Petra & Wadi Rum

The first day in Jordan we did a tour (more like hired a driver) out to Petra and Wadi Rum; but in Petra, we visited the archaeological site by ourselves. The morning began on the trail passing by large rocks and desert hills which then led into a stunning split in the natural rock formation. A peaceful walk through the middle led to the famous rock facade, or Treasury. Afterwards, we walked a little further to explore the Street of Facades, climbing up the rocks for some beautiful views of the surrounding area and the amphitheater below. I actually wished we had spent a full day in Petra but we wanted to see what Wadi Rum was all about so we chose a full day combining the two (with a kid who gets car sick it wasn’t easy to make that journey twice from Amman). So we didn’t see it all, yet, we still saw so much! And I can’t forget to make note of all the adorable Petra puppies that we saw all around!!

The Siq

It is the ancient main entrance leading to the city of Petra, starts at the Dam and ends at the opposite side of the vault, a split rock with a length of about 1200m and a width of 3 to 12m, and height up to about 80m; most of the rock is natural and another part was sculptured by the Nabataeans.  The Siq, the main road that leads to the city, starts from the Dam and ends at the Treasury.  It is a rock canal that measures 160 meters in length, 3 to 12 meters in width and reaches up to 80 meters in height. The main part of the Siq is created by natural rock formation and the rest is carved by the Nabataeans.

At the beginning of the Siq, one can still view the remains of the city’s gate. On both sides of the Siq, there are channels to draw water from Wadi Musa (the Valley of Moses), from outside the city to the inside.

From the right, it is evident that the water flowed through pottery pipes but the left channel is carved from the rock and covered with panels of stone, and there are spaces in place to filter water. At the start of the Siq the original Nabataean dams are visible, and these prevented the flooding in the Siq, and collected water for use. The floor of the Siq is paved with stone slabs, part of which can be viewed in its original location.

Aspects of the Siq were decorated with Nabataean sculptures, mostly representing gods. It is believed that the statues of gods and their sculptures were situated very close and even adjacent to the channels due to the Nabataean belief that water was sacred. In addition, on the left side there are idols called Sabinos Statues.

The Treasury (Al Khazna)

The siq opens up onto Petra’s most magnificent façade; the Treasury, or Al Khazna. It is almost 40 meters high and intricately decorated with Corinthian capitals, friezes, figures and more. The Treasury is crowned by a funerary urn, which according to local legend conceals a pharaoh’s treasure. Although the original function is still a mystery, The Treasury was probably constructed in the 1st century BC, However, in reality the urn represented a memorial for royalty. The Treasury consists of two floors with a width of 25.30 meters and a height of 39.1 meters. 

The purpose of the Treasury is unclear: some archaeologists believed it to be a temple, while others thought it was a place to store documents. However, the most recent excavation here has unearthed a graveyard beneath the Treasury. 

The Treasury comprises three chambers, a middle chamber with one on either side, the elaborately carved facade represents the nabataean engineering genius

We grabbed some food to-go on the way out of Petra and met our driver to continue on to Wadi Rum for the afternoon. The views on this drive were absolutely unreal. Once we arrived, we were greeted by our driver who drove us around the desert in a 4X4. This desert is known for its sandstone rock formations, valleys, gorges, sand dunes, and natural archways. Virtually all of the people living in and around Wadi Rum are of Bedouin origin. We drove around exploring the landscape, playing in the sand, and enjoying a cup of tea with the locals.


Lindsay View All →

Our roots will forever be from here, America, born and raised. Yet, life requires us to move more frequently than we care to count. Whether living stateside or abroad, you can always find us traveling somewhere. We scout out places that you only think you can dream of one day seeing and we seek out those that aren’t found in guidebooks. We then bring them to life here in our travel memos, so hopefully, one day you too can visit them or at least be able to live vicariously through us. This blog isn’t just about crossing off places from a bucket list. It’s about absorbing and learning how other cultures grow and fit into the same world that we do. Life is short and the world is big. Enjoy and get out there!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: