Anyone who knows me, understands I love to crawl through ancient ruins. I’ve climbed the pyramids at Giza, crawled all through Angkor Wat, walked Borobudur, and hiked to Machu Picchu, just to name a few. This last week I had the opportunity to travel from Tel Aviv into Jordan to visit Petra. Herman and I spent two days at Petra, and it turned out to be one of the most interesting and inspiring hikes of our lives. We loved it.
More than two thousand years old, Petra was built by the Nabataeans in the heart of the Shara Mountains. It prospered in the first centuries BC and AD as was a vital part of a major trading route connecting ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. Today, intricate facades sculpted into the sandstone cliffs of the area can still be seen, along with other remarkably preserved structures and monument of this fascinating civilization. At its peak, it housed fifty-thousand inhabitance. By the middle of the 7th century Petra appears to have been largely deserted and it was then lost to all except local Bedouin from the area.
Petra was also known as the rose-red city, a name it gets from the color of the rock from with the city's magnificent structures were carved. The city has numerous tombs cut into the mountainside, along with temples, a theater, and a colonnade street with two free-standing churches.
Needless to say, I was in hog heaven.