After a pretty good night’s sleep, we got up at an ok time to go to the Petra gate to get our tickets. We were a bit baffled about the pricing (50JD per adult per day) but later realized that last time we did 2 days, then the ticket is 55JD). And they only take cash. So, I ran back to the hotel and changed some other currency we had.
Finally in, we were ‘harrassed’ by the horse people. They have a new trick up their sleeves: They claim that the horse ride (which is actually rather short) is free and included in our ticket. I bet a LOT of people fall for that. But they have you 10 minutes on the horse and will offer you all kinds of horse tours … I.e. one they call the ‘Indiana Jones Trail’ … and then there is of course the tip in the end. I arranged that before … he was ok with 3JD .. but then at then end he claimed we agreed on 3 per horse, so he wanted 6 … great start of the day.
Anyways, the walk down the Siq was a beautiful as ever, the whole place mildly crowded, but not too bad. The walk to the center was longer than I remembered. But we also found quite some nooks and crannies that we had not seen before (or might had been closed for preservation work) … I.e. this very colorful cave house thing:
We checked out the lunch options around 11:30, before going up to the Monastery, but one place was 17JD per adult, and one always has to remember here that on that price comes a whooping plus plus (10% service / 16% city tax) … then add some drinks and you come out to 50USD per person, for a buffet lunch. No thanks (That was the Basin Restaurant)
After getting some overpriced water, we started our ascent. And Julius was motivated buy counting the steps. He came out at ‘about 701’ , but we heard other numbers like 1200 and 800. Problem with the counting is that it is sometimes hard to define what a man-made step is and what is based on natural erosion. But anyways, after starting at 9 AM, we reached the monastery and 12:36 PM and the whole trip was 10.35 km (one way).
We sat down at the beautiful bar / café that is up there, they had great lemonade with mint, and enjoyed the view (and resting):
The way down was a bit easier and we got back to the Treasury in ok time. Julius was highly motivated as I had promised that I will think about getting him a souvenir if it was in the 3JD price range. But the silver turtle he wanted was 30JD and the sales guy was not in a mood to negotiate (prime monopoly location), so we moved on and finally were back at the gate, found a little something for him for 1JD and then enjoyed original Mövenpick ice-cream at the Mövenpick hotel.
For dinner we went to the Cave Bar. It is situated in a 2000 year old tomb. I visited this place 4 years ago, but had no idea they also serve food, and pretty good one, too. We had eggplant dip, a mixed grill platter and Julius was enjoying his chicken nuggets. They also have a very nice cocktail menu.
Later on Julius ‘pushed’ us to have a Sheesha (Waterpipe) and it has been a long time, but it is kinda fun (NO, Julius was not allowed to smoke, he just wanted to observe us making smoke)
I have plenty more beautiful pictures. Let’s see, I am planning to explore Picassa, since the mobile me galleries will cease to exist come June.