Day 13 – Wednesday, May 17: Drive to Wadi Musa, Petra
This morning we drove 3.5 hours to Petra! We stopped along the way once for restrooms and snacks. It was not as hot as yesterday, but still the sun was intense, with highs in the low 90s. For the most part, we used the newly-paved Desert Highway before exiting on to the King’s Highway (Numbers 21-22). It was an incredible day exploring this ancient Nabatean city and one of the Seven Wonders of the World!
As we left the hotel, we read from Numbers 22-23. As we arrived in Wadi Musa (Petra), we first pre-checked into our hotel (an upgrade to a 5+) before walking to the entrance of the site.
This ancient Nabatean city was built within the Seir Mountains, the land of the Edomites (Deuteronomy 2, 33; Ezekiel 35). We all thoroughly enjoyed the spectacular scenery and tombs/ruins of this red-rose ancient city. Once we entered the site, we all walked through the Siq (canyon) which 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 III (Paul mentions his son, Aretas IV in 2 Cor. 11:32). His daughter (or granddaughter – depending on dating) was the former wife of Herod Antipas, see Matthew 14).
“There is no wonder why Petra is considered one of the 7 Wonders of the World! The site took our breath away, with tomb after tomb, colorful sandstone, the ‘Treasury,’ the Royal Tombs, and Monastery (for some). Of course the camel rides were fun too! What an incredibly beautiful site!”
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, a few in the group walked to the Monastery Tomb at the far west side of Petra, while others explored on their own (e.g. the Royal Tombs). The Aravah and Negev of Israel could be seen in the haze to the west from the area of the Monastery.
We all returned back to the hotel at our own pace. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner and a restful evening!