ancient river of life in a sea of sand’ |
In 430 BC, when Herodotos exclaimed in awe over
the magnificent monuments in Egypt, several of them were already
2,500 years old. Most, from the pyramids of Giza
to the astoundingly beautiful temples of Karnak
or Philae, or the tombs in the Valley of
the Kings, can still be visited today. The sheer age of
this great civilisation is somewhat incredible.
With the high levels of confusion, heat, hassle and stomach bugs
to contend with, Egypt is not a very easy country for travellers,
although largely improved security measures mean anti-Western activities
have been largely reduced. And for those prepared to brave a few
little discomforts, this extraordinary country alerts the senses.
The life-giving River Nile pours across the map,
feeding an emerald ribbon of irrigated fields adjacent to villages
sheltered by date palms. Whether on a cruise ship
or traditional felucca, life on the water is a
continuous visual feast, while the few huge, dusty cities of Alexandria,
Cairo, Aswan and Luxor – a mix of
exotic sounds and smells.
Sharm el-Sheik, located on the Red Sea coast, are
doors to a delightful underwater world of technicolour fish
and coral favoured by divers. The other adventurous
travellers head inland, where you can discover monasteries
among the arid mountains of Sinai or the distant
desert oases, homes of the hardy wanderers whose camel trains still
wander the Saharan sands.