw those

anyhow, those are still amazing... never was interested in going in the region and now i must... that building was just... amazing...
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Old 02-05-2006, 05:41 AM   #14
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Those pics were incredible.. have read about but have never seen pics like that!

Awesome..
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Old 02-05-2006, 09:13 AM   #15
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Holy indianna jones, batman!!! I want to see Petra. What does it look like on the inside? are you aloud cameras in there? cause i never see anyone with pics of the inside. and those are some sweet pics dude!!!

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Old 02-05-2006, 12:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by TERI@Feb 5 2006, 07:13 PM
Holy indianna jones, batman!!! I want to see Petra. What does it look like on the inside? are you aloud cameras in there? cause i never see anyone with pics of the inside.* and those are some sweet pics dude!!!


[snapback]101330[/snapback]
Thanks for the compliments

There isn't anything inside the buildings...the Naboteans seemed to care more about having elaborate facades on their buildings than interior design; the treasury, for example, is just a single gigantic square room.

They unearthed a set of tombs underneath it but they weren't open to the public yet...but it seems that the outside meant more to the Nabotean architects than the inside.
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Old 02-05-2006, 01:18 PM   #17
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awesome. great pics.
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Old 04-23-2006, 12:28 PM   #18
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Thanks everybody for the comments!
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Old 04-23-2006, 01:54 PM   #19
 
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Shameless bump alert! :D
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Old 04-23-2006, 03:06 PM   #20
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Who me? Naw, never...
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