Sometimes life imitates art. Sometimes life inspires art. Sometimes art inspires life. When I first saw the “resting place of the Holy Grail” in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade then learned it was a real place, Petra, Jordan, it became a bucket list item. When I moved to Israel, Petra was my first regional trip.
For that moment when you reach the end of the siq and catch a glimpse of Al Khazneh (The Treasury), the movie home of the Holy Grail, it is every bit as impressive as in the movie. Maybe even more so because you feel the canyon walls closing in, and opening up.
What the movie doesn’t show it El Khazneh is only one of dozens of buildings in Petra carved from the cliffs. You can even go inside Al Khazneh, but it doesn’t look like the movie set! It’s a large archeological park that combines hiking and history magically. You can explore for several days. It is worth taking your time to see more than just the one movie scene.
Al Khazneh isn’t the only building you can explore. Almost every building there is open. Some may be temporarily closed for various reasons, but there are always plenty to explore and 27 are available on Google Street View.
If you hike up the 850 stone steps to the Ad Deir, (The Monastery), you may recognize it from the movie Transformers 2, Revenge of the Fallen. There is also an option for an “ancient Nabatean taxi with air conditioning” also known as a donkey. 🙂
I love seeing places I’ve been in movies. And I love seeing new places to inspire more travels.
For most Americans, trips to Israel get all the attention, but if you go all that way, adding a week in Jordan is definitely worth it!
If you go, the Movenpick Hotel is located right at the gate to the park. The service is wonderful and the detailed decorations amazing. Plus Movenpick ice cream! If you’re lucky, as I was on my first trip you may see a classic car rally pull in. Complete with leather hats, goggles, white scarves and driving gloves to complete the Indiana Jones vibe!