Friday, October 2, 2009

Every Bit As Amazing As Expected, And Then Some!!!



26 to 29 September, 2009 - Petra, Jordan

Not too many words needed with these pictures. Enjoy.


The Siq
The Siq
The Siq is a 1.2 kilometre rift in the mountains that provides the approach to Petra. It is beautiful rock, weathered to a polished sheen in places, and at some points, it is possible to match the rock patterns from each side. Narrowing down to only a couple of metres, with walls that rise up to 200 metres in places, it would be a fascinating and beautiful walk in its own right. However, the experience is enhanced by the anticipation of where you are headed. Additionally, there are some tombs, niches, and carvings to be seen along the way, and the remains of two aqueducts (one down each side) which were quite the engineering marvel of their time.


Petra – The Treasury
Petra – The Treasury
Rounding a bend in the Siq, suddenly you encounter Petra's signature facade, The Treasury. I'm in there for scale. Tucked into a nook, it is an amazing piece of craftmanship. Just note that none of this is “built”, the entire facade is carved out of the sandstone. Actually created as a tomb, the name “Treasury” came from a legend that Pharaoh had hidden treasure in the urn at the top when he was in pursuit of the Israelites. Bullet holes riddle the urn, from vain attempts at shattering the urn and causing said treasure to spill out.


A Desert Cat
A Desert Cat
A delightful cat amongst the ruins of the High Place Of Sacrifice, Petra.


Looking Out
Looking Out
From the Garden Tomb, looking out to one of the rocky ravines around Petra City.


A Camel, Masticating
A Camel, Masticating
One of the many animals amongst the Petra sights, waiting for a fair to the next group of tombs.


Another Carved Facade In Need Of Scale
Another Carved Facade In Need Of Scale
This time, it's Jo in there for scale. The Monastery, not quite as ornate as the Treasury, but larger. Although carved as a tomb, it was used in the first millennium as a church. The amount of stone that needed to be removed to create this is truly phenomenal. You can see on the sides how far recessed in to the mountain this is.


Looking Up At The Monastery
Looking Up At The Monastery
No crouching, no kneeling, no tricks. This is looking up at the carved entry. Yes, the whole building is effectively carved from a single block of stone.


The Royal Tombs
The Royal Tombs
Many of the hillsides and gorges of Petra are riddled with tombs, but this stretch has some of the more elaborate facades. The group are dubbed the Royal Tombs. In the foreground is another working animal of Petra.


The Silk Tomb
The Silk Tomb
One of the Royal Tombs, the Silk Tomb. The rock colours here are extemely beautiful.


Looking Down At The Treasury
Looking Down At The Treasury
On our second day at Petra, we climbed to one of the lookouts high above the Treasury. Over the edge, this was the view. I sent a “coo-eee” down, but my voice cracked part way and we just laughed so much that I was unable to do a proper one.


The Palace Tomb
The Palace Tomb
Most of the tomb interiors are undecorated, and are only coloured by the natural rock. The Palace Tomb, one of the Royal Tombs, is especially beautiful.


Petra Vista
Petra Vista
In the foreground, the remains of Petra city. Most prominently, the great temple and the colonnaded street. In the background are the Royal Tombs. This photo is taken from a hilltop with the ruins of a Crusader Castle.


The Great Temple, Petra
The Great Temple, Petra
Looking across to the Great Temple in Petra. This structure was only discovered in the 1990's. It has some great nooks and crannies for exploration, and even had its own theatre.


Outside The Treasury
Outside The Treasury
Early evening in front of the Treasury, Petra.


Moon Over Obelisks
Moon Over Obelisks
Leaving the archaeological site, we captured the moon over the Obelisk Tomb, near the main entrance to Petra.


1 comment:

courtney said...

Seriously... Jo was in front of a building in that picture? Maybe if you draw an arrow to point her out.....?

WOW... the scale of those buildings - it doesnt come across so easily on documentaries....