Petra, the lost city. As a child, I loved to watch the trilogy of Indiana Jones. I couldn´t get my eyes off the television, looking at this daredevil with his leather hat, searching for lost relicts, extinct cultures, and forgotten myths. In part three I always felt excited, waiting for my key scene.
Excellent pictures of a lost city rediscovered while trying to find the holy grail, stuck in my head. I still remember a cold shiver running down my spine, every time I saw these scenes. Looking back, I always thought that this place isn´t real. Indiana Jones, riding away, surrounded by rock faces. A place, I thought I would never experience myself.
It took me several years to find out, that this scene wasn´t created by the phantasy of various stage designers of Hollywood. Furthermore, it was filmed in the legendary rock cut city Petra, a setting that is without equal.
As it was to be expected the idea to walk down this gorge was kicking around in my head for years. At the time I saw the movie for the first time I was too young to pack my stuff and make this adventure on my own. You may think now that I´m crazy, but 20 years later, I finally had the chance to make my dream come true.
Not only my dream to experience the town of Petra came true, I even was lucky enough to get to know the Treasury of Petra by night. Surrounded by candles, I walk through the deep gorge with the millions of stars in the skies. While the moon shines brightly on top of us, we make our way along the 1.2 km long walk to get to the king’s temple.
Accompanied by constant goose bumps, I touch the smoothly polished cliffs that are still heated up from the warmth of the sun, while I´m making my way down the canyon. Though it´s still hot, I enjoy each moment. From the sand in my shoes to the sweat on my forehead, nothing seems to bother me at all. It even looks like the shadows are telling a story so that I try to imagine myself back to those days when caravans were using this way to bring all the goods into this legendary place. I´m lost in thoughts until we cross a corner, and I see the first glimpse of candles, whose light gets reflected on the shapes of the so called Treasury.
Somehow I can’t move, stand there, watching the interplay of shadows and light, unable to make any step further to discover what else is waiting behind that stone wall. I try to capture this moment forever in my head, unwilling to make any pictures because I know that it´s impossible to capture the beauty I experience at that moment. It seems to be unreal, to be here now, after 20 years wondering how it would be.
We are asked to sit down for a cup of tea, while the stars, the moon, and the candles lighten up this surreal scenery. After a while we hear the sound of a flute, a Bedouin plays. After finishing we get to know something about the history of this spectacular place, the richness, and its inexplicable demise. After he finishes his explanations, the Bedouin asks us to close our eyes. When we open them again, six new spotlights illuminate the Treasury of Petra. I´m speechless and can´t stop my eyes from soaking up this incredible view.
Although I was not able to find the Holy Grail, it felt amazing to experience the place, where one of my favorite movie scenes became real. A dream come true, that was even more beautiful than I imagined. To stand in front of this monument left me speechless, especially when you think about how old it is. So if you ever have the chance to visit Petra, enjoy this impressive place.