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The Petra Treasury Indiana Jones didn’t show you

Two days ago I was standing alone on the steps of the Treasury at Petra. The images still awe me, more so this 2nd visit than the 1st. Below is a brief description along with 3 YouTube videos explaining why.

Growing up in the Washington, D.C. suburbs back in a day when field trips downtown were common, I’m somewhat used to seeing large stones stacked-up into even larger structures. Yet, I’d venture to guess that even those who live and work in such buildings on a daily basis are not fully prepared for the impact of viewing a monuments as detailed the Lincoln Memorial – entirely carved by hand out of a cliff wall.

Which is why I make such a big whoopdie-do about that the thrill one feels when they first set their eyes on the Treasury at Petra, after a mile walk in a four story high canyon known as the Siq in the following YouTube video:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Exsry8wXhss&autoplay=0 425 350]

Granted, Mr. Spielberg does a much better job conveying the ‘wow’ one feels when first in front of ‘Al Khazneh’ (الخزنة), as it is known in Arabic. But at least this writer is a bit more forthcoming on the structure’s inner sanctum, versus the elaborate indoor set invented for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989); even if I get caught up in the moment and refer to it as the Monastery (bad Dean, bad!-):

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gpG4z7WuMw&autoplay=0 425 350]

And as if the prior two videos didn’t convey the scale enough, I’ve included a third which catalogs some of the detail while standing in the opening early enough in the morning that only one or two other early rising visitors are in the shot – conveniently offering a sense of scale to this magnificent structure:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Yd8RLlLYlo&autoplay=0 425 350]

As mentioned in a prior post, I’m going to be writing in more detail about this and other sites, but I figured I’d at least wet your whistle with these three snippets from an almost 2 gig collection of short videos I shoot while at the real Petra … whose reality I find much more intriguing than any magic Hollywood can cook-up …

… even for someone who’s been there and done that once before.

Remember: you can never visit Petra soon enough, nor often enough!

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