Petra’s probably been on my bucket list since I saw it. It looked glorious. Even though I was 7 months pregnant and had heard mixed messages about how tough it could be/walking up to different parts within the city, I went for it. After landing in Amman and exploring the capital, we drove down to the Rose City which takes approximately 3 hours with stops on the way to try local cuisine . Dramatic landscapes arose as we came closer. We booked a hotel about a ten minute walk from the gates of the beginning of Petra. A museum lies at the start of it explaining the history of Petra and the Nabateans that used to inhabit it. Petra and its visitor centre are open from 6 am – 6 pm in the winter. We’d visited in March so winter hours applied. With the possible heat coming in with the day and me being pregnant and wanting to beat the crowds, we started at 6 am.
- The Walk is not too difficult
The initial walk up to Petra is beautiful and somewhat feels like you’re on the moon at the beginning and as you walk further, you’re walking through the siq which is a rocky gorge that changes colours as you walk past it. Here, you can see the then-advanced water system that had been built ensuring that the Nabateans created their own oasis within this desert and supported over 30,000 inhabitants . I wasn’t sure how long this walk was but it was an easy walk all the way to the Treasury.
At the mouth of the siq stands the magnificent Treasury – carved into the red sandstone cliff faces. Thousands of years later, it still stands effaced into the mountain and is definitely one of the most beautiful parts of Petra. Petra is in essence an entire city built upon/within rock and was once a thriving trading center and the capital of the Nabatean empire.
2. Go Early
If you go early, you’ll beat the crowds and get some really nice clicks right in front of the Treasury without hoards of people photobombing you. Once you’ve taken your pictures in front of the Treasury, several people will come up to you offering to take your pictures at different viewpoints. You can then venture into different directions exploring this ancient city. You can see tombs, temples and caves where people used to live. People offer rides up to the Monastery on their donkeys – not sure if I would recommend that, but did not do so myself. The Monastery is similar to the Treasury just higher up ( 800 stairs) so you’d have to walk up for about another hour to get there.
3. The Tomb of Aaron (Moses’s brother) lies close to Petra
If I wasn’t 7 months pregnant, I would’ve ventured out to see the Tomb of Aaron (Moses’ brother). Petra is best seen on foot so if you are intrigued by the history and architecture, then I’d recommend spending at least a night here as there is a lot to explore.
4. The weather can vary
We started early and it was on the cooler side. I was dressed in a hoodie and a vest. By the time we were on our way back – at about 11 am, it had become quite hot. Dress for both. Classic to the desert, it can get really hot and it can get really cold.