Right now we are on a round trip in Jordan and are recently staying in Wadi Musa, the gateway to the ancient city of Petra. The next stations will be Aqaba (with a tour to Wadi Rum), the Dead Sea and Amman again. For sure there will be a post about the whole trip with more recommendations and pictures, but here are our first experience:
As for most traveler, our first stop was Amman, its airport offers most and best connections to get into the country. We arrived on Ukraine International Airlines from Kiev in the middle of the night. Even if there were almost no lines at the passport controls, it took a little longer, but with our Jordan Passes (we’ll report about it more in the last post on the whole trip) it was no problem to get the visa upon arrival as we already paid for it. Unfortunately the shuttle bus to the city is not running at that time, so we had the choice to take a taxi or a transfer organized by our hotel. As taxis usually go at a fixed price of 25 JOD and the hotel offered to pick us up for the same price, we decided for the hotel transfer. We weren’t let down by this decision, instead of negotiating with the taxi driver or catching a taxi driver who doesn’t know where our hotel was, the hotel’s driver was already waiting for us in the arrivals area and brought us to the Rafi Hotel (Tripadvisor) in downtown Amman (near the Roman Theater), were we checked in and went to sleep immediately, as we only had the following day to explore the city before leaving it again.
The next day started with a visit to the Nymphaeum and the Roman Theater. The Theater is just impressive, there is a large place in front of it, from were you can perfectly take pictures, but if you walk up all the stairs of the steep tribune, you also have a great view down onto the old town and the Citadel on the opposite hill.
Before walking up to the Rainbow Street for lunch, we took a walk over the market next to the Al Husaini Mosque. If you like local markets, this will definitely be interesting for you. Fresh fruits and vegetables, spices and teas, and clothing are offered here at low prices.
Rainbow Street was our next destination, due to the recommendation of a girl sitting next to us on the plane. It actually is a really interesting street with a lot of different restaurants and cafés, so perfect for food lovers like us. We had a tea at the Turtle Green Tea Bar (Tripadvisor) and had some traditional food at the nearby Sufra Restaurant (Tripadvisor). The food was really good, they have a good choice of different Arab dishes and are working really professional.
Besides that there are many different restaurants, from international food such as Indian cuisine, hot dogs, burger and pizza to local food and deserts, so that everyone should find a place to eat something here.
Later that day we walked over to the Jordan Museum, to find it beeing closed, as it unfortunately is only open until 2 p. m. and not every day. Check their homepage before going there: http://jordanmuseum.jo/en/visitor-information
After our day in Amman, we took a rental car from Amman Airport and went to Wadi Musa, the gateway to Petra, the most famous sight in Jordan and UNESCO World Heritage. The three hour ride – our first time on the road in the Middle East – was quite easy, the roads are not as good as in Europe, but not too bad. We slept at the Sharah Mountains Hotel (Tripadvisor) which was quite good.
We booked the Jordan Pass including two days of visiting Petra. Usually the entrance fee is 50 JOD for one day, or 55 JOD for two days per Person, if you stay minimum one night in Jordan, if not, for example for day tours coming in from Israel, the entrance fee is 90 JOD per Person. But don’t worry, it is so worth the money!
On day one we walked the main trail and the trail up to the Monastery. It is recommendable to enter Petra early as most tourists and groups arrive between 9 and 11 am while the gates open at 6:30am.
We have been here at 7:30 which was perfect. It’s more calm and it is not as warm as later during the day.
After getting rid of some really pushy guys wanting us to take their horses to go down the Siq, we went along the first sights and through the narrow gorge that leads you along to the most famous structure of Petra: Al-Khazneh – The Treasury. An impressive sight. We have seen pictures of it often, but standing here in front of it is something special.
From here we walked on, down the main path, explored the Royal Tombs and the Roman Theater along the way, while we were frequently passed by donkeys and camels which are offered for a ride. If you come here, prepare to say “No, thank you” very often. After passing the Great Temple, we went along to enter the trail up to the Monastery. It’s not an easy hike, it’s about 45-60 minutes of walking up stairs along dozens of souvenir stands. Nonetheless a walk up is a great idea as the views onto Petra and the desert from the top and the Monastery itself are impressive and a must see when you are here. Walking up and down including a short lunch break took us about 1.5 hours.
After walking back down again we ended the first day of our visit here, as we were already around for five hours and exhausted from all the walking and climbing.
On our second day, we planned to walk the trail along the High Sacrifice, the Garden Tomb and the Triclinicum. It was meant to take 3-4 hours, we actually made it within 1.5 hours, even if we stopped at the sights and took photos and had some short breaks. From this trail you also have some great views onto the main trail of Petra and you also get some good impressions of the landscape this city was built into.
All in all our visit to Petra was just awesome and two days of visiting it is really worth it. It is just not possible to see everything within one day, and if you try to, you will be super exhausted after that. Taking two days to explore the whole city is definitely worth it. You won’t get bored here and there are several good restaurants to kill time with some delicious local food.
Thank you for reading, we hope we were able to give you some interesting insight into or trip.
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