WALKING FROM THE SIQ TO THE TREASURY IN PETRA
I unexpectedly met Rayner, a new friend from the Philippines, at the ticket window.
Wow … super happy.
On the way to Petra, I prayed silently to meet new friends. Who knows, we might be connect easily and could explore the vast Petra together. After we exchanged greetings, I immediately asked if I could join him. It was good when he said yes. He immediately told me which route we would take that day.
It was a relief to explore Petra with a friend. I read many articles not to walk alone on a deserted route.
Immediately after buying tickets, we walked to the Siq. The first monument that we passed was Bab Al Siq or Bab As-Siq. In Arabic, it means the gateway to ‘Siq’. The journey of each visitor starts from Bab As-Siq, a path that runs from the ticket window to Siq. There are several tombs and monuments along the way, such as the Tomb of the Obelisk carved by Nabataeans in the 1st century AD.
A mile-long canyon formed when an earthquake broke the mountain into two parts. That is the ancient main entrance that leads to City of Petra.
The Siq is a naturally winding narrow road between two towering cliffs that hide the main entrance to Petra. 5 meters wide section and gradually narrowed into a winding road. The main part of the Siq created by natural rock formations and the rest carved by the Nabataean.
Because we arrived early, we greeted with silence interspersed with the sound of horseshoes and babble from a distance. It’s fun walking through that winding road with a stone wall that towers overhead. Even the sun could not penetrate it.
At every turn, I always hoped to see the famous landscape of the Treasury. My fear and anxiety paid off when I stepped on the Siq. I felt that all tiredness melt away when I touched this terracotta-colored wall.
We walked slowly while photographing to all directions. Sometimes the drivers horse-drawn carts offered us to ride but we preferred to walk. Many times we reached the area with the unpleasant odor from animal waste. Even though along the road of the Siq cleaned of trash and animal dung (some janitors sweep) but the smell of animal dung remained. Somewhat the solitude of the Siq taken away by this smell.
The main road that leads to the city, starts from The Dam and ends at The Treasury.
While we walked through the Siq, we saw drains on both sides of the wall. The dam protected City of Petra by directing floods into tunnels and collecting water for use.
I admired the management of water that proves the modern infrastructure and skills of Nabatean. Despite being a part of the desert, Petra inhabited and developed rapidly for so long.
There are two colors of waterways, one made of terracotta and the other made of limestone. If I was not mistaken the channels made of terracotta for drinking water. Then the government renovated in 1964 in the same way that the Dam built by the Nabateans.
THE TREASURY OR AL KHAZNA
The Siq Tunnel opens to one of the most magnificent facades in Petra, Al Khazna or better known as the Treasury. The Treasury is known to most people as Petra, because of its main role in the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
Through the Siq’s narrow corridor, a pair of pink pillars appeared first. As soon as the entire façade appeared, there were 6 tall pillars in front of the Treasury’s first floor. It is almost 40 meters high and decorated with figures and many others.
Some friends disappointed because they did not see this place. Our group trip ending in Amman. Petra not included in the itinerary. Even though the distance between Amman and Petra is only an hour and a half. They would be even more disappointed if I sent photos of the Treasury. When I said goodbye to friends at the airport, they said good luck on an adventure.
Well … this is a wonderful adventure for me. Passing through boundaries and comfort zones.
I could hardly believe finally arrived at a place I never imagined before. Admiring the Treasury made of rose-red soft sandstone carved like a Greco-Roman temple.
In fact, this is the tomb of King Nabatean. Likewise, most of the other carved facades scattered throughout Petra. In this tomb, travelers can approach and look into the underground grave (which protected by a fence).
When I stood next to three tourists with a local guide, I heard that the Bedouins thought there must a treasure of the Pharaoh hidden in the urns carved so nicely. So they began to call it the Treasury.
Urns at the top targeted by many grave robbers. The robbers hoped to find treasure once the urns broken. Unfortunately, the urns made of solid sandstone. Until now there are still bullet marks in the urns.
According to the guide, Nabatean designed this building so that it protected from the desert climate. This can proven scientifically. The wind from the Siq hit the wall around the Treasury, but not directly into the façade.
Indeed a good idea to hire a local guide. When I read and watched a few videos on YouTube, hiring a guide is highly recommended because there are so many mouth-to-mouth stories and history that are not found in books.
The morning air is still cool. Morning sunlight touched the top of the Treasury. Some travelers took photos in front of a group of camels sitting in the middle of the field. In another corner, a guide talked with a group of tourists.
We only see the Treasury from a distance. We wanted to hurry to the next route before groups of tourists arrived from Amman. Without knowing my endurance and fitness tests were on our next trip.
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