Tuesday, February 19, 2008


We decided to head to Petra. It's about a 1 hour drive. Built by Nabatteans former nomads who roamed the Arabian Peninsula. The treasury:

Made famous by Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, may not actually hold the holy grail like Indy showed us. It's called the treasury because there was a rumour rhat the urn at the top held some pharoahs gold:

But it's really a temple. There was some mention of great hordes of gold near the dead sea, in the dead sea scrolls which were found not far from petra, but no one has ever found it. In Petra, our guide told us he had lived in a cave growing up and I wondered why all the places where people lived looked like, crummy, like this:

(That's Monica our friend and neighbor in this picture). See how the house looks like a cave. But all the places where people didn't live, the temples and the tombs, looked really nice. There may have been a nice palace somewhere, but I dind't see it. The other interesting thing about the Nabbateans is the representations of theuir Gods are totally abstract. Here is the most ornate and detailed figures of their two Gods:

(Ann on the right) See, the God on the left is Dushara, and the one on the right is al-Uzza. No, there isn't anything else to them, just rectangular blocks. Suddenly that episode of SpongeBob square pants makes sense.

We decided to ride donkeys up to the monastery, 900 stairs, and that was interesting. Donkeys on uneven steep stairs with a sharp drop off to the right. It was OK until my donkey started wheezing and stumbling.

The cab drivers in Amman sometimes point to someone driving crazy (you can randomly point in any direction and usually be pointing at a crazy driver) and call them a donkey. I never quite got it until this donkey ride. The stairs are maybe 5 feet wide and there is a wall on one side and a cliff on the other and my friggin donkey is trying to pass Ann's donkey, or just repeated ram into it until he became too tired to do so. THis is kind of how we drive in Amman. No stop lights, you just kind of shove your car into a space too small for it in moving traffic and everyone has to adjust, or you get a dinger.

We made it to the monastery, which was a temple, not a monastery, and met someone from Seattle up there.

Next, we went to Egypt.

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