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Map of Petra Site

Map of Petra Site

Here’s a map of Petra.

If you are visiting the site, I suggest you print this map out. They didn’t have any in English when I visited.

Map of PetraMap of Petra
1 Djin Blocks 10 Corinthian Tomb 19 Qasr Al-Bint 28 High Palace of Sacrifice
2 Obelisk Tomb 11 Palace Tomb 20 Unfinished Tomb 29 Lion Monument
3 Al-Siq 12 Sextus Florentinus Tomb 21 Al-Habees Museum 30 Garden Temple Complex
4 The Treasury 13 House of Dorotheos 22 Petra Archeological Museum 31 Triclinium
5 Street of Facades 14 The Nymphaeum 23 Lion Triclinium 32 Renaissance Tomb
6 The Theater 15 Colonnaded Street 24 Al-Deir – The Monastery 33 Broken Pediment Tomb
7 Aneisho Tomb 16 Byzantine Church 25 Turkmanian Tomb 34 Roman Soldier Tomb
8 Urn Tomb 17 Winged Lion Temple 26 Conway Tower 35 Snake Monument
9 Silk Tomb 18 The Arched Gate 27 Moghar Annassara 36 Crusader Fort

Main Sites

Here’s the best of the main sites from Petra, Jordan.

You’ve got refreshments along the way, so don’t worry too much about water.

Obelisk Tomb

Once 7 metres tall. Standing at the entrance caves to Al-siq.

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Obelisk Tomb

AL-Siq

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Name for the channel running through the mountain. Used to carry irrigation pipes and there is evidence of the Nabateans building and harnessing water through a number of dams as you pass through.

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Entrance to Al-siq

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Al-siq

Al-Khazneh or ‘the treasury’

Named the treasury as Bedouins believed there was ancient treasure buried in the urn’s which decorate adornments.

Bedouin settlers have routinely taken pot-shots at trying to release the treasure they believed was within. Although that was not possible,  the site is actually a tomb.

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The ‘treasury’ Petra

Palace Tombs

A large number of tombs on the south-west face of the Siq mountain.

Probably the largest and most spectacular site in Petra when viewed from the opposite hill, the Palace Tombs are a tribute to the opulence of the nobles who built them.

Standing around 40-metres high they can be easily reached, and there are Bedouin stalls along the way to get refreshments, mint tea, sit down for five minutes.

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Palace tombs

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Outside palace tombs

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Inside palace tombs

Colonnaded Street

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Passing the Amphitheatre, you’ll  reach this the colonnaded street. On the left you have the remains of a Greco-roman style walkway leads from the Amphitheatre up to the site of the Temple, currently being excavated by Browns university.

On the right is the old river with a number of channels leading into it.

At the base of the Colonnaded Street you have the museums and restaurants.

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Route to Crown Plaza buffet

If you want a cheap buffet, I recommend the Crown Plaza. KML

The Bedouins will try and sell you stuff. It’s up to you what you buy.

Petra Jordan

Petra Jordan

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Recently ascribed Wonder of the World status, Petra is a city carved entirely out of limestone rock.

The Nabateans who used to run camel trains from Egypt to India had their empire based here, once numbering over 30,000 inhabitants.

The city lay undiscovered up until the 1812 when Swiss explorer, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt,  conned local Arabs into letting him into the sacred complex to visit the tomb of Aaron. Dressed as an Arab, he returned with news to the western world and the rest is history, as they say.

Now I’ve been to a lot of these wonders, I can say the best thing about this one is the weather, because it’s built entirely below ground level, you can explore the complex fairly comfortably depending on how much time you’ve got.

I’ve got one day, so here’s the main sites.

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Petra Jordan

Hurghada – Diving on the Reef

Hurghada – Diving on the Reef

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To re-enforce my recently bourne skills, I’ve taken time out to come here to Hurghada Egypt’s second resort after Sharm-el-Sheik.

I’ve paid €47 for a full days diving with equipment and £2.70 for lunch.

We dive two reefs, Moon Reef then Umm Gammar reef.

I witness some stunning fish and coral, but only manage one picture, of my dive buddy Iressa from Lebanon.

If you wish to check out diving at Hurghada, I can recommend the company, it’s located at the Marriott Red Sea resort, which is a good resort.

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Dive Buddy

Luxor – Valley of the Queens/Kings/East Bank

Luxor – Valley of the Queens/Kings/East Bank

So called because, surprisingly, all the statues are located in a valley.

It looks like the valley was created through a mixture of basalt/limestone erosion. The tour guide said it rains once every five years for about 20minutes, so any erosion here taking place because of the Nile or it’s flood activities.

For either reason, limestone hilletts have formed in a way you might imagine of hobbiton (the Shire) except in rock. In these little hobbit holes are tombs of dead Kings and Queens from many centuries ago.

Cameras are not allowed.

Hatsheput – Valley of the Queens

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Dressed as a man for purposes of retaining the throne in co-horts with political powers in Egypt at the time who suggested that this would prolong her stay in power.

She took advise, and stayed on the throne for 22 years. Eventually her son Tut-Moses the third destroyed most of her temples and murdered her and ditched her body in the desert, although she does have one of the most impressive tombs on the East bank pictured below.

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Temple Hatsheput

Valley of the Kings

62 separate tomb discoveries where made here over time.

The ticket permits me to just 4. Rameses the II Rameses the IV and Tut-ankamun.

The tombs tunnel deep into the ground, those of Rameses the IV going down to 30 metres. It’s hot down there!

As I say, no pictures allowed.

This picture below gives some illustration to the colours/styles used in the tombs.

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Wall painting – temple Hatsheput

Valley of the Nobles

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The valley of the Nobles is slightly separated from the valley of the Kings amidst the carved Quartz workshops that litter the area.

The nobles are slightly different in that they explain how the nobles aspired to a life of plenty, represented by field of crops, fruit and animals, plenty of water, papyrus and other symbols which might make a Egyptian happy.

The tombs are smaller, as might befit a noble. Not as large as a high priest like the one used to bury Tut-ankamun.

Again, no photos. But the guys at the gate try to scam money out of you for extra photos, on the sly.

I tipped one guy for a wafter, but when people ask you to break the rules, things have a tendency of coming back to you.

If you’re going to break the rules, you should do so on your on steam, not because someone invites you to, so I always leave ‘secret’ or ‘special’ deals for some other mug.

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Valley of the nobles

Tours in Luxor

Tours in Luxor

If going to learn ANYTHING from the temples @ Luxor the West or East bank, again, you’re going to need to book a TOUR.

If you’re a single this means, you’ll have to visit THOMAS COOK, otherwise, take your pick. The other travel agents deal with 2 people and upwards.

I paid the following for tours with THOMAS COOK in Luxor:-

West Bank. 300ep – £30
East Bank. 225ep – £23

East Bank

The Nile runs north to south. Tours are separated into East and West bank.

After, wandering ruins, returned and booked tour.

This included:-

The temple of Karnak
The temple of Luxor

Both were built over a course of years, thousands of years, the majority of the action taking place 1,300 BC, when they built a harbour which could bring building materials directly.

The temples are decorated with hieroglyphics visible only to nobility and Kings or high priests who conducted daily rituals.
This kept the power focused at the top of the structure.

They say that the success of Egypt is down to the riddle of ‘The Riddle of Sphinx’ – Intelligence with power.

I’d advocate a certain amount comes from the sharing of knowledge.

You can find details of pretty much everything on these walls including booty from Tut-Moses III forays into Israel, rituals and ceremonies, to details of the kings their godly allegiances. It’s all recorded in thousands of hieroglyphics.

Karnak

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The ruins at Karnak are broken into many chambers, each King adding his own section.

It would be safe to say Karnak is the more impressive of the two ruins. Here’s a couple of shots to give some identity to the place.

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Karnak – Temple of a Million Years
 

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Early Explorer – John Gordon @ Karnak

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Russians at Karnak

If you want to take photos the best times are around mid day, (when the tours have gone), or at the sound and light festival when the uplights can provide a bit of contrast.

Luxor

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Or Thebes as it was known. A smaller set of ruins. Impressive with tall columns depicting scenes from the banks of the Nile.

By the time I reach this, I am deep in conversation with some amateur historians about what had made the Egyptian structure so successful. The main reason for their downfall was they spent to much money worshiping, the gods, themselves and whatnot.
We both agreed that 3,000 years was a good run.

The Romans have built a little temple at the edge of the original ruins. Dedicated to Christianity, it seems completely out of place in amongst the hieroglyphics.

Luxor – Karnak Sound and Light Show

Luxor – Karnak Sound and Light Show

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Not to be mist, this captures around and hour just after 6.

Tour

In English, a narration is boomed out from speakers as you are guided around the ancient ruins at Karnak.

Spooky lightshow

Coloured lights Illuminate the various columns, hieroglyphics, plus spooky music adds atmosphere to help describe what it was that made Thebes (Luxor) the great and successful beating heart of the nation.

It’s not to heavy, more honest than a BBC documentary, brings you back to the days of Carter and the good old British Empire. (Horahh for Blighty!).

The cost was low @ 75EP.

Luxor Museum

Luxor Museum

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After Cairo, I was pleased that this was a museum in a traditional sense, in that you might find things of interest and read the little cards they left out.

The museum was encapsulated in three levels, with an introductory video talking about the Egyptian Golden era.

The Golden Era
Spanning from 3400 BC to 39AD.

During this period, Egyptians who had once lived near to the Nile were forced, by climate change, to move nearer the flood plains and formed the first communities. Initially farming, then centres of trading, particularly around Buto in the North.

The development of Writing, allowed passing of ideas or knowledge through hieroglyphics spreading the advancement of technology;
Technology:- Long Bows, Chariots, Calendar, Masonry, Construction, Planning, Specialisation of Labour to mention a few..

A nation united

Through military conquest in upper Egypt, the Hyksos tribe were forced from the delta areas around Giza. Whilst in the south the Nubian tribes were defeated during the reign of Mentuhotep and Amenhotep, who, (latterly), was a particularly fierce and renowned warrior king.

Eventually two kingdoms of north and south Nile were consolidated leading to 3450 years of dominance creating a civilisation to be envied by the world.

The Museum

Goes some way to explaining the customs and warfare, particularly.