Jordan, the Land of Star Wars' Rise of Skywalker: Part 2

Camels in Jordan's Petra.
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It had been a full day already by this point during my Jordan trip, but it was now time to drive across the valley through the mountains to the ancient city of Petra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Wonders of the World. My guide pointed out a Bedouin shepherd who was tending to his sheep. These nomadic farmers still follow the same traditions as their ancient ancestors, living by nature and sleeping in tents as their flocks move across the desert. At one point, our driver had to stop, as a caravan of camels came towards us and surrounded our car on the road. By sunset, we arrived the village of Wadi Musa where we checked into our hotel, the Movenpick Resort, located directly across the street from the entrance to Petra. As we entered our room, we could hear the call to prayer echoing through the village.
 
The ancient city of Petra is one of the world’s most important archaeological sites. What began as a desert oasis turned into a thriving city in the 3rd century BC and was located on the Silk Road trade route. The area consists of many important tombs, caves, and temples, all of which are carved out of sandstone, some with steps leading up to them. I was able to see the sophisticated aqueduct system this civilization built. The sandstone changed colors as I walked through the narrow gorge called, “The Siq.” Little did I know that “The Siq” would lead me to the most amazing monument I have ever seen. As I made my way through the twists and turns of the Siq, “The Treasury” slowly came into view. From here, I could envision what the ancient scene must have looked like with the Bedouins selling their goods and people riding by on camels. It is best to arrive in the morning when the sunlight brightens the Treasury and you can see the ornate detail shine. 
 
Many people turn back at this point, making the mistake of thinking that they have seen it all. Although the Treasury is the most impressive feature, there is far more to Petra than meets the eye. Further down the path among more tombs and caves was a large theater, similar to the one I saw in Amman, that seated 8,500 people. It was here people would gather for important events, meetings, and religious ceremonies. Every time I turned around, I was blown away by the scene laid out before me. I recommend staying for two or three nights in this area. Besides the day exploring Petra, there are other sites in the area to visit such as Aaron’s tomb and Little Petra. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, you can go back at night for a second visit to view Petra in candlelight.
 
As I returned to my hotel, we heard the beautiful call to prayer coming from the Bedouins inside Petra. I couldn’t help feeling regret that I wasn’t going to see Petra at night. This was an amazing experience and I feel like a better person for having witnessed this place and it’s wonderful and charming people. 
 
The guides were so knowledgeable and kind, attending to our every need. There was never a time I felt nervous or uncomfortable. I only hope I can experience another journey that can match the awe of Jordan! 
 
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