The New Seven Wonders: Visiting Petra

The Opportunist Traveller

Al Khazaneh through the Siq

“It seems no work of Man’s creative hand,

by labour wrought as wavering fancy planned;

But from the rock as if by magic grown,

eternal, silent, beautiful, alone!

Not virgin-white like that old Doric shrine,

where erst Athena held her rites divine;

Not saintly-grey, like many a minster fane,

that crowns the hill and consecrates the plain;

But rose-red as if the blush of dawn,

that first beheld them were not yet withdrawn;

The hues of youth upon a brow of woe,

which Man deemed old two thousand years ago,

match me such marvel save in Eastern clime,

a rose-red city half as old as time.”

– Petra by John Burgon

I want to go back. Very few places have had me as mesmerised and enthralled as this eternal city carved in rock. I’d seen it in movies, in photographs and read about it, but nothing, not even Indiana Jones…

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