Petra: The Rock City (in Photos)

I’ve wanted to visit Petra ever since watching Indiana Jones as a kid. The idea of a mysterious, ancient city carved directly into rock thousands of years ago by a lost civilisation (the Nabataeans) and forgotten by the western world until two hundred years ago is too exciting to be true, surely?
Petra is Jordan’s #1 attraction by a long shot – and the entrance fee alone is £50. But the moment you glimpse the famous Treasury at the end of a kilometre of a twisting canyon, you realise it’d be worth ten times that. My words can’t do it justice, so here are the photos.
The quintessential Petra photo at the end of the siq.
The Treasury in all its glory.
From further back, you realise just how incredible the carving into sheer cliff face really is.
But there’s more to Petra than the Treasury. We were there from sunrise until sunset.
The royal tombs.
One of many merchants at Petra.
Not enough people visit the Monastery, setting of the final scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark, because it’s up several hundred steps. Having climbed Mt Sinai the day before, we opted for the less strenuous ascent – by donkey.
Michael, Paul and I at the top of the climb, with the royal tombs visible in the distance.
Dwarfed by the gigantic Monastery.
A daredevil leaping across the Monastery. (Paul shrieked).
Some locals by the royal tombs, on the way back.
My day at Petra was one of my best days travelling, anywhere. It trumps anything I saw in Egypt. If I could have stayed longer, I would have. I really can’t rave enough.
Tip: do not join one of those tours where they come here just for a few hours before lunch!