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Location - Middle East; Capital - Amman; Population - 6 million; Currency - Jordan Dinar

Public transport isn't great between Aqaba and Petra so get a few passengers together and take a taxi - November 2012. MORE JORDAN


jordannote1The Jordanian Dinar









jordan113The amazing 'Red-Rose City' of Petra was built over the 6th to 1st centuries BC by the Nabateans. The Romans then built on and expanded it


jordan112The Treasury is the first magnificent sight to behold after a walk through the rock gorge - Petra $600 Bonus


jordan102Three times a week the Treasury is lit by candles for 'Petra by Night' - Petra













jordan107Take a place on the rugs and listen to music and voice - Petra














jordan114It's well worth doing and the siq looks beautifully atmospheric but I recommend going the night before spending a whole day exploring. You may want to put your feet up in the evening! Petra


jordan119Get an idea of the size of the 1.2km siq - a towering canyon-like corridor - that leads to the Treasury and the rest of Petra


jordan127At points the siq's 200m high walls narrow so much you can almost touch both sides - Petra














jordan129A first glimpse of the Treasury at the end of the siq - Petra
















jordan145The Treasury (al-Khazneh) was built to serve as the tomb for Nabatean King Aretas III - Petra


jordan139King Aretas III lived sometime around the 1st century BC to 2nd century AD - Petra


jordan136Notice the difference in colour from early morning (right) to the previous photos taken as the sun peaks out late morning - Petra














jordan151The site is remarkable in that most buildings are cut direct into the sandstone rock - Petra













jordan146A close up of the Treasury - Petra


jordan160A short walk after the Treasury is a long flight of steps leading up to the High Place of Sacrifice where you can take in Petra below


jordan161Obelisks at the High Place of Sacrifice - Petra














jordan171 This area was where people would share a supper at the sacrifical site - Petra














jordan162At the High Place of Sacrifice at the top of Jebel Madbah - Petra


jordan172Not sure what this signifies but it remionds me of The Blair Witch Project.. Petra



jordan174Take the steps down the other side of Jebel Madbah to more tombs and temples - Petra













jordan175Water was designed to pour from the mouth of the Lion Monument in ancient times - Petra














jordan176Keep going down to take a look at the Garden Triclinium, a hall used to pay respect to those placed in the Soldier's Tomb - Petra



jordan180The Soldier's Tomb - Petra



jordan181In 1812 the lost city was 'rediscovered' by Swiss explorer Jean Louis Burckhardt. Of course the locals knew about it all the while.. Petra













jordan187Some of the tombs have been put to good use by the locals -Petra














jordan192The beginning of a 30-45 minute climb to the Monastery - Petra


jordan193The Lion Tomb is just off the Monastery trail - Petra


jordan194The climb takes longer if you want to admire the excellent views. The Royal Tombs can just be made out in the distance - Petra














jordan203The 3rd century BC Monastery (Al-Deir) - Petra















jordan212Walk a little further up the hill and look down on the Monastery to get a better idea of scale - Petra


jordan214The doorway is massive and not that easy to climb into! Petra



jordan216There's a cafe opposite the Monastery to recover and take it all in - Petra














jordan217The first time I visited I climbed to the top but perch on the top pediment? Crazy! Petra














jordan218The Monastery is bigger than the Treasury and definitely has the wow factor - Petra



jordan226Back in central Petra are the remains of the colonnaded street built by the Romans



jordan228One of the Royal Tombs, a few minutes walk from the Treasury - Petra














jordan230Further on is the Silk Tomb, known for its distinctive swirls of coloured rock - Petra














jordan232From the entrance to the Urn Tomb - Petra


jordan234Petra is known as the Red-Rose City because of the colour of the rocks


jordan245Symmetry at Petra
















jordan246There's plenty of weird and wonderful shapes and colours - Petra














jordan237Petra is a large area which takes at the very least one whole day to cover the main sights. If you can, put aside two days which can include Little Petra plus an evening for 'Petra by Night'


jordan303After Petra it was a coach back to Amman followed by a taxi tour of the north-west. This is the view from Umm Qais, with Syria straight ahead and the Golan Heights and Israel off-picture to the left













jordan310The ruins of the Roman city of Gadara - Umm Qais















jordan309Full-scale excavation of Gadara only began in the 1980s so more will be revealed in time - Umm Qais


jordan311The basalt rocks of the West Theatre - Gadara, Umm Qais



jordan317There's also some great views from the top of Ajloun Castle - Ajloun














jordan315The castle was built in the 12th century - Ajloun


















jordan322Israel and the Sea of Galilee lie a stone's throw away (if you can throw a stone a few kms). I guess this fighter plane somehow has a link to that - Ajloun


jordan321Driving past Ajloun Castle to Jerash - Ajloun


jordan323Hadrian's Arch marks the entrance to the Roman city of Jerash














jordan330Waiting for tourists beneath in the Hippodrome - Jerash















jordan339Columns of the Forum enclose an oval shaped plaza - Jerash


jordan336The Forum as used as a market in Roman times - Jerash



jordan340Looking skywards at the Temple of Zeus - Jerash















jordan349The Temple of Zeus stands above the Forum - Jerash














jordan354The South Theatre dates to the 1st century AD - Jerash


jordan357The Cardo Maximus, or colonnaded street, links the Forum to the North Gate at the far edge of Jerash


jordan359The Cardo Maximus is about 800m in length - Jerash














jordan360The Propylaeum served as the gateway to the Temple of Artemis - Jerash














jordan361The Nymphaeum was a fountain dedicated to the water nymphs - Jerash


jordan267Several castles lie in the Eastern Desert on the road to Iraq. This is Qasr al-Hallabat - Eastern Desert Castles















jordan272A mosaic in the 3rd century Qasr al-Hallabat, built by the Romans - Eastern Desert Castles














jordan274A few kms from the Qasr al-Hallabat is the bathhouse Hammam as-Sarah - Eastern Desert Castles



jordan275Iraq or Saudi? I'll plump for Azraq - Eastern Desert Castles


jordan276Present-day Qasr al-Azraq (Azraq Castle) dates to the 13th century - Azraq, Eastern Desert Castles














jordan282TE Lawrence aka Lawrence of Arabia stayed in this room in 1917/18 during the Arab Revolt against Ottoman rule - Azraq, Eastern Desert Castles













jordan284Inside the castle are a mosque, well, kitchen, storerooms and stables - Azraq, Eastern Desert Castles


jordan278The entrance is made from extremely heavy basalt blocks - Azraq, Eastern Desert Castles



jordan287The 8th century Umayyad castle Qusayr Amra - Eastern Desert Castles













jordan292Qusayr Amra is famous for its erotic frescoes - Eastern Desert Castles














jordan295Continuing on the drive back to Amman we arrived at Qasr Kharana - Eastern Desert Castles



jordan298Qasr Kharana likely served as a meeting lodge or caravanserai (a roadside inn common on trading routes) rather than as a fort - Eastern Desert Castles



jordan299A central courtyard is surrounded by rooms with narrow staircases leading upstairs - Qasr Kharana, Eastern Desert Castles



















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LINKS - King Abdullah II's website - Jordan Tourism Board - Petra info


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