We had intended on going to Istanbul after Spain but after realizing the weather was much colder in January than we had initially thought, Amy started looking into the Middle-East (only one backpack and no real winter clothes is an easy excuse to help dictate some of our travels). Obviously we have heard and read mixed reviews about the Middle-East some saying that certain countries were beautiful retreats while other’s saying to stay away from the region completely. After a lot of research we decided to stay away from the countries that could or would possibly put us in danger and venture to a couple of countries that could provide great historical experiences and allow us all to learn about a part of world we know nothing about other than what we see and read in the media: those two countries being Jordan and Israel.
One of our day trips was Petra, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Petra is easily one of the most eye inspiring places I have ever seen. To walk down the path of the Siq, a dark narrow gorge, which is over 1 km long and huge rock walls some as tall as 650 feet on each side is mind-boggling enough and all worth the trip but then you come upon the majestic view of “The Treasury” . . . it simply moves you beyond words. I never imagined it would be so incredible. That all of this was built starting around the 6th century B.C. and still stands today for us to walk through to see first hand the magnitude of the builders during that period is something very hard to grasp. We spent the first two hours with a tour guide as he walked us though all the highlights of some of the main portions of the site. Then we took the next 5 hours to walk and venture on our own, with the main objective of walking the 800 plus steps up to see the Monastery and view the End-of-the-World viewing point. Since we are seeing so much during our time in Jordan and Israel we only had one day in Petra but you could easily stay there a number of days and probably still not see everything, it is that big. I am blown away by the ruins and monuments I have seen thus far in Jordan, they are huge and plenty and I am simply amazed by one place just as much as the next.