Petra Photo Journal 57


I have to admit that there is something I don’t like about Petra… going through all my photos after visiting to try to find the best dozen or so. Petra is one of the true Wonders of the World and one of the must-see sights in Jordan, but it is almost overwhelming in its scope and majesty. You have seen tons of Petra photos (and are about to see some more), but rest assured, when you go there in person… it will knock your socks off.

petra Treasury with Camels

Treasury with a few of the local camels

During a wine tasting in Amman after my visit, I actually met a Swiss archaeologist that has worked at the site for about 30 years or so.  I intend to interview him via email soon, so I’ll wait to talk more about Petra in words until that post. In the meantime, enjoy some photos of one of my favorite spots in the world and one that should be on everyone’s must-visit list.

One travel tip that is so basic that it is embarrassing I got tripped up on it. Make sure your camera batteries are charged and that you have a back-up battery charged also. I forgot to recharge my battery the night before we went to Petra, because I was certain it was almost fully charged and that I hadn’t used the back-up on this trip.

I woke up the next morning, we walked to the site, got to the first area for photos, I flipped on the power on my camera.  Nothing.  Well, except I then realized I hadn’t flipped it on (I reflexively flip it off after almost every single shot, then back on before I shoot, for battery conservation purposes).  It had been on.  All night, in my bag.  Something had bumped up against it and left it all all night.  Put in the back-up battery and it was dead also.

Petra with no camera. Well done, Sir. We went back to the hotel, me kicking myself verbally the whole way, and plugged in the battery to charge. Somehow it fully charged in only 40 minutes or so, at least that is what the light indicated on the battery charger. Turns out that battery is an old one that needs to be replaced and that it simply doesn’t hold a charge properly.  Had enough juice in it to make it around Petra, selecting my shots carefully and turning it off after each one, but it was a slightly more nervous day than it should have been.

the entrance to the Treasury Petra Jordan

emerging to the magnificent Treasury building

my previous picture here seems so insignificantly small.

Monestary petra jordan

the Monastery from a slightly different angle than usual

mountainside homes petra jordan

some of the many homes in the vast complex walls

canyon walk down to petra site

the walk down to the site is almost as good as Petra itself

colorful walls buildings petra jordan

right before my camera battery died again

red orange rock colors at petra

the colors of the stone are simply amazing

wide angle petra view

to give some perspective -- the buildings up ahead are 3-5 stories tall

uncropped Monastery petra wide view

not the greatest light, but wider angle of Monastery. Look to left and right and note how it is carved out of the side of the mountain. Imagine how much work was involved in that endeavor.

roman ruins petra jordan

the Romans also occupied the site for a while and there are extensive Roman ruins

roman amphitheatre petra jordan

the Romans loved their shows and theater

unreal colors petra jordan walls

sometimes you look around and think it simply can't be real

before petra entrance

even before you enter Petra proper, the sights begin

I was invited to Jordan and hosted there by the incredible generosity of the Jordan Tourism Board. They took me on a week-long tour of the sights of that great country that included these pics, though they did not ask for any sort of endorsement or positive review.

It’s Petra…. did anyone thing that I was going to say anything EXCEPT positive things??!!  This is one of the 3-5 best spots I have been in the world, along with Manchupicchu and Angkor Wat in my book.  Just do it.  For sure.

Abbie from Inside the Travel Lab took some amazing photos of Petra at night that are really worth checking out. Janice did a lovely post about walking in Petra also. And I wasn’t the only one inspired by the movies in this part of the world, check out her going in the footsteps of adventurers.


About Michael Hodson

I’m an attorney that took off on my birthday in December of 2008 to circumnavigate the globe without ever getting on an airplane. After 16 months, 6 continents and 44 countries, I made it all the way back home. Right now, I am back on the road writing about it all.

57 thoughts on “Petra Photo Journal

  • Julia

    Stunning photos. Wish I didn’t think of Karl Pilkington in An Idiot Abroad every time I see Petra now though, haha!

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      that is the thing that amazes me more and more, every time I go back

  • Sharifah

    Went to Petra myself last month and very true, I fall in love instantly. That was the sweetest memories and the most unearasable pictures in my mind for my entire trip. Will go again in a few months

  • Pete Heck

    Wonderful photos Michael! I can’t wait to do that walk myself. Those colors in the stone are pretty amazing.

  • Dean

    Definitely want to visit Petra, and all of Jordan for that matter. Nice photos, it’s good to see some pics of Petra other than the usual treasury building one. I didn’t know about the Roman ruins there.

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      Yea, the Roman ruins on my first visit were a “huh??” moment. LOL.

  • Merav

    Petra is indeed a true wonder. It fascinated many Israelis in the days it was a forbidden land and I remember the stories of those who came back telling us about the wonders of Petra.

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      It is just a magically strange place, I think. Just wandering around and thinking, “why the heck did they do this way back when?”

  • Amanda

    Petra is definitely on my “list.” I’ve been so jealous recently of all you bloggers who have been invited to travel around Jordan! It looks like it’s been an amazing experience. Great shots!

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      It was quite the honor to have the great folks and Jordan Tourism Board bring me in, for sure. So wonderful to work with them.

  • Juno

    The coloured stone looks amazing. Wow. So they carved it? It’s just amazing. Wow.
    I’m seeing more and more photos from Middle East, it is just drawn me to there.

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      The Middle East might be my favorite part of the world. And yes, they just carved it in there. Amazing.

  • megan

    Petra was amazing – wish I’d had more than one day there to explore. It was so hot in the middle of summer that we arrived at 7am and trekked back to the village by lunchtime (while some tour buses, maybe from Amman, were just starting to arrive). The heat was intense!

    Also, I kind of got a bit lost on the trek up to the High Place of Sacrifice. I got separated from my friends and terrified I was going to fall off something. So, kind of freaked me out a little!

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      I didn’t walk up there and I should have. The first time I went, it was mid-summer and I only had one day. It was still amazing, but I am glad I got a non-summer day this time (still hot). And I’d like 2-3 days at some point in the future also.

  • Sunee

    I’m very glad you managed to get some battery life after all – these photos are beautiful and very interesting! First time I’ve seen Petra from any other angle than the usual Treasury Building shot.

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      thanks, Sunee. Anyone can really shoot good photos there, but glad you liked mine 🙂

  • The Travel Chica

    Stunning photos! Glad you were able to eek out enough juice from those batteries to share with us.

    I am bad about remembering to bring an extra memory card, and then I end up having to selectively delete older photos and take many less shots than I want.

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      I worry far less about the memory card these days, because I just upload them every day. My 8gb card can take about 550 RAW format photos, which is a plenty good day in my eyes.

  • Ayngelina

    I always have such a hard time choosing photos of great places, it’s like picking your favourite child – well if I had any 🙂

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      well now that you are going…. I can’t wait to see your photos this fall!

  • Simon

    I visited Petra 10 years ago and was impressed by its beauty. It was a quick daily journey from Israel and since then I thought that Jordan is well worth to spend more time to discover its beauty. I hadn’t the chance to go back but who knows… maybe soon…
    Thanks for sharing such an awesome photo essay!

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      Thanks Simon. It was a pleasure to kick around Jordan for 10 or so days. Can’t wait to go back. And I need to hit Israel soon. Or at least as soon as I am not worried about the visa stamp issue.

  • Leah

    Wow!!! I have always wanted to visit Petra and now I want to go even more!

    I studied Archaeology at uni and the more I learn about this hidden city the more excited I get!

    Amazing photo’s did you get to go inside any of the ruins?

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      if you have studied archaology, then you really, really need to get to Petra as soon as you can. The insides of these aren’t that interesting. They actually don’t go back very far at all into the walls.

  • walkingontravels

    Dead batteries aside (we’ve all been there), you still got some amazing shots. I had a similar experience in Kyoto in May. I would be shooting away and then the most amazing shot would pop up and my camera would be dead. What the heck! So frustrating. But you know what, I shut down my shutterbug brain and just looked at what was around me. Still had a great time. Sometimes I have to remember to put down my camera and just be in the moment. And then go get a new battery. Ha!

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      Many thanks! I am glad I am not the only one that has had battery problems before. I felt like an idiot.

  • Cathy Sweeney

    Great shots – glad you got those batteries charged. I like how you captured the camels in front of the Treasury. What an amazing place.

  • Andrew

    Great pictures as expected. The battery thing is harsh and can hit just about anybody. Ali had it happen to her on our harbor tour, but it worked out ok with just enough juice to get a few pictures. My problem was breaking my DSLR the night before flying out to NZ leaving me with my point and shoot for the whole 2 weeks.
    Glad you got some shots, it would be a shame to pass up sharing the sights.

  • Barbara

    Thanks for the info and I love the photos. Truly amazing photos of Petra. Just look at the architechture! I think I first saw this area on http://www.travelexplosion.com before. I’ll be following your blog. Keep up the good work and I’m sure traveling beats being in the office ANY day!

  • Vicky

    Wow, really great photos Michael. Glad you managed to get some :). My friend lives in Jordan – definitely need to go and see her asap!

    • Michael Hodson Post author

      Thank you. Really trying to work on my photography skills. I am much better than I was, but still a long way to go.

  • ismail nasarat

    i feel so happy each time i hear or read this about my home town Petra…
    Ismail nasarat / tour guide of petra and jordan

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