Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Winter in Jordan

It only snows in Jordan a couple of times a year, they say. Well, what are the odds…yes, we began the day in Amman with snow flurries. That finally changed to rain as we drove down to Petra. Then the sky cleared for us as we walked through the Siq (the narrow gorge you walk down to enter Petra). Then the fog moved in. And as we drove back into Amman, it was snow, snow, snow. The weather threw a lot at us, but the day was a homerun as far as I’m concerned.

I’d looked at Petra a lot on web sites, but none of the pics did it justice. In the middle of nowhere, a bedouin tribe called the Natabeins, built in the first century BC a trade city. The city structures are all gone, (due primarily to the great earthquake of 749 AD) but the tombs and funeral buildings they carved in the sandstone are amazing.

The hike through the Siq is about 1 ¾ miles. You could pay to ride a donkey or a donkey pulled cart, but we’d heard about how the animals are mistreated there and did not want to support that with our trade. Besides the hike was the best way to experience it, slowly.

The rain had made the colors in the rock stand out even more. But best part, as I’ve heard others say as well, was the last turn in the Siq when the magnificent “Treasury” façade came into view. The Treasury was all carved from one rock. Erosion and humans have defaced many of the mythological figures carved there, but still the craftsmanship is evident and impressive.

Waiting to see how long it snows tonight in order to set our itinerary for tomorrow. Either way, we will be going to Mt. Nebo, where Moses looked over into the “promised land.” I just realized, I’ve already seen more snow in Jordan in one day than I have in Sumter in five years. Who would have thought it.

(Note, this post was made for Jan 22 but the Arabic Google wouldn't let me post it, so it's here a day late.)

No comments: