We started with a walk through a steep gorge. This is 1.2 km long and follows the winding trail of an ancient river bed. The rock face was incredible with lovely red, yellow and brown colours throughout.
Along the way we saw evidence of the ancient inhabitants. They had carved niches for idols which they carried during their travels, and a piping system for water delivery for their animals and a separate system for their drinking water. It was "other worldly" as the gorge was so deep the sunlight, which was strong up above, barely penetrated into the gorge.
At the bottom of this part of the walk in, the gorge opened up into an area known as the treasury. We could just see a sliver of the facade as we approached the end of the gorge. This was exciting as it was the location for a famous scene in Indiana Jones. It was also exciting for Katie as she had long had the dream of visiting this locale.
Now that we had entered the city we could see the city of Petra. The people lived in caved and excavations in the rock itself and their descendants, the Bedouins still have their traditional carriages and donkeys, horses and camels as transportation.
We wandered through the city to its end and learned that 8 families still live in the valley in the traditional way.
In the distance we could see more facades carved into the cliffs. These were so beautiful, made more so by the colours in the rock faces.
Then Katie and Janice and I decided to make the trek into see the Monastery, another facade from the ancient city. This involved a climb up 800 steps...oh my. Once there we were faced with another beautiful facade to a building which had been used at different times as a temple, a tomb, a church and as a monastery.
At our destination we sat in the shade at a cafe to enjoy a cool drink and enjoyed the view. The cafe was in one of the many caves and was decorated in the Bedouin style.
We walked back down the 800 steps and then were faced with the long walk out of the city, back through the gorge and then uphill to the entrance and our hotel. I confess that I found it hard and so, I agreed to ride a donkey part way up the hill. It was a marathon of walking! By the end my pedometer indicated that we had walked 18 km!
We then joined our driver who took us back to Amman to our hotel where we had a short night as we had to leave at 0230 the next morning for our journey home. It was another epic day but we were tired.
We had a planned departure from Jordan en route to Istanbul where we had a long stop over followed by a grueling 12 hour flight from Istanbul to Toronto. We arrived home tired and said a fond farewell as we all went our separate ways at the end of an epic trip!