The roads of kings and pharos

(Cairo) The journey continues for the cultural navigator, now in Egypt; the land and the civilization of kings and pharos. I arrived a few days ago, and have been criss-crossing this cradle of civilization, discovering some of the oldest human traces of greatness on earth.

I have actually been here for a few days, starting in Sharm-El-Sheikh at a conference at the warm and sunny Red Sea. Sharm-El-Sheikh was something of a Florida or Disney-Land of the Middle-East. The strip along Peace Road is basically a pack of hotels and resorts, mostly luxurious. But the town takes the cake. Colorful, full of lights and bazaars and shisha bars it is a glittery world that is born out of the surrounding desert. Nothing new to this, though, and there is a kind of un-reality to this oasis. It was the same in neighboring Jordan, where every morning two large tanker-trucks of water were pumped in every morning to feed the oasis.

I escaped for a few hours to take some sun on the beaches. It is low-season here now and like everywhere there is a noticeable lack of tourists gracing the shores of these beaches. Sharm is a favorite among Russians, though, and our beach and the resort’s night-club was packed with flocks of Russian tourists, which made communication a tad challenging.
At the foothill of the Pyramids, outside of Cairo.

At the foothill of the Pyramids, Cairo.

After the conference I flew back to Cairo, an early morning one-hour flight. I was met by my trusted guide Ahmad, and our guide to a day at the Pyramids, Asmaa. We had a fun day. Asmaa was as charming as she was informative. She is a devout Muslim, doesn’t go to bars (it is not honorable), and studies Muslim architecture.

To be continued…

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