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Blogs from: Egypt
Photo of the Day – Definition of Ancient – Great Sphinx of Giza – Cairo, EgyptHow old is the oldest structure, created by the hands of man, that you have seen with your own two eyes? Through all of my travels I have discovered that there is “Old”, “Really old” and “Holy shit this place is freaking ancient! How in the hell did they build this back then”? The Great Sphinx of Giza falls into the latter category.
The Sphinx was constructed over 4,500 years ago.
If that is tough to comprehend, then try this – Columbus sailed the ocean blue 4,000 years after the Sphinx was built.
Or this – The Colosseum in Rome wasn’t built until 2,500 years later.
Or this – Machu Picchu wasn’t created by the Incas until 4,000 years later.
Or this – Angkor Wat came 3,500 years later.
Or this – The last marble block of the Taj Mahal was placed 4,000 years later.
Photo of the Day – Sugar Cane Sever – Cairo, EgyptWhile on the streets of Cairo, we stopped in for some Sugar Cane water that was an AbsoluteDelight. If you have never had Sugar Cane water, try it out! It is incredibly refreshing and quite a bit addictive as well.
The process for making Sugar Cane water couldn’t be simpler, but it is still fascinating. In the world of mass production I come from in the US, creating a drink directly from a plant seems so … “impossible”.
First, the sugar cane (in the very back) is put through a roller press. You can kind of see this in the bottom left. The sugar cane is put in several times to make sure all of the water is extracted. The water is put into a large vat (the one you see him holding). As the water is all natural and directly from the sugar cane, there are small particles of the plant that end up in the water. To get rid of these, the water is strained through the funnel you see him using and directly into a glass.
I remember Brad and I having one and then immediately asking for a second – delicious!
Photo of the Day – Egyptian Columns at Philae – Aswan, EgyptBrad and I saw this temple after exiting an overnight train from Cairo to Aswan (south on the Nile River). Although it does not compare to the grandeur and age of the Pyramids of Giza, Philae cemented in our minds almost immediately what makes a Nile River cruise or any other robust Egypt tour necessary. Egyptian pyramids, temples and tombs are certainly not only confined to Cairo and Philae was the first of many examples.
As Philae is on an island (it was actually moved from its original island) it is only accessible by boat which adds to its “cool factor”. The long stretch of columns you see here is actually upon entry and will leave you in astonishment as you try to comprehend how this was built around 300 BC – 2300 years ago!
Photo of the Day – Flock of Sheep Statues at Karnak Temple – Luxor, EgyptOK, this isn’t really a flock of sheep, but there are two rows of these massive sheep which line a walk-way leading to Karnak Temple. I can imagine this being quite a dramatic entry way for royalty and others nearly 4000 years ago.
Does anyone know the what these sheep symbolize?
Photo of the Day – Silent Protection – Luxor, EgyptThe great temples of the world all seem to have these silent protectors watching over their entrances. Wouldn’t it be great if you could grab a few beers with these guys standing at the entrance to the Luxor Temple and chat about everything they have seen while standing motionless for the last few thousand years.
Photo of the Day – Ancient Perspective – The Great Pyramid of Giza – Cairo, EgyptThe Great Pyramid of Giza is probably the most iconic and recognized travel destination on the planet. You could be in any country, talking to anyone from school aged children to the elderly, and you would be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t heard of the famous pyramids located just outside of Cairo in Egypt.
One thing I find interesting about this, is that when 99.9% of people picture the Great Pyramid in their head, they always have a view of it from very far away. In this picture the pyramid appears to have four perfectly smooth sides running up to the peak. This is of course the image that I had in my brain until I actually got up very close on my first visit and had to immediately try to forget 20+ years of ingrained memories of those smooth sides. As you can see in this photo, the pyramids sides are anything but smooth!
Photo of the Day – Khan el-Khalili Bazaar – Cairo, EygptI haven’t met a single person who doesn’t dream of visiting The Great Pyramids of Egypt at some point in their life. The Pyramids are absolutely amazing, but a visit to Cairo offers much more than just those massive sandy geometrical structures. One of the finest museums in the world – The Egyptian Museum – is located a few miles from the pyramids and nearby you can also find some very interesting markets, including Khan el-Khalili which is featured in todays photo of the day.
Photo of the Day – Nile River Sunset – Nile River, EgyptI love this picture, but I was hesitant to post it because there isn’t really anything in this picture that offers any clue as to where it was taken. I guess I love it mainly because I took it at a place that is so far away from my home, I grew up assuming I would never set my eyes on it.
There is this feeling that I get when I am on the road exploring places that are far away from where I call home. Whenever I am experiencing a place for the first time that I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be able to visit, for a brief few minutes I get an endorphin rush to my brain stronger than any drug could ever deliver. I almost have to pinch myself to really find out – “am I actually here?”
Watching the sunset over the ancient Egyptian landscape from a boat floating north up the Nile River towards the Great Pyramids gave me one of those moments. How did all of the calculated, as well as random and unexpected turns in my life lead me down a path to this Nile River sunset?
This feeling that I get while exploring new places is one of the primary motives for the continued priority I place on traveling. There is nothing else in the world that I have found that can deliver the same explosive rush through every nerve in my body. Travel is my drug.
Photo of the Day – Nile River Kids – Nile River, EgyptMost visitors to Egypt will embark on a several day cruise north up the Nile River from the southern city of Aswan back towards the international city of Cairo. The cruise not only affords you a remarkable experience on the Nile, but it also is the best way to spend a week exploring all that ancient Egypt offers.
While waiting to pass through a lock on the Nile River, this crazy group of kids passed by our ship and waved at us when they saw my long camera barrel pointed at their ridiculous upper deck car seats. Safety First!
Photo of the Day – Pyramids Laser Show at Dusk – Pyramids of Giza – Cairo, EgyptIt is sad, but eventually the endless Photos of the Day related to Russia and Dubai would have to come to an end! But, keep your eyes open, there will certainly be many more from our fantastic trip.
As I was thinking through a photo to share with everyone today, I was of course reflecting on our trip and thought about us flying through Cairo on our return flight from Dubai. Unfortunately with only a 2 hour lay-over, we were unable to dart out to get a glimpse of the pyramids. And although we craned our necks as far as the airplane windows would let us, they were no where in sight on either of our flights.
But alas, it was with great joy that I flipped through our photos of the Pyramids from a couple years back and found an excellent snap to share. This particular photo was taken during the Laser and Light show offered directly in front of the sphinx, but primarily cast upon the 3 major Pyramids of Giza. We certainly recommend this show and although it would have been amazing to see the pyramids again, viewing this photo certainly takes me back in time.
What travel destinations do you enjoy thinking back about?