Travel the world on a budget with "Rizwan & Nazneen”
Meet Rizwan Abdulla and Nazneen Najeeb. The couple who believes in: “work.save.travel.repeat”. The stars of popular social media channel ‘boardingpassports’ have collaborated with Weekender to present their interesting travel stories in a way to allow the wanderlust in you to set your travel plans in motion. Its practical and it can happen. This week, let’s set our exploration sights on:
Petra – The Lost City
Entrance fee at Petra Archeological Site: 27BD/person for one day (50JD) this is an included attraction in ‘Jordan Pass’. Visit www.jordanpass.jo for more info.
Stayed at: Hotel Rockymountain: 19BD/night (seasonally varied)
Days spent: 1d/2n
Transport: the hotel provides airport pickup and drop as well as provides shuttle services to Petra Visitors Centre.
Is time travel possible? Yes it is! We had been there, done that!The moment you set foot in the Petra Archeological site entrance, you are taken back to the 5th century BC, when the place was once a busy city, carved in naturally colorful rocks. We felt like the sands, rocks and stones were trying to tell us stories. We could feel the hustle, clops and bustle of the ancient lost city. This huge city was hidden to the western world until the 19th century. Towns, markets, monasteries, theatres, a treasury, dams, water system, and many more were built by carving rocks and they are indeed a real engineering marvel.Most of the structures are destroyed by earthquakes and other natural processes, but the remains are truly worth a visit.
A map will be given at the entrance to navigate ourselves throughout the trails. We recommend to hike all the way to Al-Dair Monastery and back, which is 21kms. If the explorer in you is still hungry, then take another hike of your choice. Camels, horses and donkeys are available for transportation, by the nomads, but we enjoyed walking, to explore the marvel throughout the hike. The Siq trail shows the water system carved in the mountains and the pipelines used to transport water. At the end of this trail is the most famous “Al Khazney” (The Treasury) which is one of the 7 wonders of the world. The sight of this beauty, in the end, takes the breath away!
The explorer in us was not ready to give up, so we started our trail to the Monastery. We were told that there is something huge waiting, up there, so we kept hiking up the rocky uneven steps. The hot blazing sun right above our head, but that didn’t matter! 850 steps or more, that didn’t matter as well! Every step we took, our expectations grew. We had a moment of disappointment when we reached the destination, not knowing that what we were seeking for was right behind us!
That very moment, when we turned to see the huge wonder, Al Dayr, our jaws dropped while we stood there in awe admiring this beauty. All our efforts were paid off! This site is a 3 hours’ drive from Amman, and the city provides various budget stays. We highly recommend staying in Hotel Rocky Mountain, which has a heritage of 50+ years, yet maintained in excellent condition, if your trip is on a budget. The customer service was outstanding, with neat, clean and hygienic rooms. The hotel has a roof top restaurant where breakfast is served, with a magnificent view of the Rocky Mountains in the backdrop. They provide shuttle service to the Petra Visitors Centre, and lunch will be packed upon requests for the guests visiting Petra.
You are never the same once you visit Petra. We had no clue what was awaiting us beyond the entrance gate. Exploring each and every trail on foot, with the guide map, we felt like mini explorers! Petra was such a unique experience, that we left a piece of us over there.