Sunday, December 31, 2006

Floating through time along the Nile.......

My Egyptian experience ended on a very cold and wet note at the sound and light show at the pyramids . Ofcourse I didnt mind after all I was infront of the last remaining wonders of the ancient world so my current state of sickness was kinda worth it. Went to the airport to catch a 1:30am flight to Johannesburg only to be notified that the flight was delayed for another Three and a half hours! so I had some time on my had so I kinda formulated what I would blog about, Yes im a blog junkie :) So lets begin.... it may take a while to load
Sunset on the Nile River just outside the Temple island of Philae south of Aswan

My journey started in cairo but really began in Aswan a 3 day cruise to luxor. On the way to luxor I was submerged into ancient egyptian history and mythology. I visited numerous temples and got to learn the myths behind them. At every stop I could not help but be in absolute awe at what stood infront of me. These people lived thousands of years ago and constructed these magnificent structures out of solid rock. "it was if the rock melted in their hands as chocolate melts in ours" my tour guide exclaimed. They developed ways of moving tons of rock as they wished and even made their temples earthquake proof! The temples must have looked spectacular in there day judging from the little colour left on some of the walls. Not only could they mould rock but also other precious metals thousands of years before christ. At some moments it didnt feel real standing infront of these structures which are truely awesome. There myths are truely fascinating and lots of our modern words are derived from ancient egyptian. For Example the word Satan, Shytaan, Devil comes from "Set" the evil brother of the egyptian god Osiris.

I took over 450 pics this are just but a few i will put others on my flicker account:

The Temple Island of Philae dedicated to the goddess Isis as viewed from a motor boat A place to dance and listen to music at the temple of Philae, probably the worlds first disco

The goddess Isis represented as with a lion head in the Kom Ombo Temple. She had 7 other forms which she could turn into.

A Falcon outside the entrance of Et Fu Tample, they were used to guard the temples. This is shown by the soldier in the front.

The Blue colour that can be seen on the roof of building is a representation Nut the goddess of the Sky

Hatshepsuts Temple on the west bank of Luxor near the Valley of the Kings and Queens

The Colours are spectacular here. This is in Hatshepsuts temple representing Isis as a vulture. Vultures were used to show that the temple is Hygienic ans clean


The Twin Obelisks of Karnak

sdHead of Ramses II at the luxor temple. The Broken portion on the top of his head was a snake (probably made out of gold) which was the third all seeing eye of the Kings.

An Avenue of Sphinx's linking the Luxor temple with Karnak. The middle section of the avenue is still buried under Luxor.

Saqqara which features the oldest standing step pyramid and pre dates the Giza Pyramids

The Great Pyramids in Giza

The Sphinx in all its Glory.

These are truely works of art and the ability of mankind to create and become something better. Visiting these sites I dived in 5000 years of history and stood in the same spot as the ancient egyptians who built the temples. It was truely amazing and I would visit these sites again in a blink of an eye.

Now before I left some really idiotic person told me that I shouldnt go visit these temples and monuments because it is bidat and you can be thrown out of the fold of islam. Can you believe that. I told them that even though I marvel at their acheivements im not gonna follow the ancient egytian religion of start believing in the myths. Egyptian relics belong t the entire world and are apart of our history. Also seeing these temples buried and lost for thousands of years makes you realize the True and All encompassing power of Allah (God). The egyptians were given such gifts and they never thanked God for it but rather made false gods and made man almost on the same plain as God. With all their treasures and monuments they were destroyed and almost forgotten. The power of God is truely great.

The Red Sea of the coast of Hurghada. I ws on my way to see the coral reefs

Well besides the historical aspects of egypt it does offer alot more. I visited the city of Hurghada on the Red sea. Honestly besides the hotel and the beach I didnt really enjoy it or get a sense that I was infact in egypt. Its very tourist orientated and very eastern european. Honestly it should be part of the Europe instead of Africa because i have never seen so many eastern europeans and russians in my life. I could have been in the middle of moscow and it would be less russian.

A highlight of the trip was spending a day at a bedouin village and I even rode a camel which is kinda unforfortable to say the least. The bedouins are all muslim so it was cool to see how they live in the barren desolation of the desert.

The Barren Desert near the Red sea mountains on my way to the bedoium village

The 107 year old Wife of the Sheik (Chief) of this bedouin village. She made us bedouin bread which is like roti.

Everything on the trip rocked except two things. The annoying vendors/ shop keepers which hassle tourists and the traffic in cairo.

The vendors hassle tourists to an extent Ive never experienced before. They dont understand the concept of browsing nor do they understand the meaning of the word "No" or its other derivatives. They literally thrown their goods at you and force you into buying things. Seriously if they hassled the tourists less they would make more money, oh and some of them could try exercise some decency and honesty.

Traffic in cairo is terrible. This was taken on the way to the Muhammad Ali mosque a.k.a The Citadel.

The Traffic well what can I say. Its terrible. The roads are always packed and the drivers well they have their own style of driving. I dreaded moving around cairo because it took forever and you ended up with a headache when you reached your destination. Fix the traffic system and cairo would rock. I can understand Why egypt didnt get 2010

I welcome the traffic in Johannesburg its lovely but I dont welcome the crime. Cairo is very save in fact everywhere in egypt is very safe. There is a very strong police presence so criminals have to think twice. You can walk around in the early morning without fear. I was shocked seeing ladies walking around at 1 and 2 in the morning with no fear of rape or mugging it was remarkable. So that and the fact that its a muslim country are big positives.

Ok one last picture and I feel this picture shows adults and infact the world that we can learn way more from children about how to all get along.


I took this picture whilst at the bedouin camp. There was this Lituanian family with us on this tour group. So we entered the village and their son (The child in the yellow) saw these three bedouin children playing. He without hesitation ran towards them and started playing not worried about whether they were different from him or that they practiced a different religion or that they came from two different worlds. They stopped playing and as the picture shows the bedouin child gave the small boy some crisps that our tour guide had given them. Without asking and without question they shared and were happy.

Ok thats my travel blog hope i didnt put you off to sleep I shall leave you with some great lebanese music which I have fell in love with and has made me want to learn arabic. Oh and this wasnt posted on Eid day i had sometime so I started It on Eid day :)


Also check out
Nesrin Zreik
Rola Saad
and the one and only Nancy Agram 1, 2

Kuwabara Kuwabara
The Lone Writer

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am so nostalgic 4 egypt its unbelievable.thanks 4takin me back there!wot u saw wif the children is wot i xperiencd wif my frnds.colour,nationality,wealth,etc truly didnt matter.yup,traffic is hectic n traders can b seriously annoyin.but bargainings fun-wen u spk in arabic.they love it n their prices drop immediately.i jst realisd i shud put my egypt experiences n pics in seperate blog.

Anonymous said...

Oh,and yup,egypts safety is wonderful.its nt just the police presence-thats just the oppressive leadership,which is somethin iv been meanin to blog about-its also that no citizens r allowd to hav guns,n its the ppl themselves.sadly,there r those who r dishonest wif tourists,but theres good n bad evrywher.iv had fruit vendors kids bein scrupulously honest in givin even 50piaster change.

Anonymous said...

ah, you've brought some beautiful memories:)
except i didn't get to experience any bedouin lifestyle, but hey, you gotta leave somethings for the return.

Haseena said...

nice travel blog- was also in egypt for a few days recently -
will blog about it soon.
pretty pics

almira said...

Oh my God, Egypt is so beautiful! Ive always wanted to go, it has always been my dream to go, you should see my apartment I have decorated moroccan style, from the pillows, to the egyptian cotton sheets. You were very blessed to go, I hope you had a wonderful time even though you were sick. The closet Ive gotten to egypt was going to a musem! Wonderful picture, and post K-Man. :)

Anonymous said...

hmmm egypt and it's pyramids .. let me tell u an interesting fact .. many times honey is found from those pyramids and tombs .. and honey has the quality of never getting bad .. i.e. honey, 3000 years old is still eatable.

Bilal said...

sounds nice. i havnt been there yet- will add it to my list!

i spent dec just across the border though- or should i say prison fence- coz Palestine has no borders!
Israel does share a border with Egypt- but they dont allow the Palestinians that luxury- apparently freedom of movement in that region is not for Palestinians. In fact, no freedom whatsoever is allowed for Palestinians!

Sorry for ranting.
Take care:)

Anonymous said...

WeLcOmE BaCk Mohamed!!
Glad you arrived home safe :)
And glad also coz it's sounds that you enjoyed your trip here in Egypt so much :)
Well..you're right, the traffic is sooo terrible especially in Cairo.
Oh and the vendors also get on my nerves.
Hope they'll change to the better and stop annoying tourists and the traffic become organized untile the next time when you repeat it and come back again ;)

Really COOL post! i really enjoyed reading it, and the pictures you've taken are fabulous :)

Anonymous said...

Ah..and the song also, i love it.
Hey go and learn arabic, it's not a difficult language or are you afraid that Nancy Agram might come jealous from you :P

Between what's the meaning of Kuwabara?

The K-man said...

Bibi-aisha: Its my pleasure and im actually looking at maybe going to study in egypt for a couple of months. I would love to speak arabic even though I loathed it in school (wasnt taught properly) and i kinda enjoyed some of the haggling. Would love to hear and see your egyptian stories and pics put them up :))

saaleha: you have to leave something for the return and ill definately be going back. In your pic are you sitting near central block in wits?

Haseena: Thanks and cant wait to hear about your trip

almira: I would love to see your room sounds really cool.Thanks

nabeel: yes its truley amazing what they have found in the tombs of the pharoahs. We can only imiagine what grave robbers have deprived us of knowing.

Bilal: No problem rant away its cool. Your rant is very valid

Salma: Hey salma :) i didnt get a chance to visit Alexandria but the next time ill definately come visit :) Those Arabic songs are really cool and me sing better then Nancy i very much doubt ;P hehe

Infinium said...

Sup dude...u lucky bugger...what say we all go together, u know a friends experience???what you say??? nehuz man, naah Saaleha is not sitting outside Central Block, she is sitting on the benches outside Richard Ward, i'd recognise that seating and placement and building positions anywhere, show me a pic at three in the mornig and i'd recognise it!!!! bloody spent 5 yrs outside that building!!! hahahaha... newyas man nice blog, and consider the friends trip mate???

Anonymous said...

:)Infi would be correct.that pic was taken outside richard ward in 2005 when i was at wits for 3months as an intern at the journalism school.

The K-man said...

Oh my mistake that is by richard ward. My bad.

Oh and salma check here for he meaning of kUWABARA

cellardoor said...

hey k
u went 2 eygpt??!! oh my word, thats soooo kool.
ur pics are fantastic!! makes me sooo jealous... one i will 2 hopefully - i can dream...

Dew said...

Salaams

I must admit, I didn't like Egypt all that much, the hookers at the airports, the busy traffic, the cabbies always looking to cheat tourists (and their temper if they can't!)

But, looking at your pictures, it brings back memmories of a more, imagined Egypt for me. And I'm so glad you got into the grrove of Egypt by visiting the tribes and actaully doing research into the sculptors etc. I guess I was a bit young for that, and I regret not looking into all that when I was. All I remember about Egypt history was the pyramids were scary inside and that one mummy had a black toe sticking out of its raggedy bandages.

Aah, the Valley of the Kings, brings back fond memmories of Lara Croft and her trusty 4X4 as we bounded in the dessert looking for those damn tombs, while avoiding scorpions.

queen_Lestat said...

well well well...SOMEONE had fun.lol even I recognised the setting as possibly wit-ish.kickass pics. o yeah and infi lol@ ur comment.

The K-man said...

Infi: Thats a great idea we should talk.

Cellardoor: Thanks, Inshallah you can also go there one day.

Dew: Well the only place I saw hookers was i hurghada and the traffic is appauling. Glad you liked the pics and Ive always been into egyptology I love the stuff, since i was a kid i was fascinated. Lara Croft Rocks

Ql: Welcome back to the lannd of the bloggers. I did have alot of fun thanks :)