There's so much history in Jordan, from Wadi Rum, the Dead Sea, and Jerash, to a legacy of Crusade-era castles, yet Petra remains the most popular tourist destination for a reason. The capital of the Nabataean kingdom from 6th century BC until its absorption by the Roman Empire on 106 BC, expanded by the Romans for centuries after, the history carved into the sandstone stretches for miles and miles.
At the end of the slot canyon that is As Siq, passing by the Djin Blocks on the way, is the Treasury (Al Khazna), easily the most famous structure in all of Petra. I pressed on, down the Street of Facades, then eventually up on the right side to the Al-Khubtha Trail. The hike all the way to the top to the view of the Treasury is perhaps overrated-- the little 5 minute scamper just yards from the Treasury might be the way to go. Also worth nothing, the Royal Tombs you pass at the start of the Al-Khubatha are perhaps even more impressive (tho less famous) than the Treasury.
Lucked out and randomly took a side trail paralleling the main trail on the hike back down, ending up at the Winged-Lion Temple and the Byzantine Church. As they were on the way, definitely worth the few minutes' extra. As it was way too early for lunch, next up was Ad-Dier (Monastery) trail. It's a lot of steps, but like most trails in Petra, really not that long or steep. Street vendors are all over this trail with both trinkets and cool drinks, and with a late morning start the sun this time of year is still quite tolerable. Ad-Dier (Monastery) is less than a mile (aka about 30 minutes), and its not-as-overwhelmed-by-tourists grandeur is easier to appreciate. The numerous viewpoints around the Monastery are overrated, but I would recommend making the time to visit at least one of them to get the additional perspective.
Yet another indifferent lunch buffet at The Basin by Crowne Plaza. The chicken and fish were both tasty after hiking since 7am, and clearly the restaurants' stray cat knew it too. Stuck to the main trail on the walk back to the entrance, making a lengthy detour at the Great Temple, which both more and less impressive up close than expected. Climbed some steps and some rocks near the Tomb of 'Unayshu on the way back because it looked cool. Honestly, so many sights in Petra are worth a second pass to properly appreciate; at least for me I found I went by way too fast the first time on the way to the more famous ones.
Wrapping up my visit, I realized I had accidentially skipped the High Place of Sacrifice trail as I was heading back; however it was past 1:00pm and full sun, so I reluctantly elected to skip it and stick to my schedule. The drive back to Queen Alia International Airport isn't bad in daylight, but the Jordanian appetite for speed bumps smack in the middle of the main highway, among other hazards, definitely made me appreciate driving back in daylight.
Queen Alia International Airport has an elaborate roof of concrete domes, with not only the exterior walkways but the bulk of the main terminal below it. The Royal Jordanian lounge occupies nearly half of the terraces on the second floor, with sweeping views that make up for the mediocre food.