We drove an hour from kibbutz Lotan. At the border we debarked the bus and walking, had to pass through 2 Israeli checkpoints before another scrutiny at the crossing into Jordan.
In a van driving from the Israel-Jordan border, our Jordanian guide Hussein gave us a historical and geographical accounts of the region.
Initially we passed mountain ranges made of limestone and granite. Then while on the Kingsway (which has been used since the time of Abraham) the sandstone hills grew upward beside the road.
About 1.5 -2 hours later we came to Petra. In 1812 a Swiss explorer discovered this ancient (400BCE-1200AD) city constructed by the Nabataeans. .It was used as a commercial route from Marrakesh to Egypt.
The 1.2 km walk through the gorge (Siq) was magical. We passed high peaks that with the sun shining became multihued with gold and oranges and reds.( Petra is also called the Red City). Skilled in water supply they also honoured the god of water with 12 huge monuments called Jins, placed where the waiter flowed. Other buildings included The Royal tombs (Ban Al Siq) , the Treasury, the amphitheater and other remains of buildings.
Our 13 tour participants were awestruck as we walked down the naturally made path of history. Descriptive words were: “remarkable, enchanting, awesomely inspiring, unbelievable, spectacular, dramatic, monumental, exciting, other worldly, phenomenal, unique, like a picture in the Bible and there are no words to describe this”.
This was a day and experience not to be forgotten.