As promised last month, here is the second part of my travel venture to Egypt. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed sharing it with you. They say “A picture is worth a thousand words,” so I have added photos of some of my favorites places.
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Part 2 - The Journey
Going to Egypt was a wonderful experience. It might not be the trip for everyone (my husband chose not to go), but for those who go you won’t be disappointed. Sure, you need to look over the endless trash in Cairo, but it won’t take long to uncover the beauty and strength of Egypt’s colorful history, huge monuments and found treasures that will overwhelm you. The people I met were lovely and so very helpful, proud of what their country has to offer, and they want to share it with you.
If I had to pick my favorite places (and that in itself is difficult, as everything was so amazing), it would include:
- the Pyramids and the Sphinx at Giza -- so majestic
- Abu Simbel -- temples for Ramses II and one of his 57 wives (and favorite) Queen Nefertari -- the fact that the temple was dismantled and reassembled to higher grounds in 1968, due to the building of a new High Dam at Aswan, is mind boggling.
- the Temple of Horus at Edfu with its amazing carvings and hieroglyphics -- to see paint colors that have lasted all this time is unbelievable. Of course the hieroglyphics everywhere were amazing.
- the National Egyptian Museum with its wonderful artifacts and the amazing treasures that were uncovered in Tutankhamun’s Tomb. Of course his mask and his coffin within a coffin were breathtaking. The gold, the jewels, the furniture, the carvings — it just went on and on. A new Grand Egyptian Museum is currently being built and is proposed to open some time this year, with the full Tutankhamen collection including many pieces never displayed before.. Another architectural competition design, won by Heneghan Peng of Ireland. The floor area is 5,200,000 SF on a 120-acre site. We drove past it and it is huge.
- the Temples at Karnak and Luxor - seeing the size and construction techniques from so long, long ago.
- cruising up the Nile from Luxor to Cairo (from Upper Egypt to Lower Egypt which I learned) was very special.
A traditional Egyptian
dish called Kushari.
My favorite building in Alexandria was a newer building, the Biblioteca Alexandrina and it was a competition winning design by Snohetta Architects from Norway, in collaboration with Egyptian architect Hamza Associates. It is a classic.
Left A Bracelet from Nubian village
on Sohail Island south of the
City of Aswan in Egypt.
Of course as a tourist you see a lot out of a van window and you see what your eyes show you — like the crazy driving, the horse carts on the freeway, the basic and simple buildings that people live in with livestock carrying vegetables and fruits to the market, bread stands all over, dirt streets in large cities, etc. But somehow it was all very simple and beautiful. Lots of smog and lots of garbage, but no city is perfect and the population of Cairo is about 9.5 million.
I could write more; but it is all so much better in person. So take a leap and you, too, can enjoy Egypt with your own eyes.
Above: 18 Reasons' Executive Director Sarah Nelson and program manager Briana Tejuco set the table to host a lunchtime gathering for their volunteers. The nonprofit cooking school is a hub in the community, offering nightly cooking classes and community dinners featuring guest chefs and local farmers. Learn more at 18reasons.org.