Blogs from Egypt, Africa


Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Suez April 5th 2019

Transiting the Suez Canal 3rd April We sailed the Suez Canal back in 2014 and didn’t realise the changes that were coming. Since 2014 a new section has been built which I’ll come onto later. Not a history lesson but a bit of background to the Canal. It was constructed by the Suez Canal Company between 1859 and 1869, officially opened in November 1869 and is a sea level waterway that connects the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea unlike the Panama Canal that has locks because of the difference in sea levels between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It’s length is just over 120 miles and takes approximately 10/12 hours to go through. The original canal was a single-lane waterway with passing locations in the Ballah Bypass and the Great Bitter Lakes. As I said ... read more

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Abu Simbel March 28th 2019

We passed through a lock yesterday after being entertained by local traders trying to sell us outfits to wear for tonight’s party as well as tablecloths and towels. Many of us had already purchased an outfit on board or at a local market but they continued to throw things to the guests, haggle over prices and then either return the goods or send money. Some goods eneed up in the water but I think they did OK. The galabyea party on board that night is where everyone dressed up “like an Egyptian”. An early night for us though as we had to get up early for our trip to Abu Simbel. We listened though as the bass thumped through the boat. Up at 4am for our trip to Abu Simbel. It is a 3 hour road ... read more
they even followed us into the lock
the lock fits two boats

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Luxor March 24th 2019

If you want catch up there is an entry for the Pyramids. Didn't want to create too many emails. Our tour has taken us to Alexandria where we visited the National Museum, the Catacombs, the New Alexandria Library, before moving to El Alamein to visit the Commonwealth War Cemetery including the grave of the youngest Australian soldier buried there. He was 16. There are 7367 graves here. We returned to Cairo for a visit to the Egyptian museum which deserves it's own post. (if I get time). Then to Luxor. KARNAK TEMPLE AND LUXOR TEMPLE Everything about the Karnak Temple is huge. The site covers 2km and is large enough to contain 10 cathedrals. Karna was the most important place of worship in Egypt during the New Kingdom. Construction began in the 16th century and continued ... read more
Great temple of Amun
gate of Karnak

Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Giza March 22nd 2019

Well today was our visit to the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx amongst other things. We had seen the pyramids from our hotel but nothing prepares you for their size. Our Egyptologist Hassan explained and showed us the cuts on the bedrock and the process of how they were built. The Great Pyramid believed to have been built as a tomb for the pharaoh Khufu is the only remaining one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still intact. It was the tallest building in the world for over 3800 years and took over 20 years to build. There are an estimated 2.3 million blocks, some weighing 800 tonnes. It was originally covered in limestone casing stones some of which can be seen at the base. The changed topography of the surrounding land due to ... read more
Taken in the spot emulating the Aussie soldiers photo
The Giant Pyramid
shows the smooth encasing that once covered the whole of the pyramid

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Thebes February 15th 2019

Testa uncino serpente occhio occhio falco freccia mano scimmia falco occhio sega testa cappello uncino serpente serpente ibis mano coltello ape chiave mano falco falco donna lumaca sega uncino ape serpente mano ibis chiave falco occhio occhio scimmia testa chiave freccia freccia occhio ibis uncino ape uccello testa testa linea piede falco ape donna piede chiave falco occhio testa testa cappello ibis testa sega uccello uncino ape ape croce linea pacone uncino linea testa testa falco donna serpente chiave mano falco ibis sega occhio occhio serpente mano linea uncino ibis mano mamo occhio scimmia coltello lumaca testa pavone piede chiave coltello occhio... read more
Karnak: Grande sala ipostila del tempio di Amon
Il Nilo ad Aswan
Falco segnalatore

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Luxor February 8th 2019

At Luxor railway station we bargain with a taxi driver for a “good price” for the short ride to our hotel. Good for whom? The taxi is a battered old Peugeot 204, perhaps 50 years old? The door locks don't really work; the boot is held open with a stick; the speedo is stuck on zero. But it gets us to the illustrious Winter Palace Hotel, or rather its newer and cheaper Pavilion wing. Our room overlooks the wonderful gardens. The Winter Palace Hotel has always been the place to stay and everybody has – from Lady Di to Richard Gere. In 1923, Howard Carter used the hotel's imposing staircase as his podium to announce to the world’s press that he had, at last, found Tutankamun's tomb. The Nile is wide here and a local ferry, ... read more
Howard Carter's study
Tomb wall paintings
Nile ferry

Africa » Egypt » Western Desert » Dakhla Oasis February 3rd 2019

Ripulitomi per bene e tolti svariati etti di soffice sabbia accumulatisi nelle mie scarpe, decido di continuare il viaggio attraverso l'Egitto seguendo un percorso alternativo rispetto a quello consueto e molto piu' trafficato che risale verso Sud lungo il corso del Nilo: visitero' una collana di oasi sparse nel deserto che dovrebbero, secondo i piani del governo, creare una "Nuova Valle" che possa contribuire allo sviluppo del paese con attivita' produttive e nuove citta' da popolare. Quasi niente di tutto cio' si e' ovviamente realizzato e la vita da queste parti continua a scorrere lenta e tranquilla, con strade polverose e desolate percorse solamente da qualche fastidiosa motocicletta di fabbricazione cinese, indegne sostitute dei piu' nobili ma meno pratici cammelli dromedari. L'oasi di Bahariya e' la piu' facilmente raggiungibile dal Cairo ma non offre grandi attrattive ... read more
La morte non e' mai lontana
Preziosa acqua dal sottosuolo
Deserto Bianco visto dall'autobus

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Aswan February 2nd 2019

It feels as though Aswan has been welcoming tourists since the concept of tourism was invented. From Churchill to Omar Sharif, everyone has visited and many books have been written about Aswan and the Nile. Aswan gets busier, noisier, more built up every year and yet there is certain unchanging magic about the place. Forty years ago the Old Cataract Hotel was very old, very dusty and unloved. Today the Old Cataract Hotel is proud to be old. It had a major facelift in 2012 and is now “a legend” and it is, once again, beautiful and loved. They have removed the cobwebs but the view of the Nile is unchanged; we see the same view as Agatha Christie saw while writing “Death on the Nile”. Feluccas sail by on the sparkling Nile; palm trees sway ... read more
Obama's cousin
Steering the felucca
Train ticket "queue"

Africa » Egypt » Western Desert » Siwa Oasis January 25th 2019

Strano l'Egitto: piu' di 100 milioni di abitanti si concentrano in solamente il 5% del paese a loro disposizione, prevalentemente lungo il corso del Nilo ed in minor misura lungo la costa mediterranea, ammassandosi in citta' sempre piu' sovraffollate ed inquinate; poca colpa ne hanno perche' tutto il resto e'.... deserto! Decido allora di lasciarmi alle spalle la cosiddetta "civilta'" e di allontanarmi dai grandi centri abitati per andare a scoprire quello che gli egiziani chiamano Deserto Occidentale e che noi conosciamo piu' semplicemente con il nome di Sahara. La mia attenzione si concentra su Siwa, l'oasi per eccellenza, quella piu' lontana da tutto e che ha mantenuto piu' intatte le sue peculiarita' di isola sperduta in mezzo al nulla. Oggi si raggiunge facilmente con l'autobus in cinque ore partendo dalla costa, lungo una piu' che ... read more
La fortezza di Shali
Siwa: il centro citta'

Africa » Egypt » Mediterranean » Port Said January 21st 2019

"In questa Casa d'Italia, edificata dalla fede e dall'amore della terra d'origine, vivono e si perpetuano, con l'opera delle istituzioni italiane sotto i segni gloriosi dello scudo sabaudo e del fascio littorio, lo spirito millenario della patria, il culto della lingua di Dante, la tradizione fulgente della triplice vittoria, la potenza animatrice di Roma ridivenuta imperiale. XXVIII Ottobre MCMXXXVIII - XVI regnando Vittorio Emanuele III essendo duce del fascismo e capo del governo Benito Mussolini fondatore dell'impero." Chissa', sara', sta di fatto che gli italiani sembrano aver lasciato davvero un buon ricordo qui in Egitto, e dovevo capitare per caso a Port Said per averne una vera conferma. Non proprio per caso perche' e' in questa citta' che inizia il canale di Suez e qui si deve venire per ammirare le gigantesche navi che, sfilando davanti ... read more
El Alamein: l'ingresso al sacrario militare italiano
L'orgoglioso proprietario di una spettacolare Fiat 128
Port Said: nave all'imbocco del canale di Suez

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