I’m not in Kansas anymore

Posted from Amman, Jordan.

I flew from  Zurich to London then to Amman.  I arrived in Amman at about 9:00pm.  The airport was quiet and after just a few problems getting through immigration I was in a nice taxi headed into town to my hotel.  It was dark but I could see desert sands and signs in Arabic including one that said exit here for Iraq.  The hotel was very nice but all bags had to go through an Xray machine and I had to go through a medal detector to get inside.  I checked in and headed to bed.  My bus to Petra was scheduled for 7:30.

I grabbed breakfast and a taxi to the bus station.  I felt pretty good until the taxi driver asked if I already had my ticket to Petra.  I said no I had a reservation.  He said “no ticket?”  and shook his head.  He indicated that he didn’t think I could get on the bus.  My anxiety level increased.  When we go to the bus office he said he’d wait so he could take me back to the hotel.  But no worries, my reservation was in order, I got my ticket and went and said good by to my panic inducing taxi driver.  I sat in the bus office with the few other tourists waiting for the bus.

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Just like a Swiss bus it loaded and left on time.  The seats were unbelievably short in the leg space but luckily no one sat next to me.  After about 2 hours we had a rest stop.

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We arrive in Petra at about 11:30.  I caught a rogue taxi to the motel, the driver spent the entire trip trying to get me to commit to a  tour.  I repeatedly said no.  He seemed disappointed.  I dropped my bags and returned in the taxi to the gates of Petra.

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There were very few people.  It was a partly cloudy day and a nice wind so it was very comfortable.  The entrance starts sloping downhill.  There were many offers by young Jordanians to transport me by horse like Indian Jones to the beginning.  I passed.

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The path became narrower and the walls became higher

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This area is called the Siq and is the famous narrow entrance to the city of Petra.  There were hardly any people in the Siq so I had a nice 1 mile walk down to Petra

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Along the sides of the canyon were groves that held pipes to transport water into the city 2000 years ago.

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The Siq got narrower and higher.

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Finally the first outlines of the Treasury (the first building at the end of the Siq) came into view.

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That will be my teaser for tonight.  I’m exhausted and headed to bed.  More to come.