Monday 13th May 2019
Day 17 Petra visit, ship in Aqaba, Jordan
This morning we were up at 6am for our day trip to Petra, the ancient city of Jordan. After breakfast we checked in at the theatre and waited our turn to be called to the bus. There were 28 tour buses of about 50 people going today, so it was busy. We were on Bus 22, so we were underway from the dock around 9:15am, heading out from Aqaba. Once out of the city, the landscape becomes very mountainous and rugged, no green anywhere, just brown hillsides, sometimes scarred dramatically with ancient black lava flows, very dramatic scenery. There are dozens of wind turbines in the hills further out of the city, Then we stopped at a spectacular lookout very high up that was dubbed “The Third Best View in the World”. We just wondered what numbers 1 and 2 were....anyway, the view was stunning. We reached the bus park at Petra and then walked in. Today was hot and dry (around 32C), and it was very dusty with thousands of tourists, to be expected at such a well known world heritage site. Our guide walked with us down the narrow Siq into the ancient city, through a very narrow cleft in the rock, showing us ancient carvings and the carved conduit water system, until we reached The Treasury, instantly recognisable, and absolutely breathtaking. No tourist crowd can take away the stunning beauty of this site. We took many photos and enjoyed the ambience, then walked on through the rest of the site, past the Street of Facades to the Amphitheatre, ancient to beyond Roman times. The walk was gradually downhill all the way, so coming back was much more difficult, but the sights were amazing. Back to the hotel for a boxed lunch, then 2 and a half hours back on the bus to the ship. We arrived at around 5:30pm and the ship sailed shortly afterwards. Went to the show which was the classical singers then dinner and bed. Perfect day, amazing sights, but very tiring, about 8km walking.