November 13th, 2010


Petra, day 1

click to enlarge

OK, it's the 1st century BC, you come across a beautiful canyon with swirled sandstone colors spread up hundreds of feet of cliff. What do you do? You carve a geometrically perfect temple 120 feet high with perfectly round columns, detailed capstones, and a perfectly circular roof with spikes bracketed by exactly symmetrical triangular pieces, all with exquisite decorative detail. You carve all of this directly out of the rock, no mistakes allowed. Oh, and you throw in some statues also carved in place from the same rock.

Petra is unbelievable. The treasury is the most famous of the temples, and maybe the most spectacular, especially as it appears in front of you as you exit the slot canyon entrance to the site, but there are dozens more tombs and temples, some as big or bigger, carved into the walls of this network of canyons, all set in a landscape that would make utah envious.

Three days here may not be enough.