Happy New Year from Petra & Wadi Rum

Venue: Petra and Wadi Rum, Jordan

Lens: Nikkor 50 mm f/1.4 & Samsung S10 camera

Music: Traditional Bedouin (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMxIiNrwNzY)

Happy New Year everyone! I wish a very happy and healthy 2020 to all people reading me here. Today I’ll describe and show you my last two days of 2019, which I spent on a trip to Jordan (more posts from this beautiful country to follow soon). As it happens, these two days we visited the two most famous and touristy parts of Jordan: Petra and the Wadi Rum desert. So I can hardly surprise anyone on the internet with the revelation that both places are really beautiful. But I still hope you enjoy the photo-tour below, and otherwise you’re as always welcome to complain in your comments!

We start in the little canyon or more precisely gorge formed by an earthquake long time ago, known as “Al Siq”. This is the main entrance to the ancient Nabatean city of Petra.
Walking in the gorge is actually very beautiful and enjoyable, but some people prefer being transported by a horse carriage, and other prefer running in front of the horses instead.
And this is the main “wow” moment when you arrive at the end of the Siq after half an hour of wondering around and you see “the Treasury”, one of the main temples and probably the emblem of Petra, carved out in the rock.
A shot of the Treasury without any tourists…not an easy feat, I tell you.
There is actually a wider open space once you exit the canyon, so people (us included) spend quite some time in taking photos from various angles. At the end of the day I have to admit my photos can’t compare with the best ones in the tourist guides though.
The treasury is just the beginning of all the rock temples and tombs, so many Bedouin people living in the area offer you donkey rides. We managed to make it by feet though, as fortunately it wasn’t too hot. 
After a bit of a climb we visited the tombs and encountered this guard speaking on the phone and sitting in a perfect place to be made part of the photo.
A short break for pomegranate juice…
..and back on the main road among camels and donkeys taking you around the ruins in style.
This is the view from the path to the last big temple in Petra, called the Monastery… it was quite a hike, but full of spectacular views.
And here is the Monastery, slightly bigger than the Treasury but a bit less elaborate in its details.
And here we are one day later, already at the heart of the Wadi Rum desert. Our plan was to spend the night (i.e. New Years’ Eve) in one of the many Bedouin desert camps and naturally arrived earlier to explore the desert also during the day.
There was also the option of surfing along the dunes, but we opted for walking around and taking photos.
The Wadi Rum is probably not a typical desert as it has plenty of rocks and distinctive features apart from the omnipresent reddish sand. This gives it a peculiar otherworldly feel, which probably also triggered the directors of Star Wars to choose it as a setting for some of the scenes in several of the sequels in the famous movie saga.
The sun slowly setting in the desert, a few camels and their riders going back to their camps.
As the night was setting in, the desert got way colder but also way more beautiful in my opinion.
During the proper night the sky was just astonishingly clear and we could see the stars in the Milky Way better than ever. Unfortunately I hadn’t brought my tripod with me and was completely unable to capture the true beauty of the desert at night. On the plus side, I had all the night to stare at the stars and enjoy New Year’s Eve with my family and friends without the distraction of technology. So, altogether not a very bad way at all of starting 2020 I’d say!

The photo on top is the first thing we saw in the morning of 1 January, a herd of camels waiting for the tourists to wake up and hop on. It’s not always easy to start the New Year in such a unique way, but I hope everyone here found their own perfect start of the decade!

17 thoughts on “Happy New Year from Petra & Wadi Rum

  1. Happy New Year to you also.
    These photos are truly amazing and capture the beauty that Jordan holds.
    I hope that 2020 will be an amazing year for you and your travels, also you amazing photography.
    Wishing you health, happiness and safe travels this year.


  2. Happy New Year!!! We Loved Petra and Wadi Rum!! We were there this past June.


    During our time living in the Middle East, Jordan was our favorite country to visit!! Why do people go to Dubai when they can come here!! 🙂 🙂

    Wadi Rum truly is another world, ‘eh!!! Can see why it is a film location for major films like Star Wars and The Martian!

    Joyful Stephanie, 🙂 🙂 🙂


  3. Very nice place to welcome a new year!
    I also spent Christmas and New Year on holiday this years, I traveled across Taiwan with my girlfriend.
    Happy New Year! Greetings from Vienna


  4. Your photography is fabulous with an adventure packed into each photo. I’m writing a Virtual Vacation post on Jordan since my trip there to build a Habitat house in Amman was cancelled. Would you consider letting me publish one of your photos and give credit to you and a link to your site? Please respond here.


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