Egypt: Land of Mystery
Your favorite EGYPTIAN store
Arriving in Egypt the day after Christmas in 1986, I began an incredible two week long adventure. Having never been out of the United States before, I had certainly picked an exotic place to begin my international travels.
To top it all off, I was just recovering from an extreme bout with the intestinal flu and was really in no shape to travel.
Due to the international situation in the middle east in 1986, security at Kennedy airport was extremely high and flying by Egypt Air didn’t help matters any. An Iranian airliner had just been shot down the day before, so as we were about to board the plane , we were escorted to a small door behind which were five BIG Egyptian security guards with semi-automatic weapons, who thoroughly searched all of our carry on luggage, even taking the lens caps and lenses off cameras .
As with most flights to that part of the world, we left New York at about 10 PM, flying all night we eventually landed in Paris . A short stop in Paris to add fuel and passengers and it was on to Cairo. It turned out to be a beautiful flight, not a cloud in the sky, flying over the snow covered French Alps, Genoa Italy and proceeding down the west coast of Italy, it couldn’t have been more beautiful.
As dusk approached Cairo, so did we, landing at about 5:30 PM, the sun was just setting over the Egyptian desert. To say the least, Cairo airport was nothing like Kennedy, as we landed, the plane flew over a junk yard where many crashed aircraft were kept.Descending the steps of the plane and taking an airport bus across the tarmac, I suddenly entered a different world.
Mass confusion abounded every where, the airport was very old and unclean,with cats and dogs running through the airport, people were hurriedly trying to find their luggage.
Extension cords lying everywhere on the floor, a TV crew was setting up to broadcast live the arrival of some dignitaries. I’m sure they weren’t there to see me, if they were, they missed me, OSHA would have a field day here. I find myself thinking ,”What have I gotten into?”
As I was part of a group, our tour guide met us and we were escorted to our waiting bus which would transport us to our motel for the night. Passing through Cairo , I observed people living in multiple story apartments with only a couple of walls, no roofs and they had built fires in their living rooms to stave off the chill of the cold Egyptian nights.
With the roads being shared by cars, trucks, horses, camels, and motorcycles, traffic was horrible, moving along at a snails pace , I
soon learned what travel would be like for the next two weeks. After considerable effort, we finally arrived at the Bel-Air Hotel, a quaint motel situated near the quarries where the stones for the pyramids had been excavated. Checking in and finding our room, it was time to have a Stella, the local beer, and dinner. Our group had plenty of time to get acquainted, as we soon learned, a typical Egyptian dining experience normally lasted about three hours.
If you would like to learn more of the Egyptian Culture, my new book is available on Amazon.
His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.
He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.
He has published several books about his adventures.
For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.
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Dating back to the land before time, Egypt continues to be a land of mystery and intrigue. Many Egyptians are still farming and earning a living today much the same way they did in ancient Egypt, almost ten thousand years ago. Most are still using irrigation water from the Nile River via the same irrigation canals used many generations ago. Not much seems to have changed in this ancient land
As I viewed the ancient Egyptian pyramids and temples, it seemed to me their civilization had digressed over time. You can’t help but wonder how the same peoples that built the pyramids, today can only build rudimentary mud huts. Homes built over 1500 years ago are like the ones constructed today.
Standing high on the plain overlooking Cairo are the pyramids of Giza. Of the nearly 70 pyramids of Egypt, these three are the most popular and well known. Reputed to be over 5,000 years old, these three landmarks have been the topic of many books, movies, and legends.
Many legends and speculation in Egyptian mythology surround the pyramids. Why were they built, and how were they built? They have been described as burial tombs for the pharaohs, and giant observatories. Speculation also exists they were ceremonial sites where the ancients performed secret rituals.