DAY 7 – SATURDAY, MARCH 17: PETRA, WADI RUM
Today was an amazing day here in Jordan! Between the beauty of God’s creation and the unique experiences at both Petra and Wadi Rum, we are grateful to God. The weather was perfect again, with full sun, cloudless deep blue skies, and temps in the 70s.
Following an earlier breakfast we departed at 7 am for the entrance of Petra. We would spend about 6.5 hours within this red-rose ancient city. We are here in the Seir Mountains, the land of the Edomites as mentioned in the Bible. We began our experience here with walking into the site of Petra through the canyon called the Siq. At the end of the Siq we came to the most prominent and well-known monument called “The Treasury” (Al-Khazneh). This well-preserved monumental tomb appears in the movie “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” It served as the tomb of Aretas III or IV (who Paul actually mentions in 2 Cor. 11).
From the Treasury, the site opens up. Walking further we past 100s of other tombs/burial chambers as well as one of the largest theaters in Jordan. Carved into the sand stone, this theater could hold 3000 people!
Just past the theater are the Royal Tombs. Some in the group explored these while others hiked to the western edge of Petra to the famous Monastery Tomb. The hike ascended about 750 feet in elevation over the course of about 900 steps, but it was well worth it. The view from above the Monastery provided the opportunity to look westward into Israel and the Aravah Valley & southern Negev. A couple in the group also hiked to the top of the High Place.
We all walked back to the entrance on our own, enjoying the unique beauty of this site. What an incredible place Petra is. It is one of the seven wonders of the world.
Driving south and a little east about two hours, we arrive at Wadi Rum. This Jordanian desert is known for the story of Sir Lawrence of Arabia during WWI. Here we enjoyed a jeep ride through the desert. We stopped for a few panoramic views as well as for the sunset as we listened to a few worship songs.
Captains Bedouin Tent “Hotel”
The jeeps took us to our dwelling for the night, a Bedouin Tent facility called Captains. We enjoyed a unique dinner (with the meat prepared in an underground pit covered in sand), with a camp-fire under the brilliant stars to follow. Truly, the heavens declare the glory of God! We retired to our own individual camel-wool tents for the evening!