We got up a little earlier than usual, so that we could beat the crowd, so to speak. We entered the park just after 8:30. There is a short downhill walk for maybe half a mile before getting to the entry for the Siq, and there were a lot of horse carriages trying to convince us that we didn't want to walk. The word Siq comes from the Arabic work Shaj ("cut"). It is basically a large rift in the mountains. The rift began from earthquakes, then because of the rift, water would flow into and through it, which further deepened and widened the channel every time it rained. In some spots the Siq is quite narrow, just 10 feet or so, in other places it is much wider. The height of the Siq varies as well, but the walls are close to 250' in elevation in places. Along the way, there were several items carved into the wall, including one of a camel and its handler.

At every twist and turn, you kind of wonder when you'll see the Treasury, but for about 30 minutes, it's just more and more of the Siq. On each side, near the base of the rock wall, there were water channels. On the left (as you're walking towards the Treasury), is a rinse water channel, carved into the bottom of the wall. On the right side is the drinking water channel, which was encased in ceramic pipe (that has now largely worn away). By the time you can finally see the Treasury, the walk to the end of the Siq is only about 30 seconds, so basically right before you get there. There were large congregations of people in the Treasury area, and Aziz left us on our own to take photos and wander around for a bit. We got our required photo of us, and then headed northwest to see the rest of Petra.

The Treasury is "just" one of many dozens (if not hundreds) of buildings in the city. The city was built by the Nabateans around 300 BC. At the time, Petra controlled the main commercial routes which passed through it to Gaza in the west, to Bosra and Damascus in the north, to Aqaba and the Red Sea in the south, and across the desert to the Persian Gulf. The Nabateans ruled the area for about 400 years, and then around 100 AD it was absorbed into the Roman empire, where it flourished for about another 100 years before slowly declining and then, eventually, disappearing before being re-discovered in the 1800s.

Our first stop after the Treasury was to see some tombs, which had been carved into the side of the rock as well. The rock color was a kaleidoscope of various shades of pink, orange, and red. Then we saw a theatre from the 1st Century AD, just prior to Roman times. Then we walked up some steps to the Urn tomb, which had an absolutely spectacular carved ceiling that was more impressive than any ceiling we've ever seen - natural or otherwise. Nearby was the Palace Tomb, which was basically a big party place (not a tomb or residence), with four big doors and lots of seating inside.

We headed down (and to the west) to see the Roman part of the city. The Romans took over in the 2nd Century, after numerous failed attempts. There was a somewhat still intact cobblestone street. There was the "Great Temple" which isn't in fact a temple, but very likely a parliament building. Then there was the Princess Temple (which apparently will soon be off-limits due to a restoration project), that has a still intact arch after almost 2000 years. After leaving the Princess Temple, we had a nice outdoor lunch with Aziz. We talked travel and politics at lunch with Aziz, enjoying nice weather under some Ficus trees.

At around 1:30, Aziz left us to our own devices, and we headed uphill towards the Monastery. Aziz had warned us about runaway donkeys running us off the road (and perhaps into a gorge), so whenever we saw donkeys coming down the hill, we pressed ourselves against the rock face. There were a fair amount the first 10 minutes, but not a whole lot after that, and it was easy enough to stop and get over to the side of the path. The walk up was roughly an hour (we weren't keeping close track), and except for a tiny glimpse of the Monastery five minutes before the end, you can't see it. The reason being is that it faces the west, and you are approaching from the East, so all you can see is the backside of the hill it is carved into. The Monastery has a simpler design than the Treasury, but perhaps because of that, it seemed better preserved than the Treasury.

After taking some photos, we walked another 10 minutes up to a viewpoint (there were two "best views," but we went to the one that was higher, and from up there you could see the Monastery, a good portion of Petra (maybe the area around the Palace Tomb?), and even the desert leading to Israel to the west. We walked down the same way we came up, then made the slow trudge back towards the hotel, stopping here and there to get a different view of things we had seen in the morning. We stopped at one of the shops Aziz had recommended in the morning and got some stone camels for home. On the way out we stopped at Treasury again to get some afternoon shots, then headed into the Siq. Everyone kept turning around on the way out, no one wanted to leave. As in the morning, there were lots of horse carriages going through the Siq. Right near the end of the walk, we saw a horse almost eat it - which would have ruined the day - but thankfully it was okay.

Back at hotel, we went up to rooftop garden terrace, but the restaurant was not open - apparently it was due to open the next week. So instead we went inside and had a couple drinks at the 4th floor bar, looking out over the sunset. We had some Mansaf, one of the national dishes in Jordan, made of lamb cooked in a sauce of fermented dried yogurt and served with rice. Our waitress was Filipino, so we exhausted the 5 words of Tagalog we knew talking with her. After we finished drinking upstairs, we went to the downstairs happy hour, only we misread it (the second drink was half price instead of the second drink being free). While there, we watched video of King Abdullah acting as a travel agent, which was pretty interesting, since it included a lot of the places we had been or were going.

After happy hour, we went to the Cave Bar, between our hotel and the Petra entrance. It was empty when we showed up, but then started to fill up shortly thereafter. After we left there, we went back to hotel bar for a nightcap at the downstairs bar, but then we started chatting up the bartender and other employees, as we were only patrons left. As it got later, we started guessing everyone's age, close on most people, but a good distance off on the main bartender. All said, we had 7 drinks over 7 hours, after hiking 8 hours - not recommended, but a great day for us.