This past weekend CIEE took all of us students on a three day trip to Petra, Wadi Rum, and Aqaba aka the Golden Triangle. The first stop on the trip was Petra, a Modern World Wonder and one of the most amazing sites I’ve ever had the pleasure to visit. Some of you may know of Petra from one of the Indiana Jones (don’t know which one, sorry), but I feel like the image of Petra’s Treasury (pictured below) is pretty world renowned. I didn’t know what to expect of Petra since all I knew about it was of the iconic Treasury, but in reality Petra is an entire site that ideally requires days to explore. Petra was created around 300 BC as the capital of the Nabatean Kingdom. It’s specifically unique in the fact that all major monuments were carved into the mountains, raising questions as to how a civilization that existed in 300 BC could create such impressive monuments. Petra remained a well held secret until modern day only known to the Bedouin tribes living in the area. Today, the Bedouins still work on the site, making money off of tourists who are willing to pay exorbitant an amount to experience Petra.
Following our day in Petra, we drove off to Wadi Rum to stay the night at a Bedouin campsite. Wadi Rum is essentially a super cool desert valley surrounded by mountains, particularly notable by the fact that pretty much every Mars related movie has been filmed in Wadi Rum. In the days leading up to the trip, there was a lot of discussion as to what sleeping in a Bedouin tent would be like. A lot of people were convinced we would be roughing it in the Jordanian desert, but the Bedouin tents turned out to be super boujee. The next morning we got to ride camels through Wadi Rum, which was really the only touristy thing I wanted to go coming to Jordan. Now that I’ve had my desert camel riding experience I definitely feel like I’ve peaked (or humped, lol).
The final day of the trip we headed for Aqaba, which is a port city on the Red Sea. CIEE put us up in a swanky beach front hotel. If that wasn’t amazing enough, they also rented two boats so we could go out onto the Red Sea and snorkel around the coral reefs. From the boat, we could simultaneously see Jordan, Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia so that was an experience. Aqaba was the perfect ending to one of the most remarkable weekends of my life, and I could not be more excited to continue to experience Jordan. مع السلام