Petra: A Must-See Before You Die

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Unknown to the Western world until 1812 (and to popular culture until 1989 thanks to Indiana Jones), Petra was “discovered” by Sheikh Ibrahim Ibn Abdallah, or Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, as his friends liked to call him back in his ‘hood in Switzerland.

Today, this Nabataean caravan-city is one of the seven new wonders of the world, and is truly one of those boxes you need to check off of places to see before you die.

Not one for getting a little sweaty and dirty on your trips? Petra’s probably not for you, as  is described in this article in the Telegraph. “The sheer scale of the site makes the most lasting impact. It spreads over seven square miles, and its sand and limestone geology upstages even the blurred, wind-eroded grandeur of the rock hewn, classical tomb and temple façades.”

I re-watched “The English Patient” this weekend (and I’m not ashamed to admit it), and every time I do, it makes me want to visit the deserts of North Africa and the Middle East more and more, despite the fact that the main characters end up dying as the result of a plane crash, horrific internal injuries, and fatally severe skin burns. What can I say, I’m a romantic?

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