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MENAFN - Jordan Times - 23/09/2012

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‘Petra by night’ is one of many different ways tourists can see the archaeological wonder in a different light (Photo by Muath Freij)
(MENAFN - Jordan Times) On donkeys, on foot, by day or by night, Petra offers many perspectives from which to observe its archaeological treasures and natural beauty.

Speaking to The Jordan Times on a recent visit to the Kingdom's most famous tourist attraction, visitors from around the world all had different stories to tell about what struck them most about their experience there.

For Paul Scanlon, an Australian who was visiting Petra for the first time with his wife, the most memorable moment was riding a donkey up and down the steep, rocky mountains to get to the monastery."Riding the donkeys to go to the monastery was scary and exciting at the same time," he told The Jordan Times.

His wife Kathryn, on the other hand, said seeing Petra at night was the highlight of her visit.

"It was so beautiful to go through the Siq, which was lit up with candles," she said.

"What I liked most was the bedouins singing and playing flutes and other traditional instruments. Also, it was really beautiful and generous that the bedouins served us tea, which was really delicious and wonderful."

Her husband agreed, adding that the quiet, peaceful atmosphere of Petra by night was something to behold.

Every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, the entrance to one of the new seven wonders of the world is open to tourists after dark for a special programme called "Petra by night".

Visitors walk through the Siq, their path lit by rows of candles, to the treasury for a candlelit concert of folk tunes played on traditional instruments by bedouins from the area.

After the performance, a bedouin tells stories about the culture and folklore of the Nabataeans, the people who built the ancient city and passed some of their heritage on to those who live in the area today.

For some visitors, learning about the history of the city and its significance is an important part of the Petra experience.

Claudgia Bertinato, a tourist from Brazil, decided to hire a guide to show her around the city.

Although hiring a guide was a bit expensive, she said, it was well worth the price.

"I preferred to get a guide because I wanted to learn more about Petra and its history. Also I did not research Petra before coming, so I wanted the guide to clarify more about it. My guide was really helpful and he even took photos of me," she told The Jordan Times while walking with her guide.

Bertinato added that she preferred to walk throughout her tour of the city, rather than taking the horse-drawn carts and donkey rides on offer, because she wanted to go at her own pace and see every detail.

"When you go fast or use a carriage, you miss things. I did not want to miss any sight in this beautiful city."


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