Considered the best preserved temple in Egypt, Edfu is traditionally reached off the cruise ship - via caleche (horse and carriage). It's an experience in itself traveling through Edfu town. The temple to Horus built in Ptolemaic times features two levels, some magnificent Horus statues - and a replica of a barque shrine in the inner sanctum. Take a look at the ride there.
From the Movenpick on Elephantine Island you can enjoy gorgeous views of the Nile - and the Old and Middle Kingdom tombs across on the west bank. The day before, we had taken an exhilarating camel ride across the escarpment to see the tombs. This is one of the most peaceful and idyllic places in Egypt - Take a look:
A true highlight of any off the beaten path Egypt tour is a camel ride to San Simeon monastery - up in the hills of West bank Aswan. We started our trek in the morning and gave the camels a little sustenance to start the journey. From San Simeon - we even rode the camels 1/2 hour across the hill to Qubbet el Hawa - ancient tombs of officials and Nomarchs from the Old and Middle Kingdom... an intrepid desert adventure! Special thanks to our band of female camels: Coraline, Lolo, Cinderella, King, Lolita, Concorde and a few other fine girls... Yasmina the camel (featured here eating our apples) refused to stand up to take the journey and I had to switch to Coraline. (Perhaps one too many apples!)
November 26, 2017 - A few days ago we enjoyed a marvelous trip to Sakkara - Ancient Egypt's immense necropolis of the North - from the 2nd Dynasty onwards... Djoser's Step Pyramid is one of the great highlights of Egypt - the first stone structure ever built in the world around 2630 BCE. And its enclosure has buildings equally impressive - that strive to preserve the perishable world (logs, wood, reeds) in imperishable stone. The enclosure was brilliantly restored by French architect Jean Philippe Lauer - Join me for a walk inside!
It's discovery time all over again at the Egyptian Museum. Since many objects (including one of the great funerary beds) have moved to the Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza (slated to open - perhaps- next year) more things have been found in storage. These include at least 55 pieces of fabric decorated with gold from Tutankhamun's tomb discovered by Carter in 1922 - and this extraordinary piece. Join Ramy Darwish and me to take a closer look...
The National Museum of Civilization just opened this year. But it was a pretty "soft" opening. While the building itself is a magnificent edifice in Fustat - and inside an architectural wonder of clean lines and elegance -- only one hall of an intended 20 is open. Here is what it looks like (This one's a bit longer (5 min) and imperfectly shot folks... excuse the squeaky running shoes on the shiny new floor! - but coolest stuff towards the end)
November 20, 2017: El Muizz Street- Enter at Bab Zuwayla - the famous 15th century minarets towering above Saladin's wall - and you are on Cairo's oldest street - and one most dense with medieval Islamic architecture. This a wonderful way to enter Khan el Khalili, Cairo's famous souk. Here's how it looks...