Friday, May 16, 2008

My Five Favourite Aspects of Egypt

1) The Temples
Perhaps I have already mentioned my passion for temples, LOL so there's no need to say much else but they certainly are a great drawcard for Egypt.





2) The Egyptian people
I never felt threatened in Egypt even while walking along a street at dusk by myself. They were friendly, sometimes over-friendly in their efforts to sell you something, but I'll talk about that in my next post.
I also saw no beggars though I might have been lucky. Many people wanted money from me but they were always willing to give something in return even if it was only to show you a good photo angle.


3) The ancient Way of Life
Especially in the countryside, people live unsophisticated lives similar to those of 4,000 years ago. They cut the crops by hand, wash their dishes with dried grass, use donkeys, camels and horses for transport etc. In the second picture a man is preparing breakfast for workers with a simple cart and hot element. The men sitting on the ground are eating his delicious cuisine.
One of our group asked why they didn't use machinery and more advanced methods. Our guide explained that the culture wouldn't allow that to happen because it would put people out of work and looking after the family and neighbours is paramount. They all help each other out, working for each other, to make sure that no one wants for anything essential.



4) The Nile
This is the longest though not the biggest river in the world and is the life blood of Egypt. The majority of the population lives along its banks. It buzzes with the activities of life and was never far from our sight throughout our ten days in Egypt. Apparently, below the Aswan Dam, the water is so pure that you can drink straight from the river - so our guide said, but we didn't test his words. I love seeing such powerful forces of nature just as much as I enjoy the man-made marvels of the world like the temples.

5) The History
Egypt is all history from the pyramids just outside Cairo to the temples to the Valley of the Kings, (see photo beside the Shinx) where you can find the most amazing tombs decorated with vibrant colours. It's easy to get immersed in another time when life was full of beauty and danger, when the people were ingenious, proud, fierce and believed deeply in a complex, unifying culture. As a New Zealander with our short history, such places amaze and thrill me.

17 comments:

raine said...

Suzanne, your travels leave me speechless.
I've always imagined seeing the Nile. My God, the tradition, the legends!
And such a heartwarming attitude from the people, the way they take care of each other. Wonderful.

Thank you for sharing all this. :)

Suzanne Perazzini said...

My travels leave me speechless too, Raine. So much beauty and history that your heart aches with the effort to understand and absorb the implications of the time that has passed.

Suzanne

Sandpiper said...

I love this post! You are making such good memories. I have a friend whose dad was a diplomat and she spent her high school years in Egypt. Her graduation ceremony was at one of the pyramids and her diploma is printed on papyrus. She tells the best stories about her time there. This is a place I would like to visit.

Suzanne Perazzini said...

Hi Sandpiper, children of diplomats don't have a lot of stability in their lives but they sure get to see the world early on and have experiences that will always colour the way they see life.

Suzanne

Sandpiper said...

That's for sure. She lived in a lot of Third World countries, but the experience has made her such a strong, vibrant, confident, and interesting person.
Lin

Suzanne Perazzini said...

Sandpiper, I would love to meet her.
My son has already been to about 25countries at age 17. He has a much wider view of people and cultures than the average person of his age. It can only be an advantage for him.

Suzanne

Jordan Summers said...

We want to go to Egypt so bad. The trip looked fantastic. :)

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Suzanne, what a lovely journey you have shown us, not just of your trip, but also the journey of the Egyptian culture. I love that they stayed living simply, in tune with nature. It is the best and most secure way. Perhaps that's why you felt at ease on your trip. The Egyptians aren't desperate people but planted in their traditions.

Looooved the photos and will return to see each one enlarged.

Wild wave to Raine too. :D

Hugs, Nancy

Suzanne Perazzini said...

Jordan, I have wanted to go to Egypt for the longest time but was determined to chose a time when the temperatures weren't so high but then Egypt had an unusual heat wave for April while I was there, but that's Murphy's Law.
Worth braving the heat though.

Suzanne Perazzini said...

Nancy, a trip to see a country is so much more than hotel rooms, air-conditioned buses and sightseeing. It's possible to travel through a country and come out the other side none the wiser about the culture and lives of the people who live there. That's why I always choose to travel at a more elemental level and am yet to see the inside of a hotel with any more than three stars and even those seem like luxury to me. No big, air-conditioned buses either. Donkey, camel, horse and cart, small, rickety vans. One should suffer to see a country and come out with many mixed emotions.

Suzanne

Pixel-Pixie said...

Great images, Suzanne - I particularly love the Sphinx.

And congratulations on the new book contract - very exciting!

Take care,

Tanya

Suzanne Perazzini said...

Good to see you, Tanya. Yes, I particularly love that shot of the Sphinx too. I had to run away from the group to get that photo through a barred gate.

Suzanne

Bernita said...

"He has a much wider view of people and cultures than the average person of his age. It can only be an advantage for him."

Definitely!

Thank you for sharing these photos.
~yearn~

Suzanne Perazzini said...

Bernita, thanks for dropping in. I have more photos to come.

Suzanne

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Suzanne, you and I are country people at heart. :D

We're having a delightful spring. The apple blossoms will bloom soon and the cherry, plum, and pear trees are showing their finery now.

I hope your cold weather holds off. Our spring has been cooler.

I'm going through the contract process now.

Hugs, Nancy

Footsteps said...

Lovely photos and commentary... Good glimpse into "ordinary living", and I share your reverence for cultures with more footprints laid behind them...

Suzanne Perazzini said...

Heather, the length of history behind a country is what makes it so multi-layered and fascinating. The younger countries, like New Zealand, though they are wonderful for other reasons, lack in complexity.

Suzanne