January 23, 2018

Tour of Jordan Part 2: Petra for Thanksgiving

Next stop was the town of Wadi Musa, to visit Little Petra and Petra. We arrived mid-day, checked into the hotel, and headed to Little Petra. Little Petra, also known as the "cold canyon," which it was, is a little north of Petra. It is a Nabatean site from what people believe to be created in the 1st century BC, with buildings carved into the walls of the canyons, and it is believed that people housed visiting traders on the Silk Road here. We all enjoyed walking through the canyon, exploring the caves and buildings, and climbing all over the rocks!

Mini Siq, leading to the mini Treasury building.
These boys did lots of climbing!
Aaron and one of the Bedouins
Caleb found this 'treasure' in one of the caves, and wanted me to take a picture of it for him.
Brrr, it was cold!
Can you guess what the boys wanted to do.....
Jump, jump, jump!
We had fun exploring the area!
Next stop was Petra by night. I went with my folks and Aaron, and Nathan stayed back with the boys. It's such a neat experience to see. Three times a week, Petra lines the entrance and Siq trail (almost 2 miles long) with votive candles all the way to the Treasury. When you arrive at the Treasury, there are endless candles and the rocks are lit by beautiful lights. It was really cold, but we enjoyed the traditional music, tea, and a story about Petra from one of the Bedouins. This is a must do if you visit! Leading up to the Treasury.
The Treasury was beautifully lit in many colors!
The next day, we all went to Petra. Nathan, Aaron and I walked about 9 miles that day, and my folks and boys rode several animals throughout the park - a horse to the entrance of the Siq, we all walked through the Siq, a donkey from the Treasury to the Monastery and back down, a camel from the base of the Monastery to the Treasury, and a horse and carriage through the Siq!
Walking through the Siq, just look at all of the layers of color on these beautiful rocks!
One of the many horse and carriages coming through.
Pit stops :)
We made it to the Treasury!
Dad and Aaron
Benjamin and a local - he makes friends every where he goes!
Donkeys for the day
Hello....up close and personal :)
Mom on the donkey by the Royal tombs.
Heading down the old Roman road towards the base of the Monastery
The boys rode a donkey together and were such good sports all day! This was the beginning of the trip up to the Monastery. It was pretty steep and scary, but everyone did a great job and held on tight!
Dad rode the donkey on the way up, but said he'd rather walk down!
Almost there...the last bit we parked the donkeys and everyone had to walk. What a gorgeous view!
We made it! Lots of photo ops :)

The route to/from the Monastery was lined with bedouins selling scarves and all kinds of trinkets from their tents. I loved all the bright colors!

Caleb especially loved the treasures :)
Heading down the path...Benjamin and our guide were singing songs and making people passing by laugh!

At the base of the Monastery, Nathan and my brother broke off to hike through the tombs, and my parents and the boys hopped on camels.  I followed on foot, and really underestimated how fast a camel can walk. I was booking it the entire time to keep up, and even broke a sweat in the cold weather!

It's sad to see the little kids trying to sell things. This little boy was selling rocks.

We all met up back at the Treasury...
Then they went from a camel to a horse and carriage to the entrance of the park, and we met them there a while after.
That night we ate a typical Jordanian meal at the hotel for Thanksgiving dinner, and we all slept well! So much to be thankful for, especially for our family being together for Thanksgiving, for the first time in 5 years!
Next post, Dead Sea, Madaba, and Mt. Nebo....