One thing I noticed while perusing the travel blogs on Petra
before heading there, is that everyone seems to do a photo essay on visiting Petra Jordan. Why should I be any different?
It seems the thing to do, perhaps because so few people have anything to say about the site, other than it is breathtaking, inspirational, or once in a lifetime.
I had a slightly different view. Shortly after entering the archaeological park, we made our way towards The Siq, or the walkway that leads to the famous sites within Petra, including the Treasury. It was a lovely day in Petra, so enjoyed walking through the barren desert landscape.
Walking and Visiting Petra
At the end of this path, we followed one of the only direction signs that were provided in the park, and finally entered The Siq.
I began to marvel at the rock formations, and all the different shades of red and orange. We were lucky in that there were few tourists walking The Siq while we were there, making the place seem nearly empty.
After about a 15 minute walk, perhaps longer as I continued to stop and take photos, we caught our first glimpse of the Treasury through the slits of the rock formation.
For many, this is an awe inspiring moment. The first glimpse. For me, it was a little distracting with a couple of Spanish tourists trying to get some selfies. I offered to take a photo of them, and they returned the favor snapping the requisite Treasury through The Siq shot. This seems to be a most do when visiting Petra.
Perhaps my experience was somewhat tainted due to the camera around my neck and my interest in capturing the photo, but I think even if I did not have my own camera, it would have been marred by the other tourists clogging up the space, trying to take their own shots. And, this was not even a busy day, by a long shot.
We finally emerged and captured the full view of the Treasury. It was pretty. It was smaller than I imaged. Most of all, I wondered why I had traveled so far to see it, particularly considering how expensive it was to even enter Petra
. I placed Petra on my bucket list so long ago that I was no longer sure why it was there in the first place, other than acting as a place holder of places across the world that a traveler like me should
Regardless of my initial thoughts, though, we had to snap the requisite Petra selfie.
We tried to avoid the touts, and the offers of donkey and camel rides, and tried to explore some of the other nearby sites.
As there were virtually no signs, we wandered wondering whether we were allowed to wonder. I took this picture as proof that there were no “prohibited” signs, in case Eric got arrested.
Some of the other sites, I have to say, kept reminding me of Star Wars. I am sure I am not the first to make this observation, but I was convinced a band of angry jawas would come storming out of nowhere at any moment, perhaps demanding money for a “free” horse ride.
Visiting Petra, and the Rocks
Ultimately, I found myself just taking photos of pretty rocks, not really knowing what else to do. After all, I wanted to get my money’s worth from the ticket, but I really just came in to see the Treasury. So, I just took pictures of the rocks.
Now, the rocks are pretty, and depending on the angle of the sun, they looked unique. Considering I have never spent much time in the desert, it was interesting to see. But, it was a lot of rock.
Ultimately, and understandably, Eric got annoyed with my budding rock photo collection, leaving him to look like this.
And that was where our visit to Petra Jordan ended.
I don’t know what is wrong with me that I was not more impressed with visiting Petra
. I wish I could report back that I loved it. I think, honestly, a lot had to do with the cost of the entrance fee and the transport there. Some of it might have to do with how much it has been built up as an amazing place to visit. Chances are, though, it is because I have been to so many places that it is becoming difficult to wow me. If that is the case, it is probably a good idea that we are not traveling much this year. I need some time to cool my heels, so that amazing sights like Petra can start to have some luster again.
Amber Hoffman, food and travel writer behind With Husband In Tow, is a recovering attorney and professional eater, with a passion for finding new food and drink destinations. She lives with her husband, Eric, in Girona, Catalonia, Spain. Together they have traveled to over 70 countries.