DAY 11– TUESDAY, MARCH 24
For those who flew home last night, we arrived back in the States. We went through US customs before re-checking our bags and getting our connecting flights home. The end of a life-transforming trip! Praise be to God!
For those who continued to Jordan, we enjoyed the entire day in the “red-rose city” of the ancient Nabataeans. Words cannot adequately describe the beauty and uniqueness of this site. Petra is a huge place, covering a total of 60 square miles. We visited just one of the 5 primary valleys.
As we entered the site (at 8:15 a.m.), the morning was bright and sunny. The weather all day long was actually perfect, with highs around 70. We walked through the Siq, with the canyon walls over 100 feet high. The first main tomb of Petra that we come to at the end of the Siq is the famous Treasury. This was probably the tomb of the Nabataean king, Aretas III (see 2 Cor. 11:32). This is also where the 3rd “Indiana Jones” movie ends, as Indy rides out from the Treasury through the Siq.
From here we continued deeper into the site, seeing the royal tombs, the High Place, and the theater along the way. At the end of the Roman street, some in the group ascended to the Monastery tomb located at the far western side of the site. This is another magnificent tomb, one of over 800 within Petra. From the higher view overlooking this tomb, one can look west into the southern area of Israel (across the Aravah valley).
There is so much to see in Petra. We enjoyed walking back towards the Siq, interacting with the local Bedouins, buying souvenirs, and completely being amazed at the uniqueness of this place. Two hiked to Jebel Aaron (Aaron’s Tomb), 2 hours one way. This is the traditional place where Aaron died (he died on Mt. Hor). The view was spectacular from there.
We all arrived back at the hotel at various times. We enjoyed dinner together before retiring early after a tiring but wonderful day here in Petra.
DAY 12– WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25
We plan to drive north from Petra. We will visit Medeba and Mt. Nebo before crossing back over to Israel. We will spend the night in Tel Aviv.