Today was the day I had been waiting for – a full day wandering around the sights of Petra – one of the seven wonders of the modern world. Petra was the capital of the Nabatean tribe and was inhabited from 300BC to about 100AD when it was conquered by the Romans.
We set off early and with ticketing formalities completed, headed down the sandy track towards the canyons. The rocks here are soft, easily carved sandstone with harder rings and lines of iron oxides precipitated from the groundwater running freely through them
The initial entry point into the canyon or Siq is marked by a channel where the Nabateans diverted the flood waters through a channel where they could be prevented from descending the Siq and instead used for irrigation and drinking.
The canyon itself is in places less than 3m wide with drainage channels to capture and divert rainwater. With the colours of the rocks it is a spectacular sight.
Finally the canyon broadens out into the space where the Treasury building is situated. These facades were carved straight from solid rock and not built. As such they reflect the colors and patterns of the surrounding rocks. It was called the Treasury as it was rumored to contain a Pharoah’s treasure.
Further in into the complex, numerous tombs are carved into the rocks as well as a theatre and more temples. Evidence of Roman occupation comes with The Colonnaded Street.
Finally a track leads up 800 steps to the Monastery- another massive carved monument, from which fine views of surrounding mountains can be seen.
Finally we retraced our steps back to the hotel.