Searching for Petra
Petra is a historical city which was established as far back as 312 BCE by the Nabataeans. It’s situated on the slopes of Jebel al-Madhbah which some have identified as the biblical Mount Hor.
Petra is a place that has long been on my bucket list of places to visit and photograph and when I visited Israel in May the opportunity to visit Petra presented itself. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to plan an extended visit which would have allowed me to photograph in the early morning and night but I was able to do a day trip. The day of my visit I flew from Tel Aviv to Eilat at 6:30am. I was met at the Eilat airport by a representative of Desert Eco Tours, which if you ever find yourself in the region is an excellent company. This was the second time I’ve used them and they did not disappoint. We drove 10 minutes to the Israeli / Jordanian border and from there met up with Mohammed, our tour guide, who would take us to this ancient city. It’s a two hour drive from the border to Petra and before entering the ancient city we stopped to view the surrounding mountains.
As I was staring out at the view I asked Mohammed where Petra was. His response was that you can’t see Petra because it was strategically built so that it stayed hidden and protected it from invaders. Mohammed then point far off into the distance and drew my attention to a tiny white dot at the top of the mountain….Aaron’s Tomb. Aaron (or Harun as he is known in Arabic) was Moses’ brother and the Old Testament states that Aaron died and was buried atop Mount Hor. While some believe Mount Hor is located in the Sinai desert. The Jewish historian Josephus Flavius in the 1st century AD, places the final resting place of Aaron on this mountaintop. That little tiny white dot is actually a small mosque built atop Aaron’s tomb in the 14th Century and it acts as a mercer to the entrance of Petra. Aaron’s final resting place is a Holy site for the Islamic, Jewish and Christian faiths and many make the one day pilgrimage to visit Aaron’s tomb. It’s a 3 1/2 hour hike up the mountain and down so unfortunately I din’t have time to do it…this time.
Click on the image to enlarge and you’ll get a glimpse at Aaron’s Tomb.