With much of a delay (ooops) I’m here to finish my Jordan story.
And we can pick up right where we left off – en route to the monastery in Petra.
In the last post, we left off somewhere in the middle of this ancient old capital city and I can’t remember if I mentioned the conveniently located restaurant where you can get a bit of refreshment and even food (keep in mind it opens around 11am). We made a quick pick stop for food (… ahem… and wine) and started slowly climbing the stairs towards the monastery. I think someone told me that there are around 800 stairs and boy they were not kidding! The crowds started slowly pouring in and we had to step up our game to get to the place when it’s not crowded yet.
The Monastery is probably the second biggest landmark in Petra, right after the famous the Treasury itself. It is the very last stop at the end of your journey and thank God there is also a small place where you can buy cold water or, in my case, cardamon tea. The climb to the Monastery is not for light-hearted, but the stunning views and dramatic landscapes make up for it.
Most of the journey is made up of rock carved steps and alleys which are lined with local selling anything from scarves, magnets, water and it felt like also their own kids. After you pass the first few stalls it gets a bit annoying and you still try to be nice and smile while you pass the remaining 28 stalls on your way up the hill. As we walked we were passed by a line of donkeys, I kid you not – carrying tourists to the steep hills. I had to bite my tongue and look the other way because Petra has a reputation for ill-treatment of animals and sadly I have to say it lives up to that reputation.
Even though it seemed like a journey with no end, we finally reached the Monastery and my husband parked himself right into the cave cafe while I ventured on to explore more. The area next to the Monastery is much more open and offers plenty of photo opportunities. It’s not as crowded as the Treasury and the views from the rock-carved cafe place are truly one of a kind. To get a sense of perspective and size, you should get right to the edge of the Monastery to get a clear idea of the size of the building – it’s huge!!!
The area was buzzing with people taking photos, ordering drinks and enjoying their well-deserved rest. After a while, I realised there is more climbing and conquering foreign landscapes and we have reached the end of the hike and the climax of the Petra trip. A victory for my shaking legs, but it was sad for this adventure to come to an end.
A day that started with me clutching my warm cardigan at 6 am as we walked through the gates, shaking in the dusk of the morning and ended up as this glorious show-stopping historic sight in sweltering heat, sipping cardamon tea in a cave cafe with a local dog sleeping next to me and the King’s portrait hanging opposite. Crowds of tourists gathered in the cafe and quietly sat admiring the scene in front of them while sipping their tea and coffee. Everything felt at peace and couldn’t have wished for a better end to such a glorious day.
Petra can’t be explained, it needs to be experienced. Book your flight and I can guarantee you will have a trip of a lifetime!