Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Lawrence of Arabia & Indiana Jones

Wadi Rum - May 7, 20115

Wadi Rum also known as The Valley of the Moon is a valley cut into the sandstone and granite rock in southern Jordan 60 km (37 mi) to the east of Aqaba; it is the largest wadi in Jordan.

The name Rum most likely comes from an Aramaic root meaning 'high' or 'elevated'. To reflect its proper Arabic pronunciation, archaeologists transcribe it as Wadi Ramm.

Wadi Rum has been inhabited by many human cultures since prehistoric times, with many cultures–including the Nabateans–leaving their mark in the form of rock paintings, graffiti, and pictographs.

In the West, Wadi Rum may be best known for its connection with British officer T. E. Lawrence, who passed through several times during the Arab Revolt of 1917–18. Here's a T.E Lawrence carving made by the Bedouin's on the side of a mountain wall.

In the 1980s one of the rock formations in Wadi Rum was named "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom" after Lawrence's book penned in the aftermath of the war, though the 'Seven Pillars' referred to in the book have no connection with Rum.

There are lots of camel in the rum. The camel is called "the ship of the dessert".

The camel crossing signs can be very helpful when driving unfamiliar roads.

We really liked the open dessert of the Wadi Rum


Petra is a historical and archaeological city in the southern Jordanian and is famous for its rock-cut architecture and water conduit system.

Another name for Petra is the Rose City due to the color of the stone out of which it is carved.

There are 3 ways to get into this ancient site: walk, horse back, or horse-drawn cart. The first thing you see is the famous treasury building.
Established possibly as early as 312 BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans, It is a symbol of Jordan, as well as Jordan's most-visited tourist attraction.

Here's a view from the Siq. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The Siq ('gorge') would be massively impressive even if it were nothing more than a rock formation. It was created when the mountain split into two and gradually, over millennia, the waters of the Wadi Musa carved and smoothed its sides.

It is believed that Petra was home to roughly 30,000 people and was abandoned in the year 106 A.D. The reasons for the abandonment of Petra still remain unknown today. Petra has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985.

We saw Indiana Jones in front of the Treasury...... well, sort of.

View of the Royal Tombs in Petra. The first of the so called Royal Tombs is the Urn Tomb. This tomb is built high on the mountain side, and requires climbing up a number of flights of stairs. It was suggested that this is the tomb of Nabataean King Malchus II who died in 70 AD. On the other hand it is considered the tomb of Aretas IV.
It is preceded by a deep courtyard with colonnades on two sides. High up in the facade there are 3 niches which give on to small burial chambers. Their inaccessibility would have made them relatively safe from tomb robbers.

  A view of the Temple ruins.
Here's some local kid who was selling rocks.

Petra declined rapidly under Roman rule, in large part from the revision of sea-based trade routes. In 363 an earthquake destroyed many buildings, and crippled the vital water management system.

The last inhabitants abandoned the city (further weakened by another major earthquake in 551) when the Arabs conquered the region in 663. The ruins of Petra were an object of curiosity in the Middle Ages and were visited by Sultan Baibars of Egypt towards the end of the 13th century. The first European to describe them was Swiss traveler Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812.

 There are kids selling things everywhere. This guy was so cute that I had to buy some post cards. 

Next stop Hurgada, Egypt and the Suez Canal.

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