DAY 12 – FRIDAY, MAY 9
We woke up to good news… Petra was open today! The weather was perfect, with lots of sun and eventual highs about 70. Leaving the hotel after breakfast at 8:30, we walked to the entrance of the site of ancient Petra. We would spend all day here in this unique and “7 wonders of the world” site. Located in the heart of the Seir Mountains (Land of the Edomites), it is here according to the Bible that Aaron (Moses’ brother) died (Numbers 20). It is the highest in Petra.
As for the Nabataean city, we entered the site by walking through the siq. We all could see the devastation and erosion caused by the flash floods throughout the site but noticeable even in this mile-long canyon! At the end of the Siq stands the most famous monument/tomb, “The Treasury” or Al- Khazneh. It is amazing how well-preserved this memorial tomb of Aretas IV is (Paul mentions an Aretas in 1 Corinthians 11:32, probably the son of Aretas IV.
From the Treasury building, we walked back into the site. We saw all kinds of other burial chambers and monuments as well as one of the largest theaters in Jordan, carved in the sand stone mountains of Petra.
As we continued, the Royal tombs towered along the one side of the cliff. Walking down the Roman street, some walked out to the famous Monastery tomb. It was a hike to get there, but well worth the effort! Returning to the Roman street, a few hiked up to the High Place as well. Walking up to the top on the back trail, more and more tombs came into view. From the top, the view was spectacular.
Everyone returned back to the hotel at their own pace and timing. We enjoyed another great dinner, followed by walking through the main street of Wadi Musa, Petra’s modern-day city. We then retired for the night here.
What a great day!
DAY 13 – SATURDAY, MAY 10
We leave our hotel in Petra and drive north towards Amman. We will visit Bethany Beyond the Jordan (John 1) before crossing back into Israel. E then drive to Jerusalem and then Tel Aviv for our night-flight home.