Lost civilization, “depending on the sky” of Jordan

Moon Valley is the closest place on Earth to Martian landforms

It was “grassed” by Jordan, about 10 years ago, in a book with a name similar to “N places where life must go.” The book reads “The ancient city of Petra, a city in the desert, is called the Seven Wonders of the New World.” Since then, I have been thinking about it. I want to go to this miracle place to find out. I went through a lot of books before I went.

In fact, the discovery of the ancient city of Petra is itself a legend. In the 19th century, Petra under the control of Muslims was completely isolated from the Western world. Due to the war, almost no outsiders were involved.

Until 1812, the Swiss explorer John Beckhart, dressed as an Arab, fluent in Arabic and rich in Islamic knowledge, risked his life and sneaked into Petra under the guidance of a local guide. He stayed in a hurry and returned.

Baker Hart spent more than two years living in Syria to learn how to live like a Muslim without being discovered. In order to test the effect of disguise, Beckhart also dressed as the Arab poor, three times to Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan, and sleeping with the camel. All of Beckhart’s efforts were not in vain, and the explorer’s diary about Petra shocked the Western world.

When I first entered the ancient city, I suddenly became very cheerful.
Today’s Petra is no longer dangerous, open to the welcome of the Quartet. This “sincerity” is also fully reflected in the tickets. If you travel to and from Jordan on the same day, Petra tickets for 90 Jordanian dollars (RMB 900). If you are staying overnight in Jordan, then you will be charged 50 Jordanian dollars (RMB 500) a day. The Jordanian only pays 1 Jordanian (RMB 10).

Set the fare so much that you will not miss Petra’s confidence as long as you come to Jordan. In the fine tradition of “coming here, come to see and see”, I still have to pay the toll, and willingly stepped into the door of Petra.

Stepping into the ancient city of Petra, there is a pilgrimage-like ritual. Different from the ancient city, entering the ancient city of Petra requires a 1.2-kilometer natural canyon (also known as the “serpentine”). The narrowest part is only 3 meters wide, and the high-rise sandstone on both sides can reach up to 182 meters. .

Walk in the shadow of the canyon to the end of the snake road, suddenly bright in front of you – the most essential part of the ancient city of Petra, that is, the Kazini Temple in the glare, as if depicted in “Peach Blossom Spring” .

The Kazini Temple is more than 40 meters high and more than 30 meters wide. The thresholds and beams have fine patterns, and the Roman stone columns on both sides support a space of up to 10 meters. In the 1st century AD without modern engineering technology, the Nabateans were excavated from the top of the mountain. From the top down, a little bit of chiseling on the rosy sandstone wall was a zero-tolerant project.

Because the temple is too tall and the square space is small, tourists from all over the world try their best to find the best angle, put the whole temple and the same photo into the same place, and try to avoid the crowds of the square. In addition to the temple, several other walls are cliffs. The two best scenic spots need to go around the cliff opposite the temple and shoot from top to bottom.

The rosy sandstone landscape is like a dream-like scene with a 360-degree postcard-free view.

On the way to find the best scenic spots, from time to time, there will be local people who enthusiastically tell you that he knows a shortcut, telling you that a tourist in a certain country did not ask the guide to get lost in the last month. Half of the intimidation is to win and sell him. Wizard service.

In addition to the temple, the ancient city also has the royal tomb, the Roman theater, the altar of the mountain, the temple, the large fountain, the ruins of the monastery, you can imagine the prosperity at that time. The greatest pleasure for tourists is to explore the various paths of the ancient city, climb to the commanding heights, and look at Petra from different angles.

There are not many facilities built artificially in the later period. The so-called “road” is actually difficult to identify. The street sign seems to always reappear when you are desperate. If there are not too many tourists and business people, walking as if the incarnation of Rolla is in the movie “Tomb Raider”.

Kazini Temple at the end of the Serpentine

Even more impressive is the water system of the ancient city of Petra. As the replenishment point in the desert on the Silk Road, the ancient city relies mainly on the tolls and service fees brought by the camel caravan. In ancient times, there was no metal smelting water pipe, which relied on a section of water pipe made of pottery to make a water channel, with a precise 4 degree slope, so that the water would not destroy the fragile ceramic water pipe at the maximum speed, from all directions of the reservoir. Imported into the ancient city.

Every year, tens of thousands of Jordanian youths go to the surrounding Arab countries to earn foreign exchange and work as engineers and doctors.

As long as you pay attention to the ancient city, you can see the traces of the water system everywhere. Imagine that the Nabateans could live a life of tap water without leaving the city. The big fountain set in the city can really be said to be awkward in the desert.

Bedouin youth

“Martian landforms” on Earth
It was thought that the surprise of Jordan would stop here until we headed south from Petra to the Moon Valley, the closest place on the planet to the Martian landform, which was the location of the movie “Mars Rescue.”

Drive to the gate of the Moon Valley, the sky is already dark, the guide drove the Jeep to the camp in the desert hinterland, and lived in the Bedouin tent at night.

The Jeep of the guide did not know which year it was produced, as if it was leaking. The desert has a large temperature difference between day and night, and the cold wind makes people want to wear all the clothes on their bodies. Arriving at the camp, I jumped down the jeep and got into the bright and warm main tent. The fire was on the verge, the hot dinner was ready, and I was moved to tears.

Several guides were hidden. When everyone was eating, they played the Udchenko, knocked on the drums, and shook their heads and picked up the Arabic songs. In the desert at night, there was no one in the desert, and the stars were full of stars. Unfortunately, the outdoor temperature was too low. When I looked up, I hurried into my tent, ignoring the tent that was blown by the wind, and fell to sleep.

After dawn, the rosy sandstone landscape appears like a dream–a 360-degree postcard-like view, and the scenery of the Grand Canyon in the United States is probably not the case.

From Petra to the east, we went to the ancient Roman ruins of Jerash, known as “the most Roman place outside Rome.” Seventy-five percent of Jordan’s territory is desert, but Jerash is an oasis of olives, fruit trees and cash crops.

The Romans must have taken this point and built the city here until the city’s prosperity was destroyed by the Great Galilee earthquake in 749 AD. Although most of the ruins have only the foundations and pillars left, they can accommodate 15,000 racecourses, oval squares, beautiful mosaic tiles, and the Roman baths where the Romans went to repair them. Imagine the scenery of the year.

In terms of tourism, Jordan is uniquely endowed by nature. It is a paradise for archaeologists, prehistoric civilization, Greeks, Nabateans, Romans, Byzantines, Mamluks, Persians, Crusaders, all leaving traces here. It is also a pilgrimage site for Christians. The legend of the Jordan River is where Jesus was baptized. The Mount Nebo was the place where Moses rose to heaven. There are everything that outdoor explorers can find besides skiing.

There is also the Dead Sea, the lowest in the world, which is the world resort. We can’t avoid the vulgarity, take a picture of the newspaper floating on the water in the Dead Sea, and then sneer at each other’s shapes while doing a little bit of dead sea mud.

Jerash Temple of Artemis

This country “receives the sky”
With a population of only 9 million, the annual visits of foreign tourists can exceed 5 million. In 2017, tourism-related income reached 7.6 billion US dollars, accounting for nearly 19% of GDP in that year. It is a veritable pillar of Jordan’s largest economy.

However, traffic between Jordan’s attractions is difficult to rely on public transportation systems. Even if I go out every time I insist on saving money while pretending to be a local life, this time I can only change to a chartered tour.

Unlike tourism, Jordan’s industrial base is very weak, resources are scarce, there is no oil, and the country’s debt is extremely high. The government has long implemented many social welfare policies, and huge investment in infrastructure has led to serious debt. Jordanian government debt climbed all the way after 2008, and debt in 2018 reached 96% of GDP.

At present, Jordan’s debt is about five times the annual income of the government. It is also a deficit every year, and the hole is getting bigger and bigger. In 2018, because the money was not returned to the IMF, the government tried to carry out tax reforms to increase financial revenues. The people were fully protested. The king had to push the prime minister out of the pot and fired the prime minister. Even so, the Jordanian government still gives the nation a welfare to maintain its rule.

The social contradictions in Jordan are not small. Only 36% of the age-appropriate people have a willingness to work. The unemployment rate is 15%, of which the youth unemployment rate is 33%. Although the level of education is very high, the matching jobs are seriously inadequate. Every year, tens of thousands of Jordanian youths go to the neighboring Arab countries to “earn foreign exchange” and work as engineers and doctors. The huge remittances have become Jordan’s third largest economic pillar.

Our driver is also a young person like this: the capital Amman was born, has a college degree in IT, and is very fluent in English. Although he has a background in higher education, he is working as a full-time driver because he can’t find a job. He mainly serves foreign tourists.

From the moment I entered Jordan, I felt that something was wrong. Looking back carefully, from the beginning of the pass, there is almost no trace of the work of local women in Jordan.

In 2018, Jordan’s female labor participation rate was only 14%, ranking the third lowest among the 233 countries in the World Bank statistics; the last ones and two were Yemen and Syria. Although Jordan has the most beautiful queen, Rania, known as the “Desert Rose”, she established the Queen Rania Queen Foundation in her own name. She has been helping women to work and start businesses for many years, but has not substantially changed women in Jordan. status.

In the Moon Valley, the guide invited us to a cup of Arabic tea at his home before going to the next stop. When he arrived at his home, the son-in-law at home gave the tea to the male guide at the entrance of the living room, and then turned back to the inner room. The same was true when the tea was renewed.

This trip, I have a male companion all the way in Jordan, and only separate when I go to the bathroom. However, just in the few minutes of the air, I was twice sung by the Jordanian men.

When it comes time to talk about price or communicate other issues, Jordanians will directly look for a male partner to talk about, so the author simply retreats to the second line, when the road needs to communicate, the male partner comes forward, closely followed, saves strange encounters People.