The cruise ship I was on seldom organizes crew activities and this Crew tour to Petra Was the first one I’d seen since my 3 months onboard. I was not interested to go either mainly because as a galley employee it would slow down my productivity and accumulate the tasks I had. But Thanks to my awesome pastry chef, he convinced me to go telling me it was a trip of a lifetime. Never In my life, had I thought that one day, I would visit one of the wonders of the world. I don’t regret going and I’m extremely grateful to my Superiors for allowing me to go. Continue on reading, if you want to know what amazed me during this trip, the things I liked and the things I disliked.
The weather on that day was quite windy and I started regretting my choice of a short and T-shirt, Luckily as we left the port, the weather started getting warmer. We were in for a 2hr30minutes trip.I’ve never traveled for this long on a bus, maybe because my country is small. There were astonishingly beautiful landscapes along the way and sand that was of an unreal red color. I thought I was traveling in heaven. Our World is indeed magnificent. After one hour something of traveling, We stopped at a shop which was located in the middle of a desert road, the people there were welcoming, If there’s one thing that I will always cherish about Petra, it is the warm smiles and gentle nature of the people especially the guide, the bus driver, the shop owners and the staff at the entrance desk in Petra. After a 30 minute break, we continued our way to Petra.
The Ticket in hands,let the adventure begin!
The Ticket In Hands,Let the adventure begin
We reached Petra at 10 am. The guide briefly explained to us how to get to the main attractions and handed us a map. As soon as this briefing was over, I realized that my so-called best friends on the ship left me, but that was okay with me as no friends is equal to more freedom. I went to buy some fast food because the lunch box that the ship gave us, contained a pork sandwich and I don’t eat pork. I started my ascend to the lost city of Petra, everything was going great…
Until I met The horse-Man…
If there’s one thing that ruined my trip to Petra besides the pork sandwich, it is the Horseman. Okay so lemme explain here, In your Ticket, A short horse ride is included however you have to tip the horse-man, our guide told us that the minimal tip is $5.I was not interested to ride the horse because I’m scared but the horse guy was being forceful, so in order to stop wasting time and also in an attempt to overcome my fear of horses, I said why not?. We agreed on a $5 tip. During the ride, he tried to convince me to go to a ‘secret’ area with a better view, despite explaining to him I’m not interested, he kept insisting, this made me uncomfortable. We finally reached the end of the horse ride track, I ended up tipping him $10 because he took my photos..but still he was not satisfied, he was being greedy, he told me to give him more and he even told me he would exchange my money if I have bigger notes. Dude I already gave you more than we had agreed on, why can’t you be thankful?. A tip is not a selling price dude. So if you are going to Petra soon, be wary of the greedy horsemen and camel-men. And decline the ‘secret’ area tour because if they are not satisfied with your tip(plus you have to pay extra), they are either gonna insult you, leave you there or both (these are horrors stories I heard from the ship’s Shore-Ex and online )
The Greedy horseman off my back ,I finally start exploring..
Regardless of the horseman’s attempts to extract more money from me, I ignored him and started my walk to the Al Khazneh Treasury. The route to all the attractions in the Lost City of Petra is straightforward and well labeled, so there’s no risk of getting lost unless you take some sketchy route. Moreover, there are Vendors and snack shops in every corner, you can ask them for direction, if you are not sure. On the way, I saw spectacular rock formations and splendid man-made sandstone carved structures(besides the Al Khazneh Treasury). I was flabbergasted by such creations. Truly, Nature is amazing and the human mind has incredible talents (at least those who built the Lost City).
The Al Khazneh Temple And My Phone Started Dying .
One hour of walking in the dense desert heat, I finally saw a glimpse of the Temple, my heart kinda skipped a beat, I thought it was a mirage. I continued walking until I could get a full picture. Finally, I was there standing in front of the Temple, I was elated, I could not believe what I was seeing, Al Khazneh looked so spectacular and glorious (unfortunately, you can’t go inside). It was as if I time-traveled back in time. My excitement was cut short by the vibration I felt in my pocket, My phone was at 9% battery, as always, my phone leaves me when I’m in the best places. This time it was not because I did not let it charge fully but rather because of the sudden heat it was subjected to.
Other Attractions After The Treasury
Don’t Come back after you reach the Al Khazneh Treasury, Keep on going forward, as there are many more attractions on the way. Make sure you go to the last attraction which is the Monastery where you get a spectacular view of the whole city. I made it up only to the Royal Tombs as I was short of time. To come back you can either ride a camel, a donkey, or walk back, but be careful with the camel/donkey owners as some of them are greedy and dishonest.
I Can’t Leave Petra Without A Souvenir …
On my way back, I saw this nice jewelry vendor, he was selling beautiful gemstone bracelets. And My eyes could move away from a bluestone bracelet, I don’t remember which gemstone it is though. The stone is of great quality and the metal as well. And it’s cheap. Every time I look at the bracelet, I remember the beautiful moments I had in this wonderful country.
To sum up, despite a bad start, Petra was amazing and I plan to visit this country again in the near future. There are however some issues to be careful about notably regarding animal welfare, some of the horses, donkeys, and camels there seemed as if they were being over-worked, they looked tired, in a bad shape, and malnourished, I advise you to stay from riding these type of animal, I hope the situation has improved since then.