Petra.50

Two structures in the vast experience of Petra had the most distinct impact on me as buildings and the way you see them for the first time: this is the second, and the “Treasury” was the first. In both cases, one first views the structure after an extended walk or donkey ride. For context, remember that we’re now around 3:30 or so, and my day began with a walk through the Siq before dawn, to get high above the Treasury before the sun fully illuminated it. We’ve now reached the pinnacle of the day, literally the highest point we’ll see. I introduced you to the building in its own right yesterday, so here let’s give you a geographic context.

In the first photo above, you see the town of Wadi Musa in the distance. Yes, I’ve walked all that way past everything I’ve been showing you since Petra.23, all in one spectacular day’s exploration 😊. In the panoramic shot immediately above, you begin to see how the mountains drop off to the left, which is to say to the west and north of this site. I’ll soon show you more of that view, because I did walk over to the last place you can (safely) walk, where the cliffs drop off to the desert and the border between the modern nation-states of Jordan and Israel, with to the north views of the region commonly called the Palestinian Territories, or the West Bank.

As you’ve seen, these hills are quite rugged, so the shot just below was taken from my perch atop another cliff which gave me this vantage. If I’d had the energy, I could have joined the brave few who followed a very narrow path and climbed up onto the roof of this building itself. I thought I’d managed to photograph some folks climbing up or down, or standing on top of that rounded cupola looking down at us, but I can’t find them in the vastness that is the building and its surroundings. A guide offered to take me up, but I knew I had the long walk back to Wadi Musa ahead of me, so I declined.

Tomorrow we’ll show you more of the views across the border, and then we’ll start our descent from this high perch down to the basin, Qasr al Bint, the Great Temple, and then back along the trail past the Royal Tombs, the Treasury, through the Siq and out to the modern town one last time. For better or worse, my friends, we’re nearing the end of this extended Petra series, but we’ll have enough posts to last through about Christmas, at which point I rather expect I’ll give us all a break from the daily doubles and most likely from posts, full-stop.

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