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
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.
I don't know about you, but every year, I still write my New Year's Resolutions (because I'm a chronic list maker.) Psychologically, it makes me feel more organized - although I don't think I'm the most organized person. I don't know if I achieve all of them but I'm able to accomplish enough to cross off the majority of the resolutions. There are always those that transfer to the following year.
I think this is a wonderful book to read around the New Year
and to think about what you really hope for and you would love
to make happen.
Hope you all have a wonderful holiday. I'll be back next
Monday so that I can spend the long weekend with family.