When most people think about the Red Sea resort town of Hurghada, Egypt they likely imagine relaxing on the beach, scuba diving, adventuring in the desert, golfing, and lounging at a big resort. Hurghada does have all of that.
Rarely, however, does one think about fresh markets and a taste of local Egyptian culture. It’s there in Hurghada, if only you look hard enough. Continue Reading »
Whales with legs? In the desert?
That’s what you’ll find in the Valley of the Whales (Wadi El-Hitan) in Fayoum, Egypt. More accurately, you’ll find the over 35 million year-old fossilized remains of whales with short legs, appendages marking their evolution from land mammals to sea mammals. Continue Reading »
Do you remember learning about ancient Egypt in elementary school?
I do. I recall images of Cleopatra, mummies, hieroglyphics, and women with black bobbed hair and men dressed in kilts, all strutting. I remember pyramids that seemed too big to be real, as if aliens must have been the ones to deposit them in the middle of the desert.
And I remember an episode of Asterix and Obelix, a favorite childhood comic book of mine, where Obelix climbs onto the Sphinx, hangs on the nose and breaks it off. In response, all the vendors chip the noses off their ceramic Sphinx replicas to be sure they’d match.
Then I had the chance to see it all – the pyramids and the Sphinx after the nose job — in real life. Continue Reading »
Although the Saladin Citadel in Cairo was built in the 12th century to help protect the city from the Crusaders, the Muhammad Ali Mosque came much later, in the 19th century. Built in the architectural style of the Ottomans, the mosque has a feeling of wide open grandeur punctuated by chandeliers and cupolas.
Sit on the carpet in middle for as long as you need. Look up, look around and enjoy the peacefulness of the place. Continue Reading »
We’re headed again to Egypt, this time to experience a taste of what it can offer in the way of adventure and adrenaline travel.
We will also present at the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Travel and Media conference. There, we will tie a real-time case study of this Egypt experience together with some of our prior travel experience to demonstrate the value to destinations of digital storytelling and engaging travel bloggers during challenging news cycles.
Continue Reading »
Dahshur, Egypt. As we pulled up to the Red Pyramid, we noticed there was something missing — people.
No tourists, no vendors, no camel drivers trying to pull us onto their decorated beasts for a photo op. It was delightfully quiet, almost eerily so. Only our small group. For visitors like us, it was one of the benefits of visiting last month when tourist numbers in Egypt had dropped off almost 85% from year before.
In silence and open space, we were able to take it in and appreciate all that the Red Pyramid had to offer inside — worth the crab-walk all the way down a steep stairwell — and out.
Open the panorama below to see for yourself. Continue Reading »
When time is limited, you have to make tough decisions. In Alexandria, Egypt, I decided to hit the streets of its old town rather than going deep into the ancient catacombs. I was looking for interaction, for life on the streets.
And rather than heading down the main street, I found the loneliest alleyway to take me in a different direction. I ended up in a vein of street markets that wasn’t so lonely after all. Continue Reading »
Coptic Cairo. The name alone exudes ancient, mysterious, almost mystical. People still live, work and worship in the same place as they have for thousands of years. It’s a humbling walk back in time in this secluded Old Cairo neighborhood, whose tranquility belies the 22-million strong bustle of modern Cairo just outside.
One of the highlights of Coptic Cairo: The Hanging Church, suspended above firm ground on palm tree trunks connecting two ancient Roman fortress towers. Continue Reading »
You guys are the Perception Busters.
– A comment on our Facebook page in response to our arrival in Cairo earlier this week. And a label we’re happy to embrace.
Egyptian man on the streets of Alexandria, Egypt.
If you’ve been following us on Facebook or Twitter recently, you’re probably aware that we’ve been in Egypt this past week.
Egypt? But isn’t it unsafe now? Continue Reading »