Making It All About the Destination at Petra in Jordan
You can forget about the saying that it's all about the journey and not the destination once you set out for Petra, a once-formidable city that saw thousands of caravans pass through on the way to Arabia and China. Today, only six horse-drawn carriages ply the Siq, a unique natural pathway carved by time through a mountain leading down to the ancient complex. The clatter of hooves on the 2,000-year-old cobblestones is sufficient warning to hikers rounding blind corners to keep to the side, where statues of gods chiseled by the ancient Nabataeans still stand guard over the gorge. And finally, at the end of the kilometer-long Siq, unveiling itself slowly behind a curtain of undulating rock, lies the Treasury, rumored to be the final resting place of the city's governor. Or, if you would believe Indiana Jones, the Holy Grail. Time your hike for sunrise, and watch the light paint luminescent swathes of red and gold onto Petra; it will be a glimpse into the city's colorful, illustrious past and the Nabataeans' ingenuity in carving a treasure trove of wonders out of stone.
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