The thing about Petra is the amazing rose colored rock surrounding you. It twists and turns and sometimes you have to look really close because the shape of the rock will look like a face or a body (kind of like clouds). After the mile-ish walk into Petra and it's narrow gorge, I now know why they say the Nabataeans were clever people, because this place is well hidden and secluded from invasion. They even had an irrigation system in the rock. So after you wind around through the walls of rock, you come upon the most known site in Petra, the Treasury.
It was an amazing site to see in person. It left me in awe. How they carved the stone for this tomb of a very important Nabataean king is truly breathtaking. (By the way...as I write this I hear the nearby mosque's call to prayer for sundown)
Our group decided to head to the Ad-Deir, the Monastery. This hike would take us through the main portion of Petra to the very end. THEN, up about 800, yes, 800 stairs to the top of the mountain of Ad-Deir. This was what was posted:
And they weren't your typical stairs either. Some were so worn, they were like light bumps in the rock. Other times it was pure up hill with no stair to grasp. We had to stop about 5 times to catch our breath and to take in the beauty of this magical place. All the way up there were people selling bedouin jewelry and carvings. There were donkeys along the way and even GOATS!
The Monastery was either a tomb, temple or both. Once we got to the top, we felt like we accomplished a marathon! We took in the Monastery's beauty.
The way down went pretty smooth and we had to hussle back to our meeting place fairly quickly. Here is another picture of one of the sites in Petra (I have about 300 pictures for anyone interested! :)
After the four hour walking tour, we had some ice cream and headed to our wonderful hotel. Next was the Turkish bath and dinner!
The Turkish bath was 5 of us women in our swimming suits sitting in two different steam rooms. One was VERY hot, and the other was more tolerable. After steaming for about 30 minutes, we were scrubbed down with soap and a loofah sponge and given a 10 minute massage. Then we went back into the steam room, took a cold shower, dried off and had tea. I am sure this was my first and only Turkish bath in my lifetime - but a great experience (and well worth if after the long day of Karak and Petra!)
Good night to everyone! I am wiped out and I still two more days to write about! I will write about Wadi Rum, camping in the desert and the Dead Sea tomorrow!
Remember, Elmo loves you!