Everyday, we come between the battle of the old and the new. If you believe you’re an old soul, someone who thinks ahead of time, doesn’t get rattled by whatever change of circumstance, then Egypt has to be on your bucket list.
The mother of the world, cradle of civilization, host of the old gods and the new regime, a classic-Hollywood favorite subject is obviously very old and very tired. As my dear brother Herve once told me, leave your Dubai benchmarks behind, pack your bags and expect character-filled stories from dear old Egypt.
It will, non the less, take your breath away.
I hopped from camel to camel, moved around the great pyramids of Giza, looked consciously around and spotted the legendary sphinx, as if it was staring back at me.
The pyramids are now skeletons of what it was, tragically dismantled by those who thought the outer shell, it’s perfect icing should be put to good use somewhere else.
What I saw were leftovers, they’re not much to look at up close individually, but together, from a distance, they still beam in full color. The magic of Giza is going to come from your mind. If you are a visual person, you will immediately be transported to a time machine that’s defaulted to the pharaonic times. So I was.
I took the journey from Cairo to Luxor; a quick one hour flight that will again, teleport you to another world. Luxor is nothing like Cairo. There are links between the temples and the great pharaohs who laid rest in Giza, but Luxor is another kingdom.
A walk inside Karnak temple will mezmerize your love for stories. Every wall, every pillar is a story within a story, carved by kings, queens, and beggars who bore witness to the changing landscape of the universe.
The Nile is a book, and in Luxor, her pages couldn’t be more beautiful. Set sail and go to Aswan, where the sunsets are longer and the music of the river will keep you entertained, as she did as the years of legends have gone by.
Luxor and Aswan are countless poems.
Later that week, I found myself by the Red Sea. Sharm el Sheikh was a popular Russian holiday paradise, before the political drama. You’ll understand why they love this place. Goodness! The water couldn’t be bluer. Warm breeze all through out the day, until the moon shines from the peak of the mountains that act as a lifelike painting in the background of an old Egyptian movie. When the dawn breaks, it makes everything in Sharm seem like a dream.
An hour by drive is another dimension they call “Dahab”, it means gold. True enough, once you enter Dahab, you’ll never want to leave. There is an air of hippie atmosphere, where time is irrelevant, a pink sky that envelopes this entire town. Cliffs and underwater caves, a famous destination for divers called “The blue hole” will again, take your breath away. The marine life is so rich, I even got to dive with turtles bigger than the mascots I’ve seen in Hawaii.
2 weeks will go by like 2 days, when you find yourself in the right places in Egypt.
“You don’t choose your destination, it chooses you.”
– An ancient scribble I found at the valley of the Kings.