I didn’t know a thing about Jordan when I stepped off the plane. My friend had organized our trip, and wanting to go into the country with fresh eyes, I ignored all of his emails about plans and itineraries and details. It wasn’t that I wasn’t interested; it was just that the year prior I had spent 3 months researching a trip to Saariselkä in the Northern Lapland, exhausting myself with every decision before I even got to the airport. This time, I wanted to play everything by ear; to see the country with fresh eyes untainted from expectation.
Our first stop was Petra, home of the Siq, or shaft. Famous as the climatic backdrop in the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the Siq is an impressive natural feature: a crack formed from a tectonic plate shift that split the mountain in two, creating the entrance to the city of Petra. A path through the Siq leads to several incredible archaeological sites including the Al Khazneh, a crypt carved out from the rock face, and the Ad Deir, a monastery that reaches 50m high, also carved into the rock. Both are formidable constructions sculptured right into the sandstone cliff. Standing below, I could only feel humbled in wonder.