Tag Archives: Ayu’s Jordan Adventure

In Petra

Petra is amazing. No words, nor pictures can describe how amazing this place is. We went to visit Petra back in December. As one of the world’s 7 Wonders and UNESCO World Heritage Site, Petra surely didn’t disappoint.

You need more than just one day to visit Petra. To thoroughly see Petra. And preferably without kids with short legs 😉 . The area is massive. You will do a lot of walk, a lot of climbs mixed while standing with your mouth open looking up every two rocks or so. We were lucky to be there in winter, because the temperature was very nice. I heard it could be scorching hot in summer. I couldn’t imagine having to walk/climb/crawl in a 40 degrees heat weather.

Being there I had to juggle between taking pictures, exploring the place, while carefully walking the sandy paths that were  -in some part more than others- mined with animal droppings. We only had less than a day in Petra. We got there a little after midday and left just before it got dark. I think we only just ‘brushed’ the surface, though what a magnificent ‘surface’ it was.

Here are some images that were taken from the entrance to the Siq. It’s a sandy path about less than a kilometre long that divided in two; one for the animal (horses, carriages etc) and one path for visitors to walk. Even here we could already start to see some unusual rocks.

the way to the siqObelisk Tomb

The Siq.

The Siq is the main road leading to the city of Petra. It’s a 3-12m wide narrow path with 80m rocky walls along side of it. It’s the most interesting walk I’ve ever had. The rock walls around us was truly magnificent; not only in size but also in colours. Many Nabatean carvings were made along the walls, which are interesting and apparently quite functional, back in the days. Animals, including horse carriage, and people walk through here to reach the Treasury.

The Magnificent Siq



After the walk through the Siq came the Treasury. The square in front of the Treasury when we finally got there was full of people; tourist and locals alike, and also animals as transportation for hire. It’s challenging to get a decent clear shot of the Treasury since it’s so high (39.1m), and always full of people.

The Treasury, Petra - Jordan


The urn you can see at the top was believed, long time ago, to contain great treasure, that’s why it is called the Treasury until now.


From here we continued towards the Monastery. The way there is long, and to reach it we had to go up 800 steps or so . With two kids and their sets of tiny legs we decided to hire a donkey and some mules. From here on, the photo taking became somewhat limited, because I was concentrating hard to not fall off my ride. We passed the wall of façades, many great tombs and temples along the way. We did not have time to get off our rides and see every one of them. Our destination was the Monastery, and the way was up up and up. At a certain point near the top we had to get off our animals because they were not allowed to pass anymore. We walked the remainder of the steps slowly but surely. Again, I was grateful for the cool weather we had that day.

The Monastery, Petra - Jordan


For more detailed information of Petra you can visit here. IMHO, Petra should be in everyone’s bucket list!

The sun was setting, so we had to start to head back. Going down the 800 steps and the long walk was still ahead of us. We got the kids back on their donkey until we reached the Siq, because otherwise I didn’t think they would survive the long way back.


It’s been a long and tiring day and our muscles were sore for days after. But it’s oh so worth the pain.

Towards the Exit, Petra - Jordan

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  • Bijit Dutta04/02/2014 - 3:09 am

    incredible photographyReplyCancel

  • ohdearria07/02/2014 - 5:25 pm

    Wow! Amazing pictures Ayu, you’re so talented. Make me want to go to Petra/Jordan, one day! Keep sharing your beautiful shotsReplyCancel

  • [ayu]07/02/2014 - 11:47 pm

    makasih yaaa. semoga jangan bosen. there are other beautiful places in Jordan that I visited. I’m sorting through all the photos I took during the holiday, keep watching this space…xReplyCancel

  • […] her head was a piece  from our past holiday that had successfully flown me back to Petra, even when it was only in my head. First on her head, then in my […]ReplyCancel

52 Portrait Project – 4/52

Faces of Petra is the theme of this week’s portrait project. Even with the stunning view surrounding us when we were in Petra, the locals had their way to make their presence truly felt. I’m talking about the trading locals who filled the area in front of the Treasury, who were there in throngs, with their various items to sell and animals for hire. We’ve got a wide selection of items to buy from them; silver bracelets, necklaces, (claimed to be) authentic old/antic coins, scarfs and postcards. The four-legged variety mode of transportation was also available there. You can choose between camels, donkeys, mules, horses, or, if riding on layers of blankets on top of moving animals is not for you, you can opt to sit like a true tourist princess in one of horse carriages.

Most of the sellers were the local Bedouin from Petra. Back in the 70s and early 80s some of people from the Bedouin tribe actually lived in the caves and resided amongst the rocky ruins around. Not anymore though, as these days no one is allowed to live inside Petra for better preservation of the area, so now the Bedouins are there only during opening hours to conduct their business.

Back to the portraits now. Here’s Salomon. He’s a young teenage boy with kind eyes, high energy and very little English. We started our ‘relationship’ with a misunderstanding over a price of silver bracelets (he wanted to sell by the grams, while I bargained based on the number of items). We ended up spending most of our day there with him (and his borrowed donkeys), because he turned out being very helpful, though not so informative as a guide. Kind eyes can go a long way, I guess.

the donkey charmer, petra - jordan


These were the postcard selling girls. These girls were very friendly, playful and giggly. I gave them a Polaroid as a souvenir. They looked so happy.

postcard sellers, petra - jordan


These old men were working together in front of Treasury. They dressed as period soldiers/guards, and then went to approach tourists who wanted to take photographs together for some small tips. These two looked tired and a bit sad. After receiving some tips and lots of thanks from us they went off, back to work. On to the next group.

old soldier 1, petra - jordan

old soldier 2, petra - jordan

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on the way to Petra

There are a two ways to go to Petra from the Dead Sea area; via King’s Highway or the Dead Sea Highway. We took the route via the Dead Sea Highway. It’s a challenging route but also one that offers great scenery.We had a trusty and dependable local driver, and I recommend you to get one as well if you consider going. It saves the time of getting lost, avoid the GPS drama and the anxiety of driving in a tricky unfamiliar terrain. The were road signs, but they were somewhat unclear and easy to miss. Along the rocky cliffs, the road is winding, and the twists and turns are very steep and sharp.

The scenery throughout this route was spectacular. What I saw outside my car window was so different from anything that I’ve ever been before, that’s why I was so glad we decided to go along this path. Naturally colourful rocks were around us as we go up and up the mountain. I’ve never been surrounded by this much rock before.

Here was our first stop. We were still by the coastal line, the rocky hill on our left, and the sea on our right. The day was cool and very windy.

The Cliff, Dead Sea Highway, Petra - Jordan


Dead Sea Highway, Jordan



We passed some towns where square-shaped old houses/buildings dominated the area. Bedouin tents peppered the space where the buildings weren’t.

Bedouin Tent, Dead Sea Highway to Petra, Jordan




Half way up the mountain we took a tea break to stretch our legs, toilet run, and really, to take a break from all the twists and turns to get our heads cleared out and our spines straightened. A guy and his many cats in this tiny ‘shop’ welcomed us and served us some tea while we were absorbing the view. The temperature was significantly colder up there, and for the first time it really felt like winter in Jordan.

After this brief stop we were back in the car and set off straight to our destination. Next stop, Petra.


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  • yasmine ft dörr23/01/2014 - 9:29 am

    The pictures somehow brought back memories of the time we used to live in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. Beautiful pictures, ‘Yu! :-)…ReplyCancel

    • [ayu]25/01/2014 - 1:43 am

      thanks Ming..I wish I could visit Oman in this trip..ah, sudahlah…ReplyCancel

  • Jojor24/01/2014 - 10:37 pm


52 Portrait Project – 3/52

my boy in Madaba, Jordan

After our visit to St. George church in Madaba, I was surprised to find my son in a very good mood. He is a big games addict and a homebody who hates to be separated from his hand ‘device’ for too long. His pre-teen self gets a bit broody and sulky when the withdrawal kicks in. Anyhow, despite all the driving and playing tourist with us most of the day, he looked very happy and was being very playful on our walk back to the car. And he was also very co-operative and let me take some photos (and not running away from the camera like usual). That’s why I am very glad to be able to capture him like this. His expression showed his joyful mood from that day. The city of Madaba that was beautifully captured in the background makes this portrait even more special for me.

To see him and his very familiar face and looked almost ‘at home’ and so relax in such a new and unfamiliar surrounding, made these images something to behold.

my boy in Madaba 1, Jordan

….aaaand here his cheekiness is BACK.

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St George Church in Madaba, Jordan

The city of Madaba in Jordan is located about 30 km from Amman (the capital city). Madaba is widely known as the City of Mosaic. The first mosaics apparently were discovered purely by chance during the building of permanent housings using squared-up stones from the old monuments. Once the people were made aware of the importance of these mosaics they made sure to take care and preserve all the mosaics that came to light.

Madaba is home to the famous 6th century Mosaic Map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land, the Madaba Mosaic Map. It’s made out of two million pieces of vividly coloured local stone that depicts hills and valleys, villages and towns as far as the Nile Delta. It covers the floor of the Greek Orthodox Church of St George, just northwest of the city centre. We visited the church right after our scrumptious lunch at Haret Jdoudna in Madaba. (Side note: Please go and enjoy some meals in this restaurant if you happen to be in the area. They serve great meal and the place is really unique. This is not a paid post, btw 😉 ).

St George church, which was built in 1896 AD, is not a very big church, but the amount of mosaics inside was quite impressive. The Mosaic Map was in the middle of the main floor of the church. The map was originally around 15.6 X 6m big,  but only about a quarter of that size is preserved.

Map of Madaba, Jordan



As it is with most of the other places of worships I’ve been to, the church of st George is adorned by many beautiful ornaments and decorations, which are intricate, old and very special.


St George, Madaba, Jordan

These are some shots from outside the church.

Looking at the gate from st George Church, Madaba, Jordan


Church Door, St George Church, Madaba, Jordan

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