We arose early this morning to beat the tour buses (despite there being a lack of them lately). We walked in through the Siq and paused to admire the Treasury again. We then decided to head for the hills as we walked into the valley and past quite a few things, but ultimately aimed to get to the monastery. The climb up of apparently 900 steps was not too bad and we were glad we did it in the cooler part of the day. The monastery is an impressive building and bigger than the Treasury, but there seems to be more romance in navigating a canyon than climbing through the hills.
We took the usual 100 or so photos of the Monastery and then settled down into a cafe in a cave which was lovely and cool, comfortable and served great coffee. The coffee here is served black with cardamom in a turkish coffee style. Todays coffee was also served in a lovely serving pot with a handle. Claire then went and bought the only decent cushion cover, so I didn’t buy one, but i was eyeing off the ornamental knives until I was told the price and then I walked away and the seller didn’t chase me to get a sale! It was probably a fair price but more than I wanted to pay, for what would at best be used to open envelopes in between being ornamental.
We took a leisurely walk down before having the “expensive” buffet lunch at the Crowne plaza owned restaurant. Reality is it was probably the going rate for a good buffet like this one. For desert there was a new dish with was a take on bread and butter pudding with pistachios and almonds in it. It was a nice lunch in a nice setting. We also wondered the small museum before heading back to see all the things we missed on the way over.
We walked back up the roman colonnaded street. Where we could see the tombs on the far side of the valley. Petra was both a Roman and a Nabatean city. Most of the carved rock faces were the Nabateans work and Rome built a lot in the valley between the various Nabatean buildings. We then headed up to the various tombs in the rock face. The biggest one is the Urn Tomb.
After clambering around here in the full heat of the sun for an hour or so we headed back to the shaded Treasury to sit and watch the light change, the people around do crazy things and wealthy Russians flaunting wealth and poor fashion sense (my great hope is that Russians will be targeted as walking banks over westerners). On fashion sense, it was noted that anything goes with some tourists, how they managed to walk around Petra all day in fashionable sandals is beyond me.
Tomorrow we drive back to Madaba via Kerak Castle and the Dead sea.