Jordan. In the town of Petra is a huge and interesting archeological sight. It is a sprawling mass of rock cliffs in which you can see carved tombs (and some are elaborately carved tombs) from the very early times of the Nabataeans.
These Nabataeans were first noted in history when an Assyrian king listed Nabataea as an enemy. And I’m not sure when that was but I think that was sometime between 350 and 450 BC. The town was quite prosperous back in the day; it grew rich from taxing caravans using its trail through this stretch of obstructing rock behemoths. The Romans held it at one point and added some of their own tomb flourishes.
I took a donkey trek to the Shrine of the Snake because I was intrigued with the name, more than anything else. The other visitor taking this trek with me was intrigued because of the talk that this was either at or proximate to the burial site of Aaron, the brother of Moses (Moses of the Old Testament). So it was a trek with much positive vibrations as we were both enthused and our guide, who walked the trek, was pleased to have customers.
It was a slow half day’s journey on a black donkey named Zebra. The scenery was amazing with rock cliffs of various hues contrasting with the blue sky. Once there, I scrambled up to the top but it was the view from a distance that gave the impression of a cobra sprouting a human head from its upper back. Along our return, we stopped to have coffee with the guide’s friends, a family group of Bedouins. It was all very pleasant, but I was thankful I was just visiting.
If you are traveling in Jordan, it is well worth a visit to Petra’s Archeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
You may like this National Geographic article on Petra.
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