The history of Petra goes back more than nine thousand years, in the old testament it was mentioned as Edom and and local legend has it as the location of the spring formed when Moses struck the rock. This spring is just up the road from our hotel and is where our water comes from. The Nabateans, starting in 600 BC, are responsible for the development we see here now. At one time the population was over 30,000 and was a major trading center.
Along with Ankor Wat, Petra is one of the most specular places I have ever visited. The entrance is through the Sig, a long slot canyon which opens into the treasury, the city is a couple miles all down hill. The problems is coming back out which is equivalent to climbing a 46 story building from the treasury itself after climbing to all the sites inside. We spent two days hiking in Petra and today got in at six am in order to get in before the crowd which lately has been 4,000 a day. The entire site is very large and most visitors see only a small part of it, in fact most only get to the treasury and the nearby theater and tombs. Getting in early keeps you ahead of the crowd and is the only way to get photographs without tourists in the way.