Hiking Petra (part 3: Where Eagles Fly)
Hiking adventure high above Petra on the rim of the Desert Sea Valley.
- Start at: Visitor's Centre.
- End at: Visitor's Centre.
- Distance: ~ 10 km.
- Time: ~ 5 hours.
- Difficult parts: A long and tedious climb to the Ad-Deir (Monastery).
- Food: N/A
- Water: Sold at the square nest to Qasr-al-Bint.
- Wear: solid hiking shoes.
Start at the Visitor's Centre. Follow the main road for about 15 minutes past the Jinn Blocks and few tombs until you reach the small platz
before the Siq. Continue over the main route to Petra via Siq, past the Treasury, Roman Theatre and down the Colonnaded Street till you reach Qasr-al-Bint.
At the small square in the centre of Petra turn right and follow a path which slowly begins a climb into the rocks. The path leads to Ad-Deir (The Monastery). In the beginning, visit a small but beautiful tomb on your left, then continue uphill. The climb takes around 30-45 minutes, slowly penetrating the rocks above Petra. Be careful, since some parts may be steep and other are dangerously narrow; there is little, if any, protection from falling. The path provides beautiful eagle-eye view of all Petra valley plus some interesting rock formations, like the Crocodile Rock.
On the top of there is a small plateau where one of the most magnificent monuments in Petra stays: Ad-Deir (The Monastery). The name was given due to its later use in Christian times. You can even enter it, although the entrance is about 1 m above the current ground. Underground scanning has revealed there was a 6-columned alcove in front of it with two stone pathways leading to it from both sides of the monument (one down the path you just came up and the second to the other side of Ad-Deir). Looking at the rock on the both sides of the facade, you can still see marks, left by the instruments of the stone masons which cut it two millennia ago. Good panorama of Ad-Deir is available from the top of the small hill opposite it.
To the left of Ad-Deit are several other small hills, the last of which stands soaring high above the Dead Sea Valley. With nothing blocking your view up to the horizon you're truly standing on the edge of the world.
To return to the Visitor Centre, follow the same path you came.
Tracks: KMZ file (Note: coordinates are approximate, because they were taken from Google Earth and not from GPS device.)
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