April 18 (Day 12)
Today was a day filled with “awe and wonder!” Entering Petra at 8 a.m., we spent nearly the next 7 hours exploring this ancient Nabatean city. While 9 people enjoyed taking the horse-drawn buggies through the Siq (canyon) to the famous Treasury Building (the memorial tomb of Aretas III), the rest of us walked. What an amazing canyon entrance to this red-rose city.
From the Treasury, we walked further into the site, seeing some of the 780 monumental tombs that have been found here. Passing by the Roman theater (that could seat 4,000), and walking down the colonnaded Roman street, 10 of us walked westward to the Monastery Tomb. The walk took about 40 minutes. What a spectacular view we had from here looking across the Aravah valley into southern Israel.
Heading back to the entrance of the site, many enjoyed the camel rides. 3 hiked to the High Place for a great view of the city below. We exited the site at 2:45, driving south towards Aqabah.
Before arriving in Aqabah, we stopped in Wadi Rum for jeep rides through the desert. First, we enjoyed stopping by a Beduion tent for some spiced tea. We then drove around, stopping in and there for spectacular views of this unique place. We settled on a high rock to watch the sunset, an unforgettable experience!
We arrived at our hotel in Aqabah for a late dinner and overnight. The hotel is located close to the Red Sea. Tomorrow we cross back into Israel for our final full day before flying home tomorrow night.
To see more sample pictures of today, go to the April, 2013 page.