The main attractions in Petra can be visited in two to three hours but there is a lot more to see and do while there. There are many trails built by the Nabataeans taking you to wonderful well-preserved venues with spectacular views of Petra and the surrounding area. One, is the High Place of Sacrifice and another is the Monastery. We decided to go to the Monastery. Walking another 3/4’s of a mile down the Colonnaded Street to Petra Mountain we started our decent up a set of stairs, built thousands of years ago, through a narrow gorge. Here mules took the place of camels, if you were not up to it or just wanted to try something different, a mule would carry you up to the top of the mountain to the Monastery. We opted to do the hour walk. You will find pictures of our walk, to the Monastery and aerial views of Petra.
Up until the mid 1980’s a group of people called the Petra Bedouins lived in the caves and worked in and around the Petra grounds. A nearby village with block housing was built to move these people off the site. After the move in 1985 Petra became an UNESCO designated site turning it into a world tourist attraction. The Bedouin folks return each day and now work at the restaurants, souvenir stands, care for the horses, camels and mules used in the site and keep the grounds clean. Below are some pictures of the folks and their children.
We were told that we would spend to whole day at Petra. I figured we would probably spend perhaps a half a day. It turned out that once you entered the site and discovered how huge it was and how many interesting place there were to walk to and things to do. Like going for a horse or a camel or a mule ride around a beautiful and historic setting. Or stopping along the way to take in the incredible views or stopping for fresh squeezed pomegranate and orange juice to refresh yourself. And shopping for souvenirs or having a meal at one of the restaurants. We sent 7-1/2 hours in Petra and walked over 8 miles. And I think we could have stayed longer! Enjoy the pictures.