John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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Saturday 13 September 2014

[Friday 12 September 2014]

Edom Hotel, Petra
DAY 5: Petra B/L/D
Following breakfast, you will head to visit the magnificent Nabatean Red Rose city of Petra, one of the 7 New Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Entering the city through a one kilometre long winding, narrow gorge, flanked either side by 80 metre high cliffs you will pass dazzling colours and rock formations along the way. The final turn opens up to a view of the famous and iconic 2,000 year old façade of the treasury. Believed to be a royal tomb, the impressive site, carved into the rock, may be recognised from the film ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’. Continuing deeper into the ancient city you can explore hundreds of elaborated rock-cut tombs, temples, sacrificial altars, Roman-style theatres and colonnaded streets. Tonight you will spend the night in Petra.

Day 256 Job 41-42; Romans 8
…Many, many sparrows were chirping all at once in the trees below. “Up 5.45am,” Janet wrote, “to a ‘dawn chorus’. We opened the window to enjoy.”… I joined Janet downstairs… in the dining room where she’d gone… to start breakfast, and left her there when I’d finished. After she came back to the room, she went off out again, this time for a wander outside. I did some updating of this record.





Saturday 13 September 2014 — 08:25:24
View of Wadi Musa from our hotel balcony


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 08:25:42
Mist covers the Rift Valley.


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 08:26:00
View from the balcony in the opposite direction

We all met up in the lobby at 8.30am and were taken the short distance in the “dolmuş” to the Petra site. It was quite a long walk from the entrance of the site to the cleft in the rock wall that led to the so-called Treasury, and an even longer, sinuous walk along that deep, narrow cleft. We didn’t avail ourselves of horse or calèche to get there, neither did we, though footsore, back.


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 08:54:22
Proceeding to the “Siq” (the entrance gorge to Petra)


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 08:59:22
Proceeding to the “Siq”

On the way, Ashraf drew our attention to features, such as a mountain in the distance that was traditionally the burial place of Aaron, and a tomb with writing in Nabatean script (derived from Greek and perhaps Phoenician characters).


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 08:59:36
Mount Hor (Jebel Haroun “Mount Aaron”)


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 09:02:06
Proceeding to the “Siq”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 09:02:14
Proceeding to the “Siq”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 09:04:02
Tomb of the Obelisks


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 09:06:16
Other monuments by the path


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 09:07:00
Rock-face with Nabatean inscriptions


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 09:07:28
Close-up of the Nabatean inscriptions


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 09:08:28
Tomb of the Obelisks


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 09:08:42
Proceeding to the “Siq”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 09:10:22
Proceeding to the “Siq”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 09:15:24
Entering the “Siq”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 09:16:00
The “Siq”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 09:16:46
The “Siq”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 09:17:36
The “Siq”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 09:17:46
The “Siq”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 09:18:44
The “Siq”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 09:19:22
The “Siq”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 09:20:38
The “Siq”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 09:23:44
The “Siq”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 09:26:02
The “Siq”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 09:28:30
The “Siq”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 09:30:08
The “Siq”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 09:32:28
The “Siq”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 09:34:00
The “Siq”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 09:39:36
The “Siq”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 09:39:54
The “Siq”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 09:44:04
The “Siq”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 09:46:48
The “Siq”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 09:53:30
First sight of “Al Khazneh”, i.e. the so-called “Treasury”, at the end of the “Siq”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 09:56:12
“Al Khazneh”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 09:56:54
“Al Khazneh”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 09:57:02
“Al Khazneh”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 09:59:10


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 10:00:16
Dim view inside the entrance of “Al Khazneh”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 10:04:28
View left of “Al Khazneh”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 10:04:48
Continuing to pan to the left


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 10:05:40
Continuing to pan to the left: the “Siq”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 10:15:44
Old image of “Al Khazneh” with fallen pillar


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 10:16:06
Details of “Al Khazneh” (here transliterated “Al-Khazna”)

Ashraf had spoken of Nabatean kings called Aretas. I mentioned Paul the apostle to him — he hadn’t heard of him, though — that after he was converted in Damascus he went to “Arabia”, assumed to be the Nabatean kingdom, and that the name “Aretas” was mentioned in the story. He told me that Aretas IV wasn’t a king in line of succession; he seized power and gave himself the royal name. When he was telling others about Aretas IV, he gave me a look of recognition. After spending time in the space between the cleft and the Treasury, we proceeded to some of the other sights of Petra. Ashraf gave us options: to stay with the party for a tour of the highlights, then go for lunch, and be taken back to the hotel; or to stay longer on the site, explore on one’s own, e.g. go to see the Monastery, and make one’s own way back. I think Peter left us as we started back, and struck out on his own.


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 10:20:54
Continuing along the gorge to the right of “Al Khazneh” to see the rest of the city


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 10:23:08
“Street of Façades”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 10:26:42
“Street of Façades”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 10:33:48
Looking back


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 10:33:58
Panning to the right


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 10:34:12
Continuing to pan to the right


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 10:35:22
Much the same view


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 10:42:42
Mounting steps up the steep hillside on a donkey


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 10:42:52


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 10:42:58


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 10:43:08
Theatre


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 10:45:38
Theatre


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 10:49:08
Theatre


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 10:50:20
“Hippopotamus”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 10:51:16


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 10:51:26

Janet began to feel ill…. She [recovered somewhat after a while], but didn’t feel able to climb many steps in the heat to see the Royal Tombs. Since we were passing a place with refreshments…, though, she chose to stay there. The Indian lady, who was bad on her feet but who had braved much uneven or stony ground and numerous difficult ascents, also elected not to attempt the climb.


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 11:08:46
The Royal Tombs


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 11:09:28
Going up to visit the Royal Tombs


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 11:10:16
Going up to visit the Royal Tombs


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 11:12:34
Going up to visit the Royal Tombs


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 11:12:34 (detail)


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 11:12:42
Going up to visit the Royal Tombs


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 11:12:42 (detail)


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 11:16:02
View back, across the valley


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 11:16:02
Areas selected for close-up view, below:
“Area1”, left; “Area 2”, right


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 11:16:12
“Area 1”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 11:16:22
“Area 2”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 11:16:40
The Royal Tombs


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 11:17:02
The Royal Tombs


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 11:17:12
Continuing to ascend to the Royal Tombs


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 11:18:02
Continuing to ascend to the Royal Tombs


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 11:19:00
Continuing to ascend to the Royal Tombs


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 11:19:52
One of the Royal Tombs


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 11:20:58
One of the Royal Tombs


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 11:21:06
One of the Royal Tombs

But we’d got to the top, and a little later Janet appeared! She didn’t want to miss out. Ashraf had already mentioned the singing of “Amazing Grace” by one party he had led, and in a large, rock-hewn room, he invited the singing of it again and Janet “volunteered” me for the task.


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 11:22:32
Chamber of one of the Royal Tombs


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 11:22:40
Chamber of one of the Royal Tombs


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 11:23:16
Chamber of one of the Royal Tombs


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 11:29:10
Another view across the valley


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 11:29:10
Area selected for close-up view, below


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 11:29:20
The pinnacle of “Ad Deir” (“The Monastery”)

On the way up, Ashraf had pointed out a stall sponsored by the Queen Noor Foundation, which supports disabled people to set up in business. On the way back, the salesman pressed me to look at the wares, and I couldn’t resist the irony of buying an ammonite! I guess Petra wasn’t in Ammonite country, but Amman certainly was. No-one seemed to appreciate the irony!


Saturday 13 September 2014
Ammonite, bought at a stall on the way down

We stopped at the refreshment place, and Janet and I had fresh-pressed pomegranate juice.


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 11:47:46
Freshly squeezed pomegranate juice

We could have returned by donkey, camel, horse or calèche, but apart from Jacqueline who went on horseback we went back on foot — an arduous tramp on weary feet in the hot, bright sun.


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 12:01:30
Making our way back


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 12:02:32
Making our way back


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 12:05:18
Making our way back


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 12:06:32
Making our way back


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 12:06:38
Making our way back


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 12:09:22
Making our way back


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 12:11:08
Making our way back


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 12:14:38
Making our way back


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 12:16:08
Making our way back


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 12:17:24
Back at “Al Khazneh”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 12:18:30
One of the tombs at the base of “Al Khazneh”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 12:18:56
Another tomb at the base of “Al Khazneh”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 12:19:36
Re-entering the “Siq”


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 12:20:20
Making our way back


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 12:20:52
Making our way back


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 12:22:06
Making our way back


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 12:23:22
Making our way back


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 12:24:12
Making our way back


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 12:26:12
Mounted policemen


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 12:32:10
Making our way back


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 12:33:24
Making our way back


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 12:36:36
Making our way back


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 12:38:48
Making our way back


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 12:43:34
Making our way back


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 12:45:34
Making our way back


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 12:47:22
Making our way back


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 12:50:20
Making our way back


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 12:52:30
Making our way back


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 12:54:42
Making our way back


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 13:03:20
Exit

There was a buffet lunch at a restaurant in town, before we were taken back to the hotel.


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 13:25:06
Lunch, Alqantarah Restaurant, Wadi Musa

Janet and I went up to the roof of the hotel to look around at the very “lumpy”-looking mountains before going for a walk.


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 14:54:00
Wadi Musa seen from the hotel roof


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 14:54:06
Wadi Musa seen from the hotel roof


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 14:54:30
Wadi Musa seen from the hotel roof


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 14:54:38
Wadi Musa seen from the hotel roof

A man in a truck stopped and asked if we wanted a lift to Amman. Strange! we thought, but kind.


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 15:31:28
A walk into downtown Wadi Musa


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 15:31:58
A walk into downtown Wadi Musa

We eventually found a shop selling ice-cream. (It seems that traders run their stocks down at the end of the holiday season; that was the excuse for advertising ice-cream but not having any, both there and earlier on the Petra tourist-site.) After that, we found a café frequented by locals (all men), smoking bubble pipes and watching Arsenal, (at the time of our visit) losing 0–1 at home to Manchester City.


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 15:54:04
Refreshments at a local café


Saturday 13 September 2014 — 15:55:36
Arsenal vs. Manchester City on the TV

Janet had one of the lemon-and-mint “smoothies” that were a popular beverage and that others had tried on previous days, and I had a non-alcoholic beer. The part of town we’d gone to was downhill from the hotel, so it was another wearisome trek in the heat of the sun. We lay down and I dozed off. Later, I transferred 123 photos and 27 videos off the camera (18:03–18:12). Went through the photos using Windows Photo Viewer rotating 36 that needed it (18:21–18:41); for some of that time, though, I was looking up the reference in the Bible to Aretas. It wasn’t in the context of Paul’s going to “Arabia”, as I’d imagined (Galatians 1:17: “…When God… was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus”; it was in the context of his being in Damascus: 2 Corinthians 11:32–33: “In Damascus the governor under King Aretas had the city of the Damascenes guarded in order to arrest me. But I was lowered in a basket from a window in the wall and slipped through his hands” — presumably the same incident as that recorded in Acts 9:23–25: “After many days had gone by, the Jews conspired to kill him, but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.” (Acts knows nothing of a going into Arabia.) At dinner time I had no appetite, so Janet went down alone.… Did diary update. Janet’s last diary entry for today gives the time as 10pm when she was about to brush her teeth and go to bed, and a retrospective entry the next day says, “We went to bed together at ca.10.30pm.”

[Sunday 14 September 2014]



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