If you came upon the ruins of Petra unaware and uninformed, you might believe you had stepped onto another world … which is true, to a degree. Petra is ancient, mysterious, unique, and awe-inducing.
Believed to have been settled as early as 9,000 BC, Petra was established in the 4th century BC as the capital city of the Nabataean Kingdom. (Nabataeans were nomadic Arabs who settled in Petra possibly because of its proximity to important trade routes.) The Nabataeans were particularly skillful in harvesting rainwater, developing desert agriculture and creating remarkable stone carvings.
We spent the entire day wandering the ruins, hiking to the high places, avoiding horse-drawn buggies and mule mounts (for those folks feeling they needed assistance to reach the major sights which were a good mile down the Siq),
and being amazed at natural sandstone staining.
Visiting Petra was the final activity of our time in the Holy Land. During a comprehensive debriefing session held that evening, many folks expressed gratitude, delight, and satisfaction (along with some disappointment, especially in not being able to know without a shadow of a doubt where some of the important events in Jesus’ life actually did take place) for this inspirational tour. We parted having made new friends, having had stimulating discussions and having learned so much. The general consensus was that this was not a vacation, but a much broader, richer experience. Thanks, Jeff, for shepherding us through such a fulfilling, enriching adventure.