In the film “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” Harrison Ford finds the Holy Grail. In real life, there are many tourists whom find a similar treasure in the magnificent structures that make up the ancient Nebatean city of Petra. Below are some excerpts from some recently visiting this “New World Wonder” – sharing their life-experiences there in photos, video, and prose:
Jihad, Shmahad – Southern Jordan, Petra
Let me preface this by saying: Petra is too amazing to be understood in digital picture format. It’s older than anything in the United States (300 BC). As for a little background you might understand: Do you remember Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? The one with Sean Connery? Remember when Indiana is riding his horse through the valley at the end to find the temple with the Holy Grail in it? That’s Petra.
Wade Jewkes, Deseret News: Petra — Ancient Nabateans built a place of wonder in the wilderness
… everyone who visits here is left breathless by the stunning, architectural beauty. And the breathless part can be taken almost literally when one considers the hike in is about two miles to the main bowl area and from there it requires a steep climb covering 950 steps to reach the famed Monastery monument — that is if the wear and tear on your body can withstand the rigors required from this masochistic behavior. But it is worth it.
Trans-Ferir – Professor da Universidade do Porto – PETRA (Jordan)
A little farther from the Treasury, at the foot of the mountain called en-Nejr is a massive theatre, so placed as to bring the greatest number of tombs within view; and at the point where the valley opens out into the plain the site of the city is revealed with striking effect. Indeed, the amphitheatre has actually been cut into the hillside and into several of the tombs during its construction, rectangular gaps in the seating are still visible. Almost enclosing it on three sides are rose-coloured mountain walls, divided into groups by deep fissures, and lined with tombs cut from the rock in the form of towers
Lee Abbamonte – The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
I wish I was more poetic, to be able to aptly describe what the opening walk in Petra is like, but I will try my best. Entering the city, you first see various different sculptures along the road that winds into a mountain. As you enter the Siq, it seems like you are walking aimlessly for a very long time. After about 20 minutes or so you see an opening in the narrow slit in the Siq.
As you approach the ending the narrow gash gets wider and more and more light shows itself and the temperature starts to get hotter as your heart starts to beat heavier. Finally as you are about to exit the pass you are blinded by the rush of light and as you clear your eyes and continue walking out the tunnel you are greeted by the single most amazing site ever concocted by mankind. Right there in front of you is the Treasury, Petra’s most famous and magnificent structure.
And the adventure continues…. on to Jordan and Israe! – Petra, Jordan
Well things didn’t work out as planned and I did not spend my birthday at the pyramids! I thought Petra would be nice, one wonder of the world for another, but I was disappointed. I got there at 10am and quickly went to the sight … The second day I had a much better time and started to like Petra a lot more. It is amazing to see the same sight twice because the light changes completely during the day and it looks very different.
By this point we were quite ill again, but I decided it would be a good idea to continue hiking up the 800+ steps carved into the sandstone which lead to the monastery. I really enjoyed this part of the hike, in part because of the view at the end, but in part because we met several families that lived in a neighboring village with whom we exchanged greetings and who were kind and welcoming. I was fascinated that the trails leading among these wonders of the world were their daily paths.
Southern Exposure offers these three photo journal posts:
Of course, there’s my post from November of 2007 – 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 …
Hey, I know what some of you are thinking … but trust me … while there’s alot of “touristy stuff” going on there … none of it detracts from finding your own grail in the glory of Petra.by