pink walls of petra

treasury petraAncient ruins, windswept rock sculptures and a wild yet welcoming desert culture – this is the wonder of Jordan and why Intrepid Express reader Tori Salman couldn’t wait to experience it for herself…

“From the moment we enter the narrow, winding passageway called the Siq, I can barely contain my excitement. I’ve been dreaming of visiting Petra for years, and it is finally happening!

The walls of the Siq tower above our small group, and perhaps that’s why the passageways look as if they are narrowing. Suddenly, the Siq seems to open up and the sight before us takes our breath away. Standing almost directly in front of us is the Treasury.

The enormous building is carved into a solid rock wall. The detail and craftsmanship of the ancient Nabateans is amazing and we feel like the size of ants in front of this magnificent rose-coloured structure.

The facade appears to have two levels – the lower level decorated with columns, then atop a classical type roofline, some sculptures looking a little worse for wear. Still not bad considering that the Treasury building is believed to have been constructed around the 1st century BC.

After time to wander and catch our breath, our guide leads us on through the Siq, and we pass through what looks like a colonnaded street, and then come across several more amazing structures. My favourites are the Temple of Winged Lions, or more specifically, the actual lion sculptures sitting atop the columns, and the Petra Church. The church was only discovered in 1990, and perhaps that is why its stunning mosaics depicting animals and mythology are so well preserved.

Petra is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it’s easy to see why. I could have spent days soaking in all the history and rock-hewn architecture. It’s a truly fascinating place that deserves pride and place at the top of your list!”

Tour Jordan with Intrepid on trips like these great small group adventures:
Pyramids to Petra – 16 days
Middle East Basix – 22 days

* photo by David Lazar – Intrepid Photography Competition

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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4 comments

Further to my comment of 23 December, we have just recently returned from our Middle East Adventure. Petra is everything we thought it would be, and more! But Petra is only one of the highlights of this trip. Others include Damascus, Cappadocia, Wadi Rum…..reakly, too many to count.

I love to read articles like this – we’re booked on the Middle East Adventure departing 13 March 2010 – very excited!

Hi Greg,
you are absolutely right – this photo is the monastery! I was excited by the great photo of Petra that I fogot about needing a Treasury shot. You definitely win this week’s ‘on the ball’ prize and sincere thanks for letting me know.
Best wishes,
Sue, Intrepid Express editor

Isn’t this photo of the Monastery? Much further in and higher up.

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