It is well known that the fun is in the journey and not at reaching the destination. That’s exactly how I feel during my first visit to Petra, the famous ancient city that proudly finds a place amongst the Seven Wonders of the World today. Tall red mountains soar above me as I walk up to the Treasury and beyond in my pursuit to explore the archaeological wonder city.
Sunlight plays truant with the mountains, at times peeping through a crevice or shooting a blazing glare from a generous gap. The colour of the mountains varies from black to brown then red and at some places it even acquires a multi-colour hue. This is of course due to the mineral deposits in certain areas but trust me when sunlight dances playfully on the robust witnesses of time, it feels very divine!
At strategic corners men stand in royal finery with a shield and spear in hand to transport visitors back to the era when the Nabateans were still carving a city out of rocks, big rocks. That’s an unsuccessful attempt though. But a group of tourists have a fun time clicking pictures with these guards of the erstwhile era. Thoughtfully, little notes have been placed at bends to acquaint guests about the historical significance of Petra which is the Arabic word for stone. What an apt name!
I soak in the ambience at leisure. I realise that this is an experience of a lifetime. Every nook and corner amongst these gorges and passages tells a story, of people, their customs, architectural knowhow, stone sculpting skills and of the many centuries that have gone by. And I have all the time in the world to listen to them. In rapt attention.
After all, this is just the beginning. My journey has just begun. And remember, I told you at the outset that the fun is in the journey, not at the destination?
I was right, very right!