During my trip to Israel this summer, I was able to take a brief excursion into the country of Jordan and visit Petra. What an experience this was.
I can tell you, once again, that I am so thankful that I packed some good walking shoes. The history is out of this world in this region of the world, but if you really want to experience it, you must walk it. Jordan has done a fantastic job of preserving the area around Petra. It truly is like going back in time. I cannot stress enough how much enjoyment I got out of this side trip, and the educational component of it will stay with me for a lifetime.
My trip to Petra was only for a day, but it was adventure-packed to say the least. Keep in mind that it was extremely, even stiflingly, hot, even more so than Israel. I did not know this was possible, but I certainly did not let it dampen my spirits. While a day tour to Petra does not have as many sites as Jerusalem or Nazareth, the views were breathtaking. At one point, I hiked up all 822 steps that had been carved out of a mountain that formed the entrance to a monastery. This site is huge, and it is amazing to consider that all of the carvings were done by hand.
The view from the top was out of this world, as I looked out over the valleys below. It took my breath away, particularly when considering the history of this place.
I was also able to see the Nabatean tomb of the ruler of Uneishu. There were other tombs around as well, each preserved through the centuries and still on display. It is absolutely amazing if you stop to think about it. While I know that a day to Petra was more than enough, I am so thankful that I went. While in Israel, it is relatively easy to get there, and the few sites that I saw were unlike anything I have seen before in my life, or am likely to ever see again.