If I close my eyes, I can hear the music so clearly I feel as if I have been transported back into time, and I get goosebumps still…
When I arrived to Petra, I felt like I was alone in the crowd. As soon as the gates opened, people started flowing through but I immediately fell back a few steps to try to capture some photos, of which I didn’t do too great a job.
I stumbled in the dark, my feet sliding over the rocks and gravel from time to time, and I tried to follow the paper lanterns’ light as I walked.
Visiting monuments during the day was perfectly normal but as I slowly walked through the winding canyon I wished for more light so I could see better (and not trip). At times I felt like I was someone else, somewhere else, in a land far ago. It did not seem real. I felt like I was in the most delightful of dreams.
The excitement of reaching the end had my heart beating so fast. And just like that, you turn a corner, and its there, and it takes your breath away even though the only light shining on it are the flickering stars above (and the flashes of all the cameras).
I sat on a bench and tried to count all of the paper lanterns on the floor in front of the treasury as I relaxed, until a young man approached me and asked me if I’d like to move to a better place to capture photos. I reluctantly agreed, and followed him to a large boulder with a sign that clearly stated, ‘no climbing’. He motioned for me to scramble up onto the rock and he’d pass me my camera and flimsy tripod.
Silence descended as a Bedouin man began to sing. After a few moments I felt a connection-a feeling of something greater than myself, a surreal sense of joy, and I fought back the urge to cry. Or maybe I’m a mushball, but as soon as I heard that man sing I was so happy that all roads led me to be there at that moment in time.
I am definitely sure I connected with something on a deeper level than I expected.
And right in that moment I was ok with being the mushball.
*My trip to Petra by night was sponsored by The Tourism Board of Jordan, but as always, all (mushy) opinions are my own.