“A rose red city half as old as time”

Petra was incredible.  Emma and I only spent four hours there; I could spend a week to thoroughly understand it, and a month to just feel it.

It’s a funny dichotomy between an old stillness and tourist hawking.  These ancient buildings carved out of primeval cliffs watch tour guides huckster, “Best tour, special price, just for you!”, venders bartering souvenirs, and shrieking school groups.  It feels a little sacrilegious.

I’ve been at a loss on how to write about Petra.  I was surprised by how much it moved me.  Unimaginably ancient history, beautiful feats of carving and architecture, impressive vistas: it’s exactly these things that I left to see.  I hope Emma’s pictures will suffice where my words fail me.

You approach between cliffs particularly suited to echoing the Indiana Jones theme song:DSC_4444

IMG_0649It’s easy to pass by them, but on the way are carvings and stairs and caves.  It boggles my mind that this used to be someone’s home:DSC_4446 DSC_4445Emerging from between the cliffs, you come upon the Treasury, the most famous and best preserved structure in Petra:DSC_4460 DSC_4468 DSC_4464DSC_4473 DSC_4474Stairs lead above the main square to the Monastery, and cliffs from which you look down on Petra from above:

DSC_4486 IMG_0717 DSC_4520 IMG_0714Walking back, we felt compelled to meditate upon our surroundings:IMG_0737 DSC_4544