Travel: Petra, Jordan

“As much as we like to think we can go it alone, we need friends.” – Emily Ley

When I arrived at our first posting abroad in Kuwait I was convinced I didn’t need to make any friends, I had people back home that cared about me and that was a enough. Wrong. So very wrong. When I opened myself up to the beautiful women around me, they changed my life. Although it is bittersweet to be a nomad and meet amazing people and then have to say goodbye to them, you end up making friends you just know you will see again.

This weekend after a year and a half of planning and strategizing, we met one of those cherished families from Kuwait for an adventure in Petra, Jordan. It has been amazing, if not surreal at times. We have literally picked up where we left off, especially two older children. The memories we are making now will be perfect for those bitter days when we are missing them again.


Here is a little recap of our adventure and some thoughts to help you, if ever get the opportunity to take the trip.


Named one of the new 7 wonders of the world a decade ago and an UNESCO World Heritage Site, Petra is an awe-inspiring place to explore, and photograph. It is commonly remembered from the scenes in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (definitely a classic), but to see it close up is just incredible. (wikipedia)


The main entrance to Petra, where you can buy your entry tickets, souvenirs, water bottles and use the bathroom; was packed. My suggestion here is to pre-order your tickets, bypass all of the chaos and head straight to the ticketed entry gate. Once through the gate we still had a bit of a walk before the actual entrance to the Siq. The Siq “the shaft” is a 1.2 kilometers (0.75 mi) long gorge that winds it way to the famous Treasury carved into the sandstone. (wikipedia) It is simply unbelievable to think that someone climbed to those heights to carve such perfectly symmetrical and intricate lentils, columns, and sculptures. You can still make out what looks like carved ladders of foot and hand-holds on either side of the Treasury facade.

IMG_3959IACW - dg fams.jpg

Along the way be prepared to be bombarded by bedouin children selling postcards, jewelry, and the rides on horses, donkeys, and camels. I recommend you decide in advance whether or not you want to ride the animals, prep your kids for that decision, and have cash ready, we paid 5JD per donkey and horse one way each, plus tip. We did decide that the kids would walk to the end of the city, just before the hike up to the Monastery, and ride a donkey back, but that did not stop the begging or complaining, ha! The older ones did great walking for the most part, but my little guy rode on daddy’s shoulders for the majority of the trek. Another note for those with little ones: the Siq narrows down to 3 meters (9 feet) at times and, with the crowds of tour groups and horse drawn carts, keep them close so you can grab them if necessary.

At the end of the city we split up and the dads went on to hike to the Monastery and the moms returned with our little adventurers to the hotel for a relaxing late lunch. Friends that had gone before us had shared that the steep incline was a little scary with kids on donkeys and that there were no railings or guards at the top, so we were not going risk it. The dads returned sweaty, but happy, about two hours later with some fantastic photos of the incredible views from the top. Check out their awesome shots!

IACW - Petra collage - CD


Overall, I think we all appreciated the wonder of Petra and the fun excursion. Experiencing it with our long-distance friends made it all the more special. I even overheard the older ones telling each other that it was “the best day ever” and the other said it was “one of the best days of my life.” See we all need friends, if nothing else but to share our lives with them. {We love you, Drennans!}


Wishing you a wonder-filled day!


PS – What a happy coincidence that the hues of Petra continued month’s study of the color orange! #itsanorangeworld

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