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Once A Year, Go Someplace You Have Never Been Before

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by SGBV, Apr 14, 2022.

  1. SGBV

    SGBV IL Hall of Fame

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    It's been 1 month since I am in Egypt with the family. It all started as an official trip, but we decided to make it more memorable by adding a few more days of family vacation here.

    Egypt is a magical place, with thousands of years of history. As they say Egypt is full of dreams, mysteries, memories :)

    The joy of our Egyptian travel started at the Dubai airport. We were speechless when we were told our tickets were upgraded to business class in Emirates flight.
    To make it more special, that was a huge double decker flight & the business class section was upstairs.
    Apart from the special service, the view & everything about that journey was mind-blowing. It was my family's first experience in such a cozy flight.

    It was an unplanned trip. Apart from certain official commitments in the first couple of weeks, my days were entirely free to explore Egypt - called as Misr in local term.

    We have spent a couple of days at Hotel Marriot, with an amazing city view from our room in the 20th floor!
    The hotel situated in a small island called Zamalek in the Nile River in Cairo.

    March is the best month to tour Egypt, because that's when spring starts here.
    The weather was amazing. It stayed between 13-23 C, with mostly clear sky & sunny days. Flowers started blossoming everywhere, that made you forget the fact that you were in a desert area.

    The moment I entered Egypt, I felt some long lost connect with the country. It was something words cannot explain.
    It felt home, it felt more than familiar, it felt safe, it felt emotional. On top of it, the people in Egypt refused to believe that I was a foreigner by my looks & dressing. In fact, my first name is a popular Egyptian name. Can you believe it?

    We visited the following places and I would guarantee it is worth getting lost there:

    1. Cairo Opera house - A famous performing art structure.
    2. Floating Nile restaurants - There are many, and they will take you to heaven if you sit at the top open floor on a full moon night. The cold breeze of the Nile river, Egyptian music with a cup of Turkish coffee would be a deadly combination.
    3. The pyramids of Giza - One of the world wonders. Not just for your Instagram, but for a lasting memory.
    4. Al-Azhar mosque & Old Cairo Bazar - I've spend almost all my money at this bazar, because the place was full of souvenirs, and Egyptian stuff you won't find anywhere.
    5. Luxor - This is ancient Thebes, power base of the New Kingdom pharaohs, and home to more sights than most can see on one visit. This reminds of the similarity we have in our culture.
    6. Aswan - Egypt's most tranquil town is Aswan, set upon the winding curves of the Nile. Backed by orange-hued dunes, this is the perfect place to stop and unwind for a few days and soak up the chilled-out atmosphere.

    Apart from ticking your checklist, I've noticed plenty of traditions and mannerisms among Egyptian, which attracted me the most.

    Welcoming the tourist. They often considered us Indians because of our Indian looks. But had special gratitude for Sri Lankans. There was a street named as "Sri Lankan street" in Cairo. That itself shows the deep rooted relationship.

    Even the Uber taxi drivers asked us updates about Bollywood. From Amitabh to SRK, Egyptians are fully updated on Indian Cinema :)
    There are couple of Indian restaurants, that serves Biryani in Cairo too :)

    The Egyptians always made us special during our stay. From the security personnel (Police, Army) to the road side vendors, everyone were respectful. They had special respect & love for the elderly.
    My mom was offered a chair or some special attention wherever she travelled with us. They made sure the 70 year old is taken cared & included. I was dumbstruck when a Taxi driver spontaneously hold my mother's hand throughout our Pyramid trip & made her feel comfortable & included amidst the crowed.

    The second thing that attracted me the most was equality & female empowerment.
    Almost all the women worked here. Regardless of their qualification, all the skills are respected. Even a house-maid or a cleaner earned a decent salary equivalent to men & showed quality skills when rendering their services.
    It is an Islamic country, but women were not controlled in terms of dresses or activities, rather they all seemed very independent. They mostly wear western clothes as men.
    They seemed to be spending a lot on grooming & self care.
    Even a 50 year old look young, and wear stylish modern clothes.

    This place has a lot of historic connection to my Christian faith. There are ancient churches, that has a deep routed history to Jesus, and his disciples. The old testament of the holy Bible is all about Egypt & how the Jews started their journey from Egypt to Israel. It is a treat to your divine to see those historic places at least once in real life.

    We have 1 more week to go....

    I wish I will get an opportunity to work in Egypt on a longer mission to explore more of this nation.

    Hope you all have enjoyed reading my experience in Egypt :)

    Thank you!
     
    Rihana, sweetsmiley, Laks09 and 8 others like this.
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  2. joylokhi

    joylokhi Platinum IL'ite

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    Thank you for the lovely write up on your Egypt visit. Nice reading a lot of information actually experienced about a place.
     
  3. nuss

    nuss Platinum IL'ite

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    Thank you for sending me back to memory lane!

    I can spend a whole week in the museum itself:). The underground mummies section was mind-blowing (of course the whole museum was too:). And the significance of Tahrir square where the museum is- I imagined it would be different.

    Khan El Khalil Bazar- oh man, it was like Meena Bazar! I got my hands painted with Heena by a Syrian woman.

    This is something I wrote in my blog post, "Right outside the Hanging Church is the tress of Babylon, St. George’s Church, and the Coptic museum. It is surreal to stand in front of the fortress of Babylon. I would put it similarly surreal experience as I stand in front of the Great Pyramid."
    Churches, Mosques, and synagogues- all on one street!

    I wrote a blog post on my Egypt travel that ran in 3 parts:)...need I say more how much I loved it?

    Cairo- part 3
     
    joylokhi likes this.
  4. SGBV

    SGBV IL Hall of Fame

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    Thanks @joylokhi & @nuss

    I saved my trip to the hanging church & other Christian holy sites in Egypt to the Holy week to make it a more Devine experience.

    It was surreal, and I was taken to the ancient times of Jesus. I have no words to explain what I felt there.

    I am back at Zamalek, and winding up this great trip :)
     
    joylokhi likes this.

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