DAY 12 – THURSDAY, JUNE 27: PETRA, WADI RUM
Today was an amazing day. Between exploring the incredible site of Petra and the jeep rides in Wadi Rum, it was a day celebrating the beauty of God’s creation. The sun was again bright, with cooler temps in the morning, but warming up to around 90 again.
After a hearty breakfast, we arrived at the entrance of Petra shortly after 7 a.m. We spent about 7 hours within this red-rose ancient city deemed one of the 7 Wonders of the World. Located in the heart of the Seir Mountains, the land of the Edomites, Petra is a site of incredible sandstone color. We entered the site through the Siq, the main entrance to Petra, that brought us to the first monument “The Treasury” (“Al-Khazneh”). This well-preserved monumental tomb appeared in the movie “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” It was the tomb of the Nabatean King named Aretas (see 2 Cor. 11:32). His daughter (or granddaughter – depending on dating) was the former wife of Herod Antipas, Matthew 14).
“Petra and Wadi Rum were incredible today! There was so much unique beauty to be seen everywhere we turned! We also did a lot of hiking today which I really enjoyed! -Tour Member-
From the Treasury we now began our walk into the city. Besides passing by many of the Nabatean tombs, we walked by a 3,000-seat theater carved into the sandstone, one of the largest theaters in Jordan. From here, many walked to the Monastery Tomb at the fear west side of Petra, while others explored on their own (e.g. the Royal Tombs). The Aravah and Negev of Israel was clearly in sight! Seven in the group also hiked to the High Place far above the site, making it about 10.56 mile day for some! We all walked back to the visitor center for a long-waited cold drink and popsicle!
After showering up in the hotel and loading our bus, we drove about 2 hours south to Wadi Rum. Here we enjoyed an amazing jeep ride in the desert. It was really fun. We stopped at a few places to take in the beauty of this desert. Some even rode camels for about 30 minutes. We jeeped right to our place for the night in the desert, Captain’s, a Bedouin Village. We enjoy dinner together (cooked underground!) and a brief campfire under the brilliant stars. We all retired to our individual tents for the night! Tomorrow we cross back into Israel.