Saturday, 10 December 2016

Petra portraits -- of humans, animals and stones

It's been too long.

I've missed you. Let's meet soon.

Does the first weekend in December work for you?

How about Petra?


Just over a week ago, Angela and I found ourselves, bathed and ready, waiting for the door that led to the breakfast buffet to open at 5:55 am. The doors opened at 6 sharp and we entered. This was a first for both of us, waiting for a restaurant door to open for breakfast. Angela had another first to follow -- her first time in Petra. This was my second time in 7 years but this time I 'd brought my blogging eyes with me, i.e. my camera.

Going through 500 plus clicks to pick just enough to give you a feel of the place but not spoil the surprise for those of you who are planning to visit Petra in the not so distant future, turned out to be an enjoyable and tedious task. Reliving those magical moments (and there were lots of them) has put a song in my heart and even though the kitchen sink is full of unwashed dishes and there's no sign of dinner, I'm humming a happy song.

Come, feel the sun on the ancient rocks.

See how each layer, sediment and pigment lights up under the blue sky.

Lose yourself in the kohl rimmed eyes of the charming Bedouin men who flirt with you with such confidence and charm that you can't help but smile back.

Sip sweet sage tea offered by Bedouin women who show you pictures of their children on their phones and whose skin glistens and eyes smile.

And just like the clip-clop, clip-clop of the hooves on stones laid down almost 3000 years ago by the Nabataean tribes fades when the animals cross over to the sandy patches in this ancient land, dissolve in the silence of the stones.

Listen with your eyes.

And let the silence of all those who've walked these parts before us keep you company...

These pictures are in no particular order. I surrender to this wonder and let Petra show me the way...with just a few words, I promise, just the bare minimum...

Monsieur Camel, they whispered. 
 Ahmed, our guide.

 This is Hassan. He sells silver bracelets.
Saw him cleaning the Siq on our way back.

Look up!

The 450 year old tree.
Straightened her red jacket, she she caught sight of us wielding camera and phone:)

A rich man's cave, joked Ahmed, with two car garage:)
 Audi and his donkey, Michael Jackson
And we walked into an Asterix comic strip; as if the obelisks around weren't enough.

Made in India:)

That's a fully grown man in the foreground-- the Monastery.

Fifteen year old Mohammed whose family lives in the Bedouin village, down in the valley. 
He sells snacks in this shop and sleeps in a cave nearby as it's not practical to go back home everyday.

Fix roofs, add solar panels and then breathe-- inhale, exhale.
 Camel caravan...his legs wrapped in toga and the camel's belly become one with stone and history.

Art's never far...bought a portrait...will share another day.
Sad eyes, happy laugh.


Silent stones
that speak volumes
tug at you;
at the bit in you
that was there when light first touched earth
the bit that feels the connection
of air and ether
 of the cosmos within
and human history on show.

Hope to see you soon.

Have a wonderful weekend.


  1. How absolutely stunning Arti. Petra is on our bucket list and we almost got there a few years ago but then the powers that be decided to get rowdy and the excursion was cancelled by the tour company. Thank you for re-igniting my desire to see Petra in person.

    1. This is awesome...I love this place so much, I almost feel like I may have walked these parts in one of my previous births! Who knows.
      I sincerely hope you can go and visit. More than the history, it's the warmth and kindness of the Jordanian people that floored me. Hugs and a Happy Sunday to you:)

    2. You continue to be awesome Arti.Dont really know if I'd ever visit Petra but your blog certainly has me thinking now !
      Beautiful pictures as always .
      You're such a blessing ! 💕

    3. Amazing place! Just love your photography! Kudos sis...your blog postings are so invigorating!

    4. Thank you are too kind with words; but I love you for it:) hugs. xx

  2. Beautifully captured the beauty of the stones. It must have been an awesome experience. I wish you amazing experiences my friend as you continue your travels in the new year

    1. It was soooo amazing Apu. Thank you for the bestest wishes I can hope for:) xx

  3. Beautiful.....beautiful! Brought back lovely memories of our visit 2 years ago. Your images have brought the caves and stones alive. Thank you for sharing, Arti.

    1. You're welcome Ruchita. So glad you liked the post:)

  4. oh wow!!! how beautiful!! everything has such presence and power in your photos!! thank you for this beautiful journey arti! i seriously want one of those gorgeous worn camel blankets! =) wish you a lovely holiday season and can't wait to see more! xoxo

    1. Hi Ananda. So glad you got to see these pics:) Yes, those camel blankets are gorgeous. Wishing you a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year:)

  5. oh my lord Arti... I've only looked at the first 4 or 5 photographs and I've decided that this post needs more attention than what I'm able to provide at this time. (It's 9pm here, I've had a loooong day and my eyes are already feeling heavy). But omg... i look forward to waking tomorrow so I can come back here and bathe in these beautiful photos of yours!! Your camera (actually your soul) captures such beauty in this world. I hope you've been well. I'll be catching up here with you tomorrow. Happy New Year to you for now, dear friend. xo

  6. oh, those faces...those lovely FACES! There is such beauty in every photo your captured Arti. And those caves and deep colors and smiles and sad eyes. Oh so beautiful. I think you would be a wonderful travel writer... you describe things perfectly with your choice of words and with your camera lens. I'm happy you got to do this Arti, because I know you have a grateful heart and the ability to share this wonder with others. THANK YOU for that. Wishing you a new year filled with hope and laughter and love and health and TIME to do what makes you most happy, my friend. xo

    1. You have put a HUGE smile on my face and in my heart Pauline...such love...thank you:) Hugs. xx

  7. Your photos are both inviting and compelling. It's fascinating how cultures meld the ancient and the modern, especially when the modern seems so out of place. Thank you for showing me Petra.

    1. You're welcome Sue.
      I must've missed reading your comment. Reading it on the 20th of Jan 2022!

  8. Your writing and your pictures....both equally makes one want to travel! You have magic in your words and the pictures do justice. Keep up the good work....inspiring so many of us to write, click, travel...!!!

  9. You’ve got some interesting points in this article. I would have never considered any of these if I didn’t come across this. Thanks!. Types of Hyenas

    1. Thank you for visiting Mubeen. I'm glad this post was of some help to you.


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