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Friday, September 2, 2011

Petra Jordan

I arrived in Jordan on Saturday morning and got a pre-arranged taxi from the airport in Amman, Jordan down to the hotel I booked just outside the gates of the old city in Petra. The ride was about 2 or 3 hours and cost about $100. I thought that was fair for the price, but realized that taxis were going to dig into my budget a bit much. To add to it, the taxi driver spent about half of the ride down to the hotel planning my next few day's itinerary for me. I was non committal, just anxious to get down to Petra so I could check out the ancient city.

Once I got down to the city, I found that it cost about $80 for a one day pass and about $90 for two days. Even though it was a bit pricey, I figured that I might as well go for the two days. Once inside, I was harassed by people trying to sell me horse rides, donkey rides, carriage rides, and a number of other souvenirs. I get a bit tired of all that pretty quickly so that combined with the hour listening to a pushy taxi driver and little sleep the night before, put me in a negative mood.

In the end, I took a donkey ride up to the Monastery, one of the highest structures and felt that was well worth the $12 for the ride up to the point where I gave the kid whose donkey I rode a little extra money. I thought the old city was tremendous and over the next two days, had a great time exploring the place. Here are a few of the highlights.

The Treasury.

The Monastery.

A whole bunch of buildings carved into mountains.

The Gardens. Right there, just in the middle of nowhere.

This donkey just wants to be left alone to enjoy the ruins in peace.
Go up those steps on a donkey? That's just crazy.
 If I had to do it again, I would have rented a car from the airport and driven myself to the hotel. Also, the donkey ride to the top was well worth the 10 Jordanian dinar I paid. The second day was good once I learned how to shoo away the people selling things. The city, while expensive was definitely worth the price of entrance.

In the end, I found Petra near the gate of the old city to be the worst of the pushy vibe.  Once I rented a car and gout out into the countryside on my own, I found a different story...


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