Wow! We just got back from an incredible 16-day trip to Paris, Marrakech, and Egypt. Every time I travel, I’m even more grateful for the opportunity – not only to see the amazing sites, but to experienece the culture, meet the locals, and open our hearts and minds to better understand global humanity. Today, I’d like to share some highlights of our visit to Egypt.
Was it safe? Absolutely! The Egyptian Government is trying very hard to make all visitors feel safe and comfortable. Their tourism industry, the only livelihood for the majority of the people, has suffered tremendously since the 2011 Revolution, when the Valley of the Kings was visited by 6,000-9,000 people a day. On the day we visited, we encountered a mere couple hundred tourists. It was very disheartening to see how the locals suffer from lack of a sustainable income. I can only encourage anyone who has ever dreamt of visiting Egypt to please consider going.
What did our family think of it? It was “magical, mystical, vibrant, of unfathomable scale, unbelievable, so well preserved, rich in so many ways, luxurious…awesome!” As my daughter recalled, “Going backwards in time from Old Coptic Churches in Cairo to 3,000 year old temples and tombs in Luxor added to the immensity of everything. It was a culture built on propaganda and is amazing that the people believed in this world of preparing for the afterlife that doesn’t exist anymore.”
Below are some pictures from our journey – I hope they will inspire and encourage you to consider a visit of Egypt. It is well worth it!
A view from the Meena Hotel of the Pyramid of Khufu and Pyramid of Chephren, son of Khufu.
A valiant camel poses in front of the great Pyramid of Khufu at Giza.
Abu Simbel is the larger of two temples Ramses II built to honor himself.
A woman carries traditional Egyptian bread on her head as she walks through the Coptic area of Cairo, where Egyptian Christians used to live.
The Al-Deir Al-Bahari Temple was built by Queen Hatshepsut, the longest ruling female pharaoh of Egypt. It lies adjacent to the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, where archeologists are still discovering tombs today.
The Temple of Dandara, dedicated to the Goddess Hathor, is one of the best preserved and most vibrant in Egypt.
The passageways of Dandara lead to the top of the temple and are carefully carved.
Egyptologist Mohammad Abd El-Rehim, our incredible guide, gestures at a scarab bettle carved into the wall – a symbol of the heavenly cycle of the rebirth of Ra.
Our luxurious Nile River cruise sailed north but downstream, from Aswan to Luxor.
The Hilton at Luxor offers beautiful views of the Nile and the Valley of the Kings.
Entry passes to the sites are a collector’s item and a perfect way to document the journey through Egypt. If you are interested in seeing the Tomb of Tut Ankh Amun, consider visiting within the next month, as it will be closing to the general public for further excavation and restoration.