When we were in Jordan, we went to two famous sites the Dead Sea and the ancient city of Petra.
The Dead Sea was once part of the ocean, but now it is just a lake. Over time the land got higher and cut off the channel to the sea. The Dead Sea water kept evaporating and it left the salt behind so it is really salty. This happened a really long time ago.
We went to the Dead Sea to see what it is like to swim in a super-salty lake. We went to a club next to the Dead Sea. It also had two big freshwater pools that we could swim in. We changed into our swimsuits and went to the beach. We made sure that we didn’t have any open cuts. My Mum said that the Dead Sea water would really sting a cut.
Unfortunately we got some in our eyes and it stung for like ten minutes. It really really hurt. We made sure that we didn’t splash after that.
It was really cool how much buoyancy there is in the Dead Sea. We floated on our backs without trying to swim. We even floated on ours stomachs and upright! When we were float ing upright, it looked like you were standing in waste deep water. Weird!
Most of the ground in and around the water is covered in hard salt. We picked up lots of samples of the salt from the inside of the Dead Sea.
Afterwards we washed the salt off and then jumped in the pool. It was so much fun playing in the water with Emma and my Dad.
Next sadly we had to go.
A few days later we went to Petra. Petra was established by the Nabateans about two thousand three hundred and twenty six years ago at 312 BCE. I thought that was a long time ago. Sadly it got taken over by the Romans one thousand three hundred and sixty one years ago at 663 CE.
We went all the way from Amman to Wadi Musa, the city beside Petra. Wadi Musa is a very small city on a hill next to a valley. You can’t stay overnight in Petra. We had to stay in Wadi Musa.
We got up really early to see Petra. We walked all the way down the hill in to the really, really cold valley. When we got to the ticket booth I felt like a Popsicle. We bought tickets and also hired a tour guide.
We started of seeing some caves. Those caves were all tombs. We passed a lot of caves then we got to see two twin temples. The temples guarded the entry into Petra.
At the entrance to Petra there was a big dam that had been built recently. It was used to protect Petra from flash floods. The guide told us that a few years ago twelve French tourists died in a almost instantaneous flash flood. I though it was sad that they died with no chance of surviving.
Next we went down the long entrance to the big Nabatean city of Petra. Impressively the entrance was a huge canyon. You walked on the bottom of the canyon a long way before you got to the actual city.
I also heard that the Nabateans were excellent hydraulic engineers. They had impressive aqueducts everywhere. We walked and walked down the canyon and then we saw the massive treasury. Well it wasn’t a money treasury. It was a house and tomb for a really rich Nabatean. The house was massive. It was all carved into the rock. It had so much detail.
Petra is a huge tourist site. They had horses, donkeys and camels to ride on. Everyone was asking, “Do you want a horse, camel or donkey ride?”
We passed by the treasury. There were lots of gods carved on the side of the walls. Mostly the king of the Nabatean gods, Dushrara, and his wife Al-Uzza
Then the canyon parted and there was many things to see. Our tour guide told us about the stage carved into the rocks. It was only used for holy days and it could fit a thousand people!
We went passed the old residential area. It was all rubble. A whole three blocks of houses had been destroyed over the years.
Our tour guide left us to climb up a big mountain to see the monastery. We hiked and hiked up the hill. When we got up the hill I was amazed. The monastery was a lot bigger then the treasury. It was huge it could’ve fit the international space station in there.
Then we hiked some more to get to a view point. Up there it was a beautiful view. There were hills cliffs and plains all in the same area. Then we went down, down, down. All the way to the bottom.
After we had lunch we headed up to another tomb. This one was awesome. The ceiling and walls were painted so they looked like someone smushed all the elements together. It was really cool and pretty.
After that we left and walked and walked up the canyon to the dam.
They said that a horse ride was included in our tickets, so we took one back to the entrance. At the end the horse guy started arguing with us. He said that the tickets included rides for the adults and not the kids. Only Emma and I rode the horses, not my Mum or Dad, so we thought it was even. In the end, we had to go to the tourist police station. The police said that we didn’t have to pay anything, so we were ok.
It was not a good way to end our day, but the rest of the day was fun.