Home Dilmun to Dublin Tour Diary Jordan A treat for the senses
A treat for the senses
Written by Maria Ramos   
Tuesday, 27 May 2008 06:17

Petra, you are truly a 'Wonder of the World'! You're still a treat for all the senses, even if it’s my second visit to you.  

It was John William Burgon’s poem entitled ‘Petra’ written in 1845, which gave Petra the name ‘rose-red city’:

‘Match me such a marvel save in Eastern clime,

A rose-red city half as old as Time’.

Our guide Marwan took us around the Rose-Red city, 85% of which is still underground! Apparently, Petra lies on the African Rift fault line and has been rocked by many earthquakes. It's the iron in the sedimentary rocks that gives Petra its rose-red colour. It is laced with a myriad of colours which, funnily enough, reminds me of the pyramids of local spices in Manama suq! 

It was an amazing walk around the Nabatean city  with the team making jokes along the way and stopping for pictures and looking up at the 'pinkness' of it all as Petra was in bloom with pink flowers everywhere. The colour co-ordination of nature is amazing!

One of the funniest parts of the day was meeting Saleh Farajat, co-founder of Petra By Night, who hosted us and taught us the meaningful positions of the Jordanian 'Aqal'. 

This is fascinating stuff! (We'll have pictures up soon) 


  • Now if the Aqal is tilted to the right, that means the man is single!
  • If it's tilted to the left, this is a sign that the man is ready to make love! 
  • Tilted forward means he's proud. 
  • If the Gutra is wrapped around his face, he's in a bad mood 
  • No Aqal means he's sad. 


I'll never be able to look at Jordanian Gutras and Aqals again in the same way. Of course I'll be looking for the right tilt! Ha, ha...

Now for the camel lesson of the day... these clever creatures can drink water from the bottle by themselves and they also love Coke and Pepsi! I got a bit scared when I saw the Coke can completely inside the camel's mouth. I could saw the headline ' Tourist chokes camel on Coke can in Petra'... but then it spat it out!

The most memorable part of the day was our donkey ride from Petra back to Wadi Musa. This was hilarious, all of the team going up the winding hills together on donkeys and laughing so much. Especially since Ali and I were communicating on our walkie-talkies and making jokes about the donkeys. But my camel seemed to be very temperamental and kept going on the edge of the cliff.

Finally, the grand finale of the day was Petra by night. This is a magical candle-lit walk through Petra that culminates at the Treasury. 

Surrounded by the silence of the rocks and stars of the night, it's just you and the universe. 

We stopped along the way for our photographer Ammar who captured majestic Petra as it slept.