I’ll never tire of repeating it. Dreams do come true!
For as long as I could remember I’ve dreamt of seeing the Taj Mahal with my own eyes, live and in color, where I could actually stand before it and marvel at its grandeur. December 2017, that dream came true.
It was a short weekend trip but it was the perfect amount of time to book a private tour to Agra and visit the most beautiful mausoleum in the world. My friend Rupa and I hit the streets of Old Delhi and went shopping for saree fabrics and accessories. I was fortunate to find a tailor who was able to create a skirt and blouse out of my new hot pink materials within a few hours. They even delivered it to my hostel.
Here are a few pics of me sporting said hot pink saree with matching bindi, gold bangles and bell earrings found in Old Dehli.
I read a post recently where the blogger was knocking hostels and implying that they are only good for younger travelers, you know the twenty-something backpackers. That viewpoint slightly offended me considering that I’m thirty-something and prefer a rolly bag as opposed to a backpack. I mean, I didn’t have my first hostel experience until I was 31 and I loved it! I don’t stay in hostels on every trip I take but they are great for a number of reasons. Affordability being #1.
Hostel Wall Art
Hostel Wall Art
Here are 5 factors I personally consider when selecting a hostel.
I tend to look for hostels that are near the city center of whatever city I’m visiting. I want to be in close proximity to whatever attractions I have on my itinerary. If it’s a city with a metro then it would be great to find a hostel that’s close to the metro stop for obvious reasons.
If you ever plan a trip to Jordan make sure you include a stop at the Dead Sea!
It’s the lowest point on earth and it offers a once in a lifetime experience. Apparently, the salt level in the Dead Sea is about 10x more than that of the oceans. The simple fact is that the Dead Sea is dense. So dense that you will automatically float once you are about waist deep. The water takes control. You won’t be able to stand upright even if you try. Trust me. I tried. I failed.
If you missed the last couple of posts don’t worry just click here and here.
Part 3 is all about my favorite moments from Petra. Obvi the pictures and videos speak for themselves. Enjoy!!
*In no particular order*
Shopping in the desert.
2. Hiking/mountain climbing.
3. Chatting it up with the local kids…. no, I do not encourage child labor even though they were off from school and were getting their hustle on just like everyone else. Funny story… the boy took apart my selfi-stick and was asking if he could have it and the girl was requesting my portable battery pack. But the requests sounded a little bit more like… “Give me” and I was all like… “Ummm No.” They were super sweet and my heart clenched a bit.
4. The colors inside the caves were so beautiful and difficult to capture through a phone camera.
5. Bonding with Kalli made the trip extra special. It was our first trip together and I had a great time.
Everything about visiting Petra was special. If you plan on going I recommend spending more than one afternoon exploring this mysterious city!
If you’ve already been share your favorite moments in the comments!! Would love to connect with you!!
“It’s not every day you get the chance to visit an actual world wonder! That means that when the opportunity comes along you take it without asking questions. Just pack a bag and go along for the adventure because I guarantee it’ll be worth it. It’s a world wonder for a reason after all.” – My thoughts and sentiments behind visiting Petra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Jordan.
Have you ever heard of Indiana Jones?? My 15-year old niece is slightly obsessed with Harrison Ford and his movies… I think it’s a little odd but she just throws her head back and laughs. Anyway… Petra is featured in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Mummy Returns and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. It’s fitting for it to be a sought after cinematic setting because walking into Petra definitely feels like being in a movie. You are instantly transported back in time. The feeling is a bit unreal.
We stayed at the Hilton on the Dead Sea which was about a 4-hour drive away from Petra so we opted for a private driver. This was a great option because it allowed us to fully enjoy the scenery and landscapes along the way.
Plus we got to chat with the driver who filled us in on tidbits of Jordanian history. Along the way we stopped and got some falafel pita sandwiches which were so so yummy!!!
At the Petra entrance we had to temporarily separate from our driver… please note… you are not allowed to bring your own tour guide. They have qualified guides you can hire on site. Our driver was way cool though, he paid his entrance fee which was a total of 1 JOD or 0.71 USD and met us on the other side. I’m sure having an actual tour guide would be amazing as they are experts and can give you all the history and info you want if you are a history buff and crave the deats. Our driver played guide for us and gave us as much info as he could while simultaneously acting as photographer!
Once we got our tickets we made the lines to get in. As soon as we passed the entrance we were approached by horse-drawn carriages and horse handlers offering rides to the main entrance of the city. We opted for the “FREE” horses which aren’t really free because the handlers will expect a tip. Be ready to give a tip! The ride was maybe a half mile and our horses were gentle and sweet. For an extra charge, you could hire the carriages to take you further into the city or just be prepared to walk. It’s a couple miles from where you give your ticket to when you get to see the Treasury. But like I said if you are unable to walk the entire distance or just want to reach the inner city faster you could hire the carriages which fly by the pedestrians at a wicked speed. I bet it would be fun to ride them. After we dismounted the horses we began the trek walking literally between mountains.
Okay so let’s clarify some things. Petra is an entire city in the desert. The picture you see most often is of the city’s main bank aka the Treasury. But within the city, there are cave dwellings that acted as homes and graves. There is an amphitheater (Wordless Wednesday post). There are so many trails and paths to explore and the short afternoon we spent within Petra was nowhere near enough time to see it in its entirety.
Kalli and I walked for over an hour in between mountains and casually took photos here and there expecting to come upon the Treasury at every corner. The route is winding and there are many twists throughout. Then our driver/guide told us the building we came to see was just ahead. We held our breath as we followed the crowd between rock walls and all of a sudden the path widened into a courtyard of sorts. Right before us, in all its glory stood a world wonder. It was mesmerizing. Unbelievable and simply goosebump-inducing. This building has been standing here in the middle of the desert on the side of a mountain for centuries. The coolest thing about this structure is that it was constructed directly into the mountain. They started at the very top and etched the building into the rock. Visitors are no longer allowed into the building but you can easily admire the craftsmanship and ingenuity of the centuries-old architectures.
The pictures do it zero justice. In my next post, I’ll list my favorite Petra moments along with pictures. Because pictures are always the best part!
Thanks for stopping by and feel free to comment, like and share. If you’ve been to Petra tell me about your trip in the comments would love to hear about your adventure.
When my Dubai bestie suggested going to Jordan to visit Petra – The City of Mystery and swim in the Dead Sea I went along with it because I wanted to get away. I’m not a huge Indiana Jones fan so I really had no idea what Petra was and the Dead Sea did sound intriguing but it wasn’t high up on my bucket list.