Saturday, October 23, 2010

Little Petra

Oct 21 - In the afternoon, we took the bus to Little Petra.  Unlike the main site, which is mostly tombs, this area shows the remains of actual living quarters.  It is smaller in scale, and so much easier to comprehend.  It is also not as heavily traveled.  Upon entering, again through a narrow passage, I spotted a Beduin woman spinning.  I have seen a lot of goats and sheep, along with the camels, donkeys and horses.  She appeared to be spinning the black goat fiber.  It was fairly coarse.  Probably a worsted weight.
Notice how she is using the spindle - whorl end up.  It is also being supported on her thigh, rather than dropped.
Of course you have to have at least one monumental ediface.
That is our guide, Ra'ed in the foreground.  He is a fantastic guide, and a really sweet man as well.  Here is a picture of a cistern.  It still partially functions.
The cistern is the large opening in the rock.  You can still see the remains of a channel leading into it.  The steps are carved into the rock and provide access to other channels for maintenance purposes.  The water system has not been maintained, however.  You can see more carved stairways in this photo.
So, a caravan would stop here to rest, and possibly trade.  There was a very special chamber - a biclinium - that is a chamber with two benches carved from the stone for reclining on while eating (they would have had carpets and cushions spread on them for comfort) that still had the original frescoes.
This is an alcove where the musicians would have sat.  The picture is dark because we couldn't use flash, but in the upper arch, close to the front, you can make out grape vines.

Before dinner, several of us went up to the roof top terrace for a drink and to try the Hubble Bubble, or waterpipe.  It was very smooth.  Our tobacco was flavored with mint.

For dinner we went to the Petra Kitchen, where we prepared our own meal (mostly, there were a few things that they did).  I made pastries - rolling out dough and dropping spoonfulls of filling seemed a lot easier than chopping vegetables.  After dinner we all received the recipes for the meal that we had just prepared.  It was a lot of fun, but it made for a late night.

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