Jordan: The Dead Sea and Petra

When my mom and brother came to visit me in Egypt, we did lots of cool stuff. We went to Giza, traveled to Luxor, visited Karnak and the Valley of the Kings, sailed the Nile. I mean, bucket list entry stuff. Post-visit, I wrote about their trips and our adventures right here on Due East a few times, and my dad sat at home reading along as he worked long hours, teasing about everyone getting their 15 minutes of fame on my blog.

Three months after my mom and brother came to visit, my dad finally was able to take time off work and come to Cairo for a visit of his own. When he came, though, we didn't just stick to Egypt. No, we toured Egypt AND Jordan. In Jordan, we visited the Dead Sea and Petra, both of which were absolutely amazing sites.

We went for a week, came back to the US, and I got re-accustomed to living in the States again. My dad asked when I would post about Petra, I told him I had plans of writing it soon. A month went by, he asked when he would get his '15 minutes', I told him 'soon'. This questioning went on for a while, my response always being 'I have big ideas for this post! Just wait!'

It's been one year to the day since I went to Jordan with my dad, and I never got around to writing about our trip. 

Yes, I do believe it is travel blogger taboo #1 to visit another country, and fail to even mention it on your blog. 

Until now. So here's to you, dad: better show off your long-overdue blog-debut to everyone ;)

The Dead Sea is the lowest elevation point (on land) in the world. It is also one of the most hyper-saline lakes in the world, so salty that you can float on the surface with no effort whatsoever.
My dad making friends with some locals, visiting the Dead Sea for it's medicinal mud. He wasn't brave enough to try it himself (also, forgot to pack bathing suits).
I'm floating on the surface here, and the water is probably 10-feet deep. It was actually difficult to swim, because you kept floating to the surface. 

Macro shots of the sand, which contain these incredible salt crystals. 
The drive to Wadi Musa (the city bordering Petra) was lined with these incredible cliffs and canyons, in the loveliest hues of gold.

Wadi Musa at sunset, as seen from the roof of our Hotel. The cities in Jordan were so clean and beautiful - a stark contrast to those in Egypt.

Dad and I took a horse back ride over the cliff-tops of Petra. It's hard to tell, but behind those rocks is a massive drop-off, and in the distance lies the city of Wadi Musa.

When you enter the city of Petra, you come through the Siq. This is a crevasse that was created in the canyon wall during an earth quake - the earth quake likely being the reason the city of Petra was deserted thousands of years ago. It takes about 15 minutes to walk from one end to the other, and it's an incredible hike. The split is massive; see the man walking above for scale. 
As you approach the end of the Siq, you can see the Treasury peeking out in the background.
The Treasury is the most well-preserved site in the city of Petra. It was once rumored that a Pharaoh was running from an enemy and came across the city of Petra. He supposedly hid his treasures in the urn you see at the very top of the building.  
 Recognize this building from somewhere?

One more reason I'm basically the female version of Indiana Jones. 

The rocks in Petra are the brightest shades of red I've ever seen. These photos haven't been edited at all - that's the true color of the cliffs. 
Obligatory camel ride through the desert. Obligatory camel selfie. 
There is a hike up 853 steps to the cliff-tops of Petra, from which you can view the Monastery - one of the most complete ruin sites on the grounds. There are these amazing views of the cliffs in the background. 
The Monastery (not actually a monastery - they aren't positive what the building was used for) is absolutely MASSIVE. See the men on donkeys for perspective. 
The Monastery is best viewed at sunset, because the light hits the building straight on (as seen here). 
Some brave souls hiked along the back side of the cliff to climb to the top of the Monastery. I'm terrified just looking at these pictures

A wide-angle view of the city of Petra from the distance. 

I promise never to forget about writing a trip-review ever again. PS- today is my birthday, and this trip was my birthday gift last year from my parents. Pretty much the coolest gift in the world.

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  1. Love those photos. The landscapes, the ruins, the cool macros of the sand. Awesome!

    1. Thanks, Mariella! It is one of those places that's impossible to have a bad picture of, because everything is just so picturesque!