Saturday, August 4, 2007

Petrifying PETRA!

My plan to visit the biblical site in Jerusalem has made more possible because I’ve been working in the Gulf Area.

After seeing the documentary in the National Geography’s controversial discovery of the supposedly tomb of Jesus, the Sodom and Gomorrah’s site, Mt. Sinai, relics of the chariots at the Red Sea and some of biblical sites, my enthusiasm to see these places has intensified.

In 2001, my Jordanian boss, although a fanatic Muslim born in the town of Bethlehem, encouraged me to come with him in Jordan when I told him that I want to visit Jerusalem. It was November, time for Ramadan vacation and I was excited to come with him.

However, he warned me that I should not present my passport for stamping to enter Jerusalem or else I will not be able to return back to Saudi Arabia. A photocopy will be fine.

We travelled by his car from Riyadh to the Southern part of Saudi Arabia (Tabuk) and took us 1 ½ days to reach Amman Jordan.

Unfortunately, by the time we reached Amman, the rift between the Palestine in the Gaza Strips and West Bank and the Israelites worsen. Some areas in the West Bank were destroyed by Israel troops.

I was left with no option but to stay in Amman and cancelled my plan to go inside Jerusalem.

Although the conflict was converged at the Western part, Amman was generally peaceful.

My boss has decided to go back to Saudi Arabia in two days, and although I was a bit frustrated, I had no option but to come back to Riyadh with him.

On our way back, my boss, in order not to make my trip worthless, decided to drop by Petra, which is recently been recognized as one of the seven Wonders of the World.

Petra is an archaeological site in Jordan, lying in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Arabah (Wadi Araba), the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. It is famous for having many stone structures carved into the rock.

The site was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985 when it was described as "one of the most precious cultural properties of man's cultural heritage."

At that time, the place was seldom visited by tourists because of its inaccessibility to commuters and travellers. Camel rides will take you to the place at a cost of around 20 US$.

Petra is referred to as Sela in the Bible (see 2 Kings 14:7). It was situated in the land of Edom, between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba, near the points of intersection of great caravan routes from Gaza on the Mediterranean Sea, from Damascus, from Elath (now Al ‘Aqabah, Jordan) on the Red Sea, and from the Persian Gulf

The entrance is a chasm or ravine, which is only 3.7 m (12 ft) wide and has towering rocky walls. Along this ravine are the ancient structures carved out of the walls of solid rock.

The blending of different cultures is seen in this palatial building and its precinct with the use of elephant heads, frescos, elegantly carved pilasters and capitals. There is a high level of skill and technology possessed by her builders as well as the high level of organized government that would be needed to plan the building of this monumental structure.
A $100 million feature film titled City of Lost Spirits that will be shot in Petra, Jordan will give us 360° views of the ancient city. The action adventure movie, which will have a style similar to Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark, will be co-developed and produced by Unizarre International, a UK-based film production company with Blaze Agency, a TV production firm in Jordan.

Hopefully people, just like me, will soon realize the breadth and depth of the wonders of this special place. Petra will become known as more than just a 'pretty place' with impressive ruins.
I remember that I watched movies like Sinbad & Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade.

Petra is so beautiful, someday I want to visit this wonderful place again!


Edwin KSA said...

Hanep, inggit ako coz nasilip mo na ang Petra. ako until now panaginip pa rin.. lolz. :>

rhonzkie said...

the place has been proclaimed as one of the new 7 wonders of the world.. i wish mkpunta rn aq jan.. bitch envy.. haha..

Anonymous said...

i've been there three years ago, ganda ng place. tried to walk until the monastery. Kapagod, yung iba sumsakay sa donkey. Sayang di ka napunta sa Dead Sea, lulutang ka sa tubig. Sana nagpunta ka rin sa John the Baptist site-jordan river, boundary between Israel and Jordan..You should go back there for a 7days itenirary..