Petra — Ancient Nabateans built a place of wonder in the wilderness

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  • Andonia
    July 28, 2009 2:53 a.m.

    My father, used to work for the UN, and was sent ot many different countries, mainy in places like africa or israel. One day my parents decided to take me(5 yrs) and my two younger brothers(11mths and 2 yrs), to jordan. the reason was that me an dmy 2 yr old brother were baptised in santorini, and my parents both wanted to take us somewhere special, before baptising my youngest brother. so as well as seeing petra/jordan, i also recommend egypt and maybe even cyprus which are both beautiful!
    Petra is deffinetley a must-see! its goreous, and a great place to take Your kids, if you want them to go somewhere they'll remember!
    im now 11, and i can still remember much of petra, especially the camels and the long walks! even know the khazneh is the most commonly know monument, there is soooo much more to petra!!!
    I cannot wait to go back in september!

  • ExPat Living in Amman, Jordan
    Sept. 29, 2008 2:08 p.m.

    Dear Can't Wait: my best advice is to buy the Lonely Planet guide book on Jordan (note: a new edition comes out next year. Check this out on the Lonely Planet website). Lonely Planet has everything you need included a 1, 2, or 3 day itinerary for Petra. Good luck--esp on the bus ride down! ;)

  • Can't wait
    Sept. 28, 2008 11:08 p.m.

    Planning a trip there this April 09. How long would you recommend staying in the area to get a good experience. I think we only have one day there scheduled. And how long is the bus ride there from Amman?

  • Stan
    Sept. 28, 2008 8:36 p.m.

    I, too, have been to Petra...twice. It was better the second time. Wonderful history with Bedoins living right in the area. It is probably the most fantastic place I have ever been outside of our country.

  • Anonymous
    Sept. 28, 2008 7:06 p.m.

    No it doesn't.

  • Nephi
    Sept. 28, 2008 6:40 p.m.

    This proves the Book of Mormon is true.

  • Smitty
    Sept. 28, 2008 5:34 p.m.

    I'm confused by the story. What is the author trying to get at. I just don't seem to get it can somebody please elaborate?

  • Veracruz
    Sept. 28, 2008 5:04 p.m.

    My wife and I were there during Christmas time of 2007. What a trip! Bedouins still live in many of the caves. They also hound you to buy ancient artifacts and local trinkets. If you decide to buy, do it on the way out. They are relentless. Interesting that many of the "third world" locals have cell phones. But, Petra is an absolute must if you are in the Middle East. Very safe, too. nothign to worry about. We also voted for Petra in the poll and are delighted to hear the news.

  • MTP
    Sept. 28, 2008 3:17 p.m.

    Fine article and photos. However, I would have liked to have seen an aerial photo of the "bowl".
    Thanks, DN.

    Ditto, Ing's comment on the Parthenon.

  • KGW
    Sept. 28, 2008 2:44 p.m.

    We were there two months ago. The trek thru the canyon before you reach the ruins was surreal. It's hard to describe the majesty of the Treasury and the Monastery. You don't need to see the sites with a group tour. There were four of us and we had no trouble buying tickets and walking through the ruins.
    The tickets don't have to include anything except entrance to the site. You can rent camels etc. if you want to but they arn't necessary if you're able to walk long distances. If you go in the summer months start early in the morning. The ticket office opened at 6:00 am and we avoided the large crowds and heat that you'll encounter by early afternoon. We spent the night in a local hotel in Petra so we could start early.

  • Ing
    Sept. 28, 2008 9:35 a.m.

    That is an amazing place. I did a little bit of reading about it...the engineering that went into it, especially with their water piping and irrigation projects, is astounding.

    I actually voted in the "new wonders of the ancient world" contest. I can't remember whether I voted for Petra or not, but I know I did vote for the Parthenon (and the Athenian Acropolis,which it's part of). Which didn't make the cut. It's what you get for letting the public make the decision by voting on the internet, I guess.

    I'm still burnt about the Parthenon not getting in; it's only the most architecturally and artistically perfect building ever made by humanity, and the whole Acropolis is amazing. (Look it up in Wikipedia if you're interested.)

    But I digress. The point here in Petra...which is truly amazing. Actually, based on the pictures I've seen of the area around Petra, I'd say the San Rafael Swell in east central Utah is very similar terrain; rock bowls, slot canyons, rough topography, desert climate; I think you could probably transplant Petra there and it wouldn't look out of place at all.

  • Incredible Place
    Sept. 28, 2008 8:58 a.m.

    My wife and I visited Petra in '98 while living in Cairo. Of all the historical sites in the Middle East, Petra outshines them all. With very primitive tools and technology the Nabateans built something truly amazing. I highly recommend the trip. Modern-day Jordan is a stable, U.S. friendly country which makes traveling there easier for Yankees.