2012 marks the 200 year anniversary of Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt becoming the first European to discover Petra. Unlike Burckhardt we did not enter the Bedouin complex disguised as an Arab scholar, but dressed in the traditional tourist attire of khaki trekking pants, t-shirts and lashings of sun cream!
The superlatives commonly used to describe the 6th century BC Nabataean kingdom are perfectly warranted, as your eyes work overtime absorbing the colours, grandeur and scale of the ancient city. However, for most people Petra is simply a backdrop for a certain Harrison Ford movie.
The Ad-Deir Monastery (pictured) is the largest carved monument in Petra dating back to the 1st century AD. Unfortunately, there are many visitors who fail to witness the magnificent façade as the 800 steps in the hot sun can be unbearable, even on a donkey.
Entry tickets to Petra are expensive at 50JD (around £46) for a day. So purchasing a two day pass for 55JD (£51) is not only better value, but will allow you more time to truly explore the riches the ancient city offers.
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