Petra, The Lost City

I've seen this city before.  Every time my friends and I would gather in the local ravines (watershed of a deciduous forest) growing up, we protected this very same city in every young boy's favorite outdoor game, "Guns."  Playing Guns was mostly about running around outside, having fun with your friends.  I don't think anyone ever actually died.  Just frozen for a bit, maybe had to run back to base, but the game was all about protecting your base, or your city.

Walking around, your imagination races.  You wish you could spend time alone in the city, as tourists are crawling all over, and vendors are yelling for you to buy or ride something (donkey, horse, camel).  Hidden coves, houses with numerous rooms, plenty of tombs, a monastery, carvings of men and animals, all built into rock.

The Petra city was first inhabited in 312 BC.  Many inhabitants have taken the city as their own throughout the years.  The Nabateans were the first, and became successful using the topography and rock to dam the water runoff keeping the city prosperous throughout droughts within an arid climate.  At the cities height around 50 AD, they had as many as 20,000 people.  It was hidden away and secluded until 1812 when a Swiss explorer named Johann Burchhardt stumbled upon it.  

This is a visit that deserves a spot as one of the World's Wonders.  The site is huge, and could easily take 3 days for exploring.  We loved our time here.  Magical.  Breathtaking.  Indiana Jones.