Archive for the ‘Egypt’ Category

Cairo – Still an Enigma

Sunday, July 15th, 2007

You will find the mystique city Cairo situated along the Nile. This city is known locally as Al Qahirah or the ‘Mother of all Cities” as it connects strategically the trade routes to three major destinations, i.e. Asia, Europe and Africa. This is the largest city in Africa and the Middle East which enjoys a homogenous mix of Jewish, Islamic and Christian population for the last 2000 years.


Cairo’s Major Tourist Attractions

1. History Showcased – Just 24 kilometers away from Cairo you will find the Memphis and Saqqara. Memphis is famous as the old Capital of Egypt which was built by King Menes. You will find here the amazing statue of Ramsesses II which stands 13 meters tall and weighs about 120 tons. Another must-see spot in Memphis is the Temple of Embalming he Sacred Apis Bull. Close to it is Saqqara which is basically an ancient Egyptian cementery. Here you will be able to see the majesty of the Step Pyramid (built by Imhotep for King Zoser) and the Pyramids of Unas (5th Dynasty of Pharaohs), Serapheum (Greek Philosopher) among others.

2. Churches – You will have to see the Hanging or Al-Muaallaqah Chuch, the Church of the Virgin (Al-Adra), the Cathedral of St Mark (Al-Qiddis Morcos), the Church of St Sergius (Abu Sergah), the Church of the Virgin in Zaytoun. While you are visiting these amazing churches from the time of Babylon, check out the Coptic Museum which offers the display of some exceptional Christian manuscripts, icons and relics.

3. Mosques – Do look up the Mosque of Amr Ibn Al-Aas, the Blue Mosque and the Alabaster Mosque of Mohammad Ali, the Mosque of Sultan Hassan among others. Check out the Bab Al Khalq Museum where you will find an exceptional array of Islamic art and relics.

4. Parks and Gardens – Cairo has some amazing parks and entertainments areas. You must see the Fish Gardens in Zamalek and the amazingly landscaped International Garden in Nasr city. Another must-see spot here is the Andalusian Gardens which famous all over the world.

5. Shopping Venue – Visit the Khan-Al-Khalili Bazaar which offers you a chain of medium and small shops where you could buy absolutely anything you wanted. Check out the exquisite work in gold and silver ornaments and the intricate embroidery on fabric. You will also find here some very unusual woodwork that is very popular with tourists.

6. Entertainment – Cairo offers all kind of entertainment from the highly cultural Opera House which is a seven storied ultra modern building to all night bars and cafes. The Opera House was built with the collaboration of Japanese architects and the result is stunning. It houses three large theaters, a huge museum and a library. There is a rotating restaurant on the top which can be quite an exhilarating experience.

Everything in Cairo is enigmatic and mystique though it is modern and vibrantly alive. There is something there that makes it extremely intriguing and attractive to the outsiders.

Egypt – the land of pharaohs and pyramids!

Monday, July 2nd, 2007

Popularly known as the land of pharaohs and pyramids – Egypt is one of the most popular tourist destinations in northeastern Africa. From attractions ranging from the red sea to the Sinai Desert and Cairo to Abu Simbel, Egypt is a magical destination which you must take a visit at least once in your lifetime!

All of the cities in Egypt are dotted with awe-inspiring ancient monuments and temples, high mosques, and exciting museums. For instance, a visit to Cairo – Egypt’s capital as well as the largest city in Africa – would be really a great experience. Among many of its marvelous attractions are the Hanging Church – the seat of Coptic worship, the Ben Ezra – the oldest synagogue in the country, Ibn Tulun mosque – one of the largest in the world, the Al-Azhar mosque within which the oldest university in the world is situated, the modern opera house, and the Egyptian Museum housing more than 1, 00,000 artifacts including mummies, pottery, and ancient jewelry.

Egypt, Giza Sphinx

Perhaps, most interesting as well as significant of Egypt’s attraction would be the pyramids of Giza, which are one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Each pyramid consists of tomb of different Egyptian kings, of which the most remarkable is the Great Pyramid of Khufu, built by Pharaoh Khufu of the Fourth Dynasty in around 2560 BC. Also, great are the pyramids of pharaohs such as Kafhre and Menkaura. One of the interesting things regarding these monuments is the image of Sphinx – a cat-like structure lying on its front. A specialty of this structure is that it is carved out of a single block of stone.

After Giza pyramids, the most frequently visited Egyptian site is Luxor whose prime attraction is the world’s largest ancient site – Karnak Temple, situated on the banks of the Nile River – the longest in the world. The focal point of the temple is an open air museum with four parts such as the precincts of Amon-Re, Amenhotep IV temple, Mut, and Montu.

Close to the Egyptian border near Sudan, Abu Simbel is another great destination, with amazing monumental treasures such as the magnificent rock temples of Hathor and Re-Harakhte. Abu Simbel’s attractions also include the Lake Nasser, a man-made lake erected during 1960s. Apart from these, Abu Simbel hosts a range of events and festivals including Abu Simbol – the light and sound show, Lake Nasser Cruise, and Sun Festival.

Interesting destinations in Egypt also include Alexandria – the second largest city as well as the main port of Egypt. Of its main attractions are Graeco-Roman Museum, Pompei’s Pillar, and the Roman Amphitheatre. Other popular attractions in Egypt include Aswan with highlights like Nubian Museum; Port Said – an unusual destination famed for its colonial architecture and parks and gardens; and Siwa Oasis – a marvelous destination to relax as well as swim.

Explore the history of Egypt by taking a tour to destinations such as El-Alamein and the commonwealth war cemetery. Egypt also has to its credit the largest desert in the world – the Sahara, stretching more than 3,320,000 square miles.

Besides many other things to do in the country, a cruise on the River Nile (referred to as Egypt’s lifeblood) would be a fabulous experience. The country also has superb options for activities like swimming, diving, and snorkeling.