Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tales from the Land of the Pyramids - Mt Sinai in Egypt

I've been very lazy about putting the rest of my albums
together from my Egypt and Jordan trip. I thought I would
share some tales from where my mum and I traveled from
Cairo to Mt. Sinai in September.

The snapshot above was taken from the mini van on the way to
Mt. Sinai. Quite a desolate area. During the time, there had been
some Europeans who had been kidnapped in Egypt and the Egyptian
government had decided all Americans and Brits needed tourism
police escorts. Mind you, the Europeans kidnapped were extremely
far from the normal tourist route near the Sudanese border. My mom
and I have never been on a tour where we've been outnumbered by our
escorts...We took a very small tour and it happened to be that we were
the only ones to continue to Jordan and Mt. Sinai was one of the stops
along the way.

I think a lot of people don't realize the lengths that the Egyptian
government tries to protect the tourism industry there as it is
most definitely their main source of revenue. It's tough when your
country is 95% desert and they only have enough oil for themselves -
not enough to export. I thought one of the most fascinating facts
about the Nile River is that it's the only river in the world to run from
the South to the North instead of the other way around. This is why
the South of Egypt is called Upper Egypt and the North of Egypt is called
Lower Egypt - it follows the direction of the Nile River rather than North
or South on a political map.

So there were we were, the two of us with a driver, a guide, and
a tourism police escort...

On the way, I asked the driver to stop when I saw this lovely
camel by the side of the road. We opened the van door and I
was able to catch a shot as he was heading away. Mind you,
this was before I actually got on a camel in Jordan which
scared the living daylights out my mom and I. A story for a
later post... Some things are better admired from afar or
through a lens or ridden in an open area...

When we reached our hotel in the middle of the mountains,
there was a nice bedouin tent set up by it.

Of course, complete with a souvenir shop.
I, for one, would never complain about

What really amused me was when I peaked inside the tent.
In the corner was a full computer and fan all wired up. You
would never be able to tell from the outside of the tent that
there was anything electronic, much less a computer with a
connection to the internet inside. This is what I call, modern
Bedouin living.

At night, the place transformed into
a wonderful place for a party.

Isn't the inside cool?

We had tea to boot.

Here's my mom outside with our very
nice guide in front of the fire.

But the party was definitely inside the tent and let me tell
you, if you ever travel - it's the Brazilians who are always
the life of the party.

They even got all dressed up to party.

After the exciting night, we turned in and made it
to a monastery called St. Catherines in the middle
of the mountains.

Of course I couldn't stop taking photos of the camels...

But I did find this man to be very clever. He was building a stone
structure and they obviously don't have stone or tile cutters there.

So he improvised by dribbling water onto the stone
as he was cutting so it wouldn't crack as he drilled.

And this is where the famed burning bush that
Moses spoke to - within St. Catherine's monastery.
You see everyone trying to touch it there.

Anyhow, the New Year is upon us and I hope
this has inspired some of you to travel or have
and adventure this coming year!

Happy New Year and be safe!

I will be returning next monday on January 5, 2009.


Marnie said...

happy new year karen - thanks for the informative post - who knew about the nile river?

Yoli said...

Karen these are stunning. Now go party! It will soon be 2009 your year to shine!

Jennifer Lee said...

happy new year karen. the photos of your trip is great, thanks for sharing. read you in 09!

kay* said...

i LOVE this post and it brought back such good memories for me. as you may or may not know from my blog i am addicted to egypt as a country and it’s history - i just find it all so fascinating. i finally visited, by myself, in march 2006. it was the most memorable trip of my life.

i did the mount sinai climb in the early morning - started at around 3 am so we got to the top just before sunrise...then we went to st catharines monestary...and yes i have a photo like yours - with me on my tippy toes touching the burning bush....fascinating....

your tent filled with the mounds of pillows reminds me of late night dinners in dahab...good times!

hahaha - and i have to wonder where the bedouin plugged in their computer in the middle of the desert?

thank you for such a great post! perfect thoughts/feelings to bring me into the new year

happy new year! (sorry for the long post)

Zelda said...

It is a wonderful trip that you had.
I’m glad you enjoyed it,
I use to live in Egypt and I’m glad I don’t any more ;-) however it’s a wonderful country full a resources.
The Internet virtual ‘freedom’ is the modern prophet this days and that is why thy all have it in such a remote places. It is not that innocent indeed.
But this desert people do have a great sense of hospitality and lets enjoying it.
Have a wonderful year 2009 and fantastic magic travel

annechovie said...

Fascinating post, Karen. Got a kick out of the tech-friendly bedouin tent. Thanks for sharing your photos! Happy New Year to you!

Black on White said...


Happy New Year! I wish you all the best.
Thanks for sharing your travelphotos. Egypt, I have always wanted to travel there. Hopefully my dream will come true very soon!

Red River Interiors: said...

Happy New Year !! What an awesome trip. Hope you have a safe return and can't wait to see more pics... Fay

Syana said...

niice, you went to egypt! I went there long time ago, it is such a beautiful country.. But people there seriously harass you in the streets till your hotel!

Btw hapy new year ;)

Visual Vamp said...

Happy New Year Karen!
Thanks for posting these fabulous photos of your exotic vacation, and telling us all about it.
xo xo

Anonymous said...

happy new year
your blog is on top of my favorites...would love to see a post about children rooms/nurserys :)

Beautiful Living said...

Wow, stunning pictures! Would really love to go to Egypt. Somehow it reminds me of Morocco? Thank you for all of your nice comments! I left an award for you at my blog! :)

Happy New Year!


Song of Style said...

Happy New Year Ms Gorgeous KAREN!
I can't wait to hang out with u more this year! hahaha
Hope u have fun and get back safe!

Alkemie said...

Thank you for all of your wonderful comments! I'll remember to do a children's/nursery room post very soon and will endeavor to work on more photos from my Egypt/Jordan trip.



Mike said...

I want to go for a camel ride now.

Faithauhz said...

I want to go for a camel ride now.