An Incredible Day of History


The Kingdom of Jordan was high on my list of places to visit for one main reason: The Ancient City of Petra. It was made extremely famous by the movie “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” where the final sequence was shot. Unfortunately, I did not see Sean Connery and Harrison Ford riding out on Horseback. There were only tourists today!

The drive from Amman to Petra is supposed to be about four hours, but since I had a rookie driver who got lost many times, it took more than six hours! It is Jordan’s national treasure and I get the only guy in the entire country that had no clue how to get there. I did get to meet a very photogenic local that had a café located right on the side of the cliff.

Regardless, I made it to Petra. The entrance to the city carved from rock was through “As-Siq” which means “the shaft”. It is a dark, narrow gorge, only about three to four metres wide that is a natural geologic feature. It creates an impressive and dramatic build up as “the Treasury” reveals itself to you. The Treasury is that famous image that you think of when the name Petra is mentioned. It is also the Fictional location of the Holy Grail in the Indiana Jones movie. The actual interior of each of these impressive buildings are carved out of stone and are rather spacious, but obviously nowhere near what was depicted in the movie.

As you walk past the treasury, you get a sense of how extensive this city is. All along both sides of this valley are beautiful buildings carved out of solid rock. The precision was amazing and the deterioration was very minimal considering how old these carvings are.

The main modes of transportation in Petra are Donkey, Horse and Camel. For a few dollars, you can hire a “Petra Taxi” to take you through the sprawling stone city. I chose to walk until I heard that the final leg of the trip to the Monastery was to walk up over 800 steps! I then hired a donkey as they are the only animals built for the treacherous walk up the mountain. As my donkey and I started our ascent, I realized how much I must weigh after gorging on various delicacies over the last three and a half months. I was also wearing my camera pack. For almost the entire time, I felt sorry for the donkey as he was panting and struggling to carry me and my camera up to the top. At times, I felt like walking beside him to give him a break!

After the 20 minute Donkey Taxi up, I caught a glimpse of the most amazing structure of the entire city: Ad-Deir or “The Monastery”. It was a massive building carved out of the side of the mountain. The craftsmanship was incredible and the lines were still crisp even after centuries! I then sat down on some Arabic cushions and enjoyed a Turkish coffee in one of the rooms carved out hundreds of years ago. It was a great ending to a fantastic journey.

Petra is a place I had always wanted to visit, but I had no idea it was this beautiful. Of all of the days I have been travelling for, this ranks up in my top five experiences of the entire expedition.

Cliffside Cafe

Cliffside Cafe

Cliffside Cafe Owner

Cliffside Cafe Owner

Walking to the City of Petra by the Obelisk Tomb

Walking to the City of Petra by the Obelisk Tomb

As-Siq: A naturally created gorge for Indiana Jones to make his grand exit

As-Siq: A naturally created gorge for Indiana Jones to make his grand exit

Al-Khazneh: "The Treasury"

Al-Khazneh: "The Treasury"

Al-Khazneh: "The Treasury" and most famous spot

Al-Khazneh: "The Treasury" and most famous spot

The Street of Facades

The Street of Facades

The Street of Facades

The Street of Facades

The Theatre

The Theatre

Petra Taxis

Petra Taxis

Petra Taxi Stand

Petra Taxi Stand

Heading up to the Monastery in style

Heading up to the Monastery in style

Having a Rest

Having a Rest

Ad-Deir: "The Monastery" and Pinnacle of the Day

Ad-Deir: "The Monastery" and Pinnacle of the Day

Ad-Deir: "The Monastery" and Pinnacle of the Day

Ad-Deir: "The Monastery" and Pinnacle of the Day

One of these poor guys carried me and my gear to the top!

One of these poor guys carried me and my gear to the top!

I was tempted to put a cigarette in this guys mouth for a photo!

I was tempted to put a cigarette in this guys mouth for a photo!

Locals

Locals


About Andrew Pateras

Andrew has lived in the GTA all his life and a good portion of his adult life has been devoted to sales. He studied Business Information Systems Management at Ryerson University. From there, he worked in sales for tier one organizations such as Hewlett Packard, Epson and Intel. Then as North American Sales Manager for GAP Adventures, he gained even more experience in negotiation and client service. Andrew has been a licensed real estate sales person since 2006. In 2007, Andrew also began a new venture in professional photography. Over the next number of years, he travelled on assignment all over the world. This is why he is meticulous when it comes to your marketing images! To say Andrew's travel and photography experience is extensive would definitely be an understatement. He has journeyed to remote and exotic locations in 48 countries on all six continents in search of adventure and authentic cultural experiences. Whether it is diving with great white sharks in South Africa, in a cage with Bengal tigers in northern Thailand or perched atop a land cruiser, photographing rhinos and lions in the Serengeti, he has likely photographed any holiday experience you can imagine. In 2015, Andrew earned the Directors Platinum award from Royal LePage for outstanding sales performance. Andrew's commitment as your real estate professional is to provide you with the specialized real estate service you deserve. Whether you're buying or selling, contact him with any questions that you may have. His promise to you is that your experience will be both stress-free and enjoyable. His focus is always YOU and the results you can expect from him.

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