Beyond The Rose City!

Visiting Petra has been on so many peoples bucket list ever since watching Indiana Johns movies as kids. Petra is Jordan’s most epic and popular attraction. While the impressive site gives an important look into the country’s history, it’s also important to realize that Petra has more to offer than just beautiful carved architecture and scenery. In fact, a visit to Petra has many other worthwhile offerings suitable for all kinds of travelers. Here are some tips to guide you threw our rosy city:


A Coca Cola Drinking Camel!





There are many ways to get to the Treasury but we found that walking the whole way the way the ancients did was most purposeful. You will however be assailed by camel drivers, horses, carriages and other means of transportation who are all too willing to part you from a few dinars. Look for the coca-cola drinking camel. He is quit humorous, if you are traveling with kids they would find it entertaining. Take lots of water because it gets very hot. There are shady places to sit on the way still ware a large hat and plenty of sunscreen.

Cooking In Petra

The travels whom love food and learning recipes will appreciate the cooking school in the town of Petra. It's called Petra Kitchen and a fun evening activity it would be. As they say on their site, 'Each evening meal includes soup, cold and hot mezza, salads, and a main course—all typical Jordanian dishes from Baba Ganoug to Jordanian meat pizza. You will get an inside glimpse of the secrets behind the famous regional cuisine of the Levant. The regular price of JD 30 per person includes the cuisine course, meal and all non-alcoholic beverages as well.
           
Wear You Walking Shoes

From experience we recommend wearing sturdy walking shoes completely covering your feet. The rocky Siq (long path into the city) is very uneven with lots of old flat rocks. The city itself is a mixture of sand, grit and very high steps especially to the temples or king's tombs, and a long walk to the Monastery. Reddish dirt everywhere. So don't wear black. Khakis, grey and blues are fine.


Married to a Bedouin

In Petra you can visit Marguerite van Geldermalsen, the New Zealand women who married a Bedouin man. The guides will point out her stall to you; she sells lovely silver jewelery made by the Queen Noor Women's Foundation and some pieces by local women. Marguerite wrote a very interesting book about her experience living in Petra called ('Married to a Bedouin' published by Virago). You can find it in most libraries in Jordan.  It would be quite special to actually meet her and see where she lives now. Marguerite also does guided tours if people contact her in advance. We guaranty that that is one tour in Jordan you won't forget!  .


           
Carry Money For Tips

Jordanian people are quit friendly, accommodating, and pretty laid back, except for in Petra.  Petra is a Disneyworld of sorts, a crowded tourist destination, where tips are expected if you ride a donkey 20 feet with a person leading the donkey, even though this has already been paid for in your tour price. So, be sure to take small denominations of Jordanian money for tips in Petra, as they will ask you for a tip, regardless of the service offered. This happens nowhere except Petra. Be sure also to purchase your drinking water other than at the hotels as they can charge up to $5.00 USD for a bottle of water.

Having said that, Petra is something to behold. It is awesome, and to think this was a planned city that was carved thousands of years ago. For an alternative stay in an ancient cave in Petra or a rustic camp check out(www.gweet.com).


Things to learn before you go!

 The Arab words minfadluk and shukran work wonders throughout Jordan. They simply mean please and thank-you. Use them often..

 A Jordanian staple is tea, called shai in Arabic. The best kind is what the Bedouin brew over a hot fire in a blackened kettle --it's deliciously sweet and served with fresh mint. Usually served in palm-
sized glasses without handles. It's an acquired talent to hand onto it without burning your fingertips.




 When to go: usually they advise spring for Petra and Wadi Rum but for many Petra visitors the time of day may be more important than the time of year. Light early and late in the day creates the most colorful effects on Petra’s ubiquitous stones, perfect for taking beautiful photos with your camera.


Beyond The Rose City! Reviewed by Rasha Hamdan on 05:12 Rating: 5

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