Friday 20th September 2013
I climbed 900 steps to reach the Monastery overlooking the best view of Jordan’s most predominantly historical location, Petra on Friday.
Shoaib, our lovely tour guide, gave us a wonderful historical talk about the tombs and how Petra was once identified as the Death City due to the lack of homes.
Petra linked Arabian trade routes to China, India and Mediterranean cities to import and export products such as frankincense, myrrh, silks and ivory.
The ancient city has examples of many tombs, some which were more heavily decorated indicating the wealth and importance of those placed inside.
We also saw the Obelisk Tomb which indicates Egyptian influence through the design of benches where Nabataeans had feasts annually to honour the dead.
Petra was once home to Nabateans who settled in Jordan 2200 years ago who made their homes from limestone which crumbled away in a series of earthquakes leaving behind only their tombstones.
Tombstones were carved into the mountains throughout the whole region. It was magical to be standing in such a historical place, listening to the decades of architecture and history within the stone.
I felt in particular this was important, as we were able to understand the Nabateans achievements in building such historical monuments which are still being rediscovered today.
While climbing the steps, I also interacted with Bedouin traders and managed to grasp their traditional culture. They still living amongst the valleys close to Petra, creating handicrafts to sell to tourists.
Some of their children were fluent in Italian, German, Spanish and English due to being in close contact with a variety of tourists.
This has to be the most interesting historical place I’ve ever visited and I can’t thank Dr Majid enough for organising this for us – it really sums up Jordan – it’s beautiful and it tells an incredible story.
I can now say I’ve been to the eighth ancient wonder of the world!