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Visiting Petra

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    Visiting Petra

    Hi,
    We are stopping off in Jordan in April for a visit to Petra, has anybody got any tips, we are guessing its best to take to ship excursion? the one ive seen is including dinner, we hate some dodgy restaurant to stop off at and waste and hour.
    Whats your thoughts??

    Andy

    #2
    I was on a private excursion, but we were still on a coach, with a guide.

    The site is spectacular, but disappointing in a way. The disappointment was in the sheer number of tourists in the canyon. We walked down to the place where the Treasury is, and it was absolutely packed. It got a bit easier as we walked through to the end, where we had a pre-booked lunch in a restaurant. After lunch we had time to go back to the coach at our own pace (obviously had a certain time to be back).

    One piece of advice is to take your sunglasses off when you enter. I couldn't understand why the rocks weren't pink, then I took my sunglasses off!
    2018-
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      #3
      we did this in Nov from the Constellation..

      we used a private company that takes bookings on line at $135pp

      nothing really wrong with them and a fairly standard tour.

      There are issues with all the standard tours of the site.

      will try to have good think review tomorrow and give some pointers.


      edit: this was the people we used,
      Their MSC Fantasia trip April 4th is on(that is your cruise?)

      Cruise Ship excursion to petra - Wonders Travel and TourismWonders Travel & Tourism
      Last edited by Topdeck, London; 9th February 2017, 09:45 PM.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by andyjbrum, Birmingham View Post
        Hi,
        We are stopping off in Jordan in April for a visit to Petra, has anybody got any tips, we are guessing its best to take to ship excursion? the one ive seen is including dinner, we hate some dodgy restaurant to stop off at and waste and hour.
        Whats your thoughts??

        Andy
        Never been to Petra, but in regards to dinners on ships excursion, we have had a number of 3 course dinners with wine at restaurants and hotels included on ships excursions, have thoroughly enjoyed them all, certainly were not in our opinion a waste of time, they all added to the experience.

        For example a hotel in Cairo whilst visiting the Pyramids in Egypt, a restaurant on the Piazza della Signoria in Florence (Al Fresco), as well as restaurants in Rome & Pompeii (best meal abroad), a hotel in Bethlehem also on a Kibbutz by the Sea Of Gallili, Israel. A restaurant in Geirangerford also two waffle/cream/jam teas in Stavanger & Olden, Norway.
        Last edited by Delboy, Essex; 9th February 2017, 10:30 PM.
        Delboy


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          #5
          We booked private.... but did Wadi Rum first. Apologies for the amount of photos.


          The Desert Highway


          Eventually we turned left onto the King’s Highway towards Petra. This is an ancient road which is mentioned in the old testament, it is a long winding road which takes you over some mountainous areas, our driver told us it would soon be filled with Bedouin tents as they come here at this time of the year to graze their animals on the grass that grows in the spring.


          King’s Highway


          We made a brief stop at a service area where there were the most amazing views. Joseph our driver for the day guided us through the shop to a large glass window with the most amazing panorama you could have imagined. Earlier in the day the ships tours all stopped here too and it must have been really busy, we were lucky in that we were the only ones there and had the whole place to ourselves.


          If you have done this trip from Aqaba to Petra it is very likely you have stopped here too.


          I never got the name of the place but the view is embedded into my memory and these photos will over the passage of time make sure its never forgotten.


          The stunning view from the window


          My best effort of a panoramic shot


          Eventually we reached the town of Petra and after Joseph picked up our tickets we were soon through the entrance and heading into the site. There are various forms of transport on offer if you don't want to walk right the way down to the main areas, these are included in the entrance ticket but I would imagine that the keenness of the handlers would suggest a nice tip would be welcome at the terminus. There are apparently over 700 horses, donkeys, camels & mules all working at the site and their handlers are on you as soon as you walk through the gates but as we had been on the ship for 4 sea days we really needed to walk. The first stage of the tour takes you along a winding track down to an area called The Siq which the entrance to the narrow gorge which leads you on to the city.



          The winding track down to The Siq



          The entrance to The Siq


          What was a bonus for us was that we met all the ships tours coming out as we were going in, nice because it meant that it was less crowded. What I didn't really pay attention to on the way in was the slope, not that obvious when your thoughts are distracted by what is at the end of the gorge.





          The journey down through the gorge


          It is quite a breathtaking walk down the gorge, the twisted, curving shapes of the coloured rocks overhanging you as you traverse down the trail are simply amazing. What you do need to be on your guard for is the horses and carriages which run down the gorge both ways. Quite amusing to see some of the faces of the passenger when they go over the rough terrain. Yes it might be easier on the legs but having the life shook out of you is another thing.


          Every time you round a corner you imagine this is the last one before...........




          Until finally....................


          You catch your first glimpse


          The Treasury in all its glory. Its quite a memorable moment which just stops you in your tracks






          Of course the trail doesn't end there as it continues on down further to the many other areas of the ancient city.






          Everywhere you look there are things carved into the side of the rocks and to think most of this was lost to the world until rediscovered in 1812 by the Swiss explorer Johannes Burkhardt.


          The Theatre


          It looks like something from the Flintstones


          Eventually fatigue set in and we decided to turn back just short of the Great Temple. We had seen what we came for and being as we had been to Wadi earlier in the day we were starting to feel quite tired. It was not long after this we realised it was all up hill back to the entrance. Wake up time!




          Is this not the coolest toilet in the world?


          One side note for this review of Petra, on the way out we noticed a lot of activity in front of The Treasury, it turned out that the Prime Minister of Jordan, Abdullah Ensour had heard we were in town and had come to see us. He got a golf buggy to ride round in.


          The last photo is one of my favourites as it captures a real moment in time.I wonder what the guards were discussing?



          After a late 3 course lunch in a Petra restaurant we started the journey back to Aqaba but not before Joseph had taken us to an amazing view over Petra. You can just make out the track down to The Siq from these last photos.



          We arrived back at the ship in darkness around 8:45pm but what a day. A lot to cram in but well worth it. Had we have had more time we would have travelled on to the Monastery which is the same distance again but a more rugged terrain. Something for another day perhaps.
          www.wansbroughs-cruise-blog.me.uk

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Delboy, Essex View Post
            For example a hotel in Cairo whilst visiting the Pyramids in Egypt, a restaurant on the Piazza della Signoria in Florence (Al Fresco), as well as restaurants in Rome & Pompeii (best meal abroad), a hotel in Bethlehem also on a Kibbutz by the Sea Of Gallili, Israel. A restaurant in Geirangerford also two waffle/cream/jam teas in Stavanger & Olden, Norway.
            Funny you should mention about a Kibbutz... I have a feeling this might be one of the experiences Andy is suggesting felt like a waste of time - our experience was a dire buffet lunch at a place that seemed like Crossroads Motel on a budget; similarly in Turkey after visiting Ephesus we decided to cut a full day tour short and leave with the people on a half day tour!

            Wonderful pictures Wansborough and thanks for the suggestion of a company TopDeck - I think one of the things that we are concerned about is getting back to the ship in good time, but a private tour would give us a much better experience I think?

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by 1fifthavenue, birmingham View Post
              Funny you should mention about a Kibbutz... I have a feeling this might be one of the experiences Andy is suggesting felt like a waste of time - our experience was a dire buffet lunch at a place that seemed like Crossroads Motel on a budget; similarly in Turkey after visiting Ephesus we decided to cut a full day tour short and leave with the people on a half day tour!

              Wonderful pictures Wansborough and thanks for the suggestion of a company TopDeck - I think one of the things that we are concerned about is getting back to the ship in good time, but a private tour would give us a much better experience I think?
              Don't know if this is one of the experiences Andy is suggesting, or what cruise company you went with, but our experience was totally different to yours.

              The Kibbutz we visited was a lovely community set in a beautiful garden area set on the edge of the Sea of Galillee. We had a lovely 3 course waiter served roast dinner, with bottles of kosher wine set out on all the tables, for us it was the highlight of a day's tour which also included Nazareth, Capernaum, Yardenit and the River Jordon.

              Never had a bad inclusive meal yet on a ships excursion.
              Last edited by Delboy, Essex; 9th February 2017, 11:43 PM.
              Delboy


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                #8
                Andy

                We went to Petra a couple of years ago, ( small group ships tour with a good guide) it was high on our bucket list and a fantastic experience as you can see from the excellent photographs. It's about a 2 hour drive and the stop mid way is ok with a decent shop ( if that's your thing) and spectacular views.

                You can get a horse and trap up and down, or a horse down the canyon to the treasury, not for us.

                One word of caution, it's a gradual decline down the canyon and it gets hot during the day and it's further back than you think, some in our group were very tired coming back up, one girl a young fit Aussie burst into tears as she had got dehydrated and was exhausted.

                Last word, go, if you don't you will regret it

                John

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                  #9
                  We have just returned for our cruise on Aurora which called at Aqaba, the port for Petra. Around 900 passenger did a tour from the ship. We didnt fancy the sharing the experience with so many people so we didn't go. One lady went in a taxi on her own. She had not prebooked, just negotiated a fare when she arrived. Considering the coaches were accompanied by armed guards I think she was rather foolish, but she did get back to the ship ok. Passengers we spoke to about the trip had mixed views but most seemed to have enjoyed it. Some sustained various injuries due to falls on the uneven ground and all said it was an arduous day. Varying reports about the lunch. It seems some of the coaches stopped at better restaurants than others so if you are on a tour there is no guarantee where you will stop.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    The cost of the tour was around £120 per person including entry to Petra, which I think is about £60, and lunch. Not bad value if you like being herded around in a large group.

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                      #11
                      Cruise ship passengers with guide get the reduced entry fee.

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                        #12
                        We did this trip about 8 years ago.
                        We were on Brilliance of the Seas and we did a ship's excursion.
                        This was the first time RCI was making this route, from Barcelona, through the Suez and to the UAE.
                        They were then based in Dubai.

                        Petra is well worth a visit, but by the time we got to the Treasury I had had enough.
                        The thought of having to walk all that way back just finished me.
                        I stopped at a cafe and sent OH on with a video camera.

                        We had a very good lunch, included in the trip, at a good restaurant.

                        At the end of the day I told OH to tick the box and that we wouldn't be back.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Stunning pics I must say. I kept thinking about the walk back up the hill too! Also like the Why not Café, A very welcome cold drink to be had I bet, Why not? Ha ha, Jan.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Wonderful photos Wansbrough! This place is on my wish list.

                            We had a lovely lunch when visiting Ephesus - 5 courses at a swank hotel. In St.P, the lunch was rather bland but a 3 piece folk group came to entertain us which was nice.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Done this trip. Took the ship excursion tour, which is well worth the money. You will be away nearly all day so usually dinner is included. The restaurants that ships use in Petra are very good with a very good standard of food. My wife is very fussy about this but she was happy with the cleanniness and the food.
                              It is a long walk down the the treasury but well worth it.

                              Comment


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