TRAVELOGUE :: EGYPT
I was recently privileged to visit the ancient land of Egypt. I love history and visiting old sites, and Egypt has fascinated me for many years. While the modern country is not particularly nice at all, it was well worth the trip to see the incredibly well preserved sites and artifacts. I chose an escorted tour through a Christian operator which is highly recommend. Safety is a concern in Egypt, and there are so many Biblical connections in history – far more than I ever knew about previous to the trip. I’m very thankful that I chose to take a Christian tour…on a regular tour I would have missed out on so much!
Our tour started from Cairo where we drove a couple hours south to Faiyum, a fertile region west of the Nile which was created by Joseph approximately 3,800 years ago. Egyptian history records that he supervised the construction of a 120 mile long canal from the Nile to a natural depression, creating a 30 square mile lake to provide water for Egypt during the seven year famine recorded in Genesis. The canal is designed similar to the river Nile, with a “delta” region at its head, creating a large fertile region which you can see on any map of Egypt as a green dot off to the left of the Nile. This region is still fertile, inhabited, and being farmed today! Just outside Faiyum we toured the pyramid of Amenemhet III, Joseph’s pharaoh. Surrounding his pyramid are the remains of some 3,000 grain storehouses which Joseph built as recorded in the Bible.
On our way back toward Cairo we toured Saqqara, where one of the oldest pyramids in Egypt is located, Djoser’s step-pyramid, estimated to be around 2,700 BC or so. After arriving back at our hotel, several of us on the tour hired a driver and watched an incredible sunset over the ancient pyramids of Giza, dating back well before the time of Abraham.
Our second day we flew to Aswan in southern or upper Egypt where we toured the massive Aswan High Dam, and the Philae Temple, located on an island in the river Nile. It was very interesting though not nearly as ancient, dating back to the Ptolomic era of only 150BC or so. That evening we enjoyed a sunset boat ride on the Nile and a visit to a local Nubian village.
The third morning we left just after 3am for the three hour drive south to the famous Abu Simbel temples, one of the most famous and incredible sites in Egypt. These temples were hewn out of the mountain by Rameses II approximately 1250BC, and were lost for hundreds of years until the early 19th century. Later that evening after sailing north on the Nile we visited the Kom Ombo Temple, dating back to the Ptolomic era as well.
Day four we visited Edfu temple before sailing north on the Nile to Luxor. Along the way we passed incredible desolate desert mountains, very dramatic with the lush green of the narrow Nile valley in the foreground. Upon arriving in Luxor we visited Luxor temple, a massive complex dating back to around the time of Moses. We stayed here until just after dark when the temple is beautifully lit.
Day five was the earliest wake-up call of the trip – 2:30am! A bit brutal, but the reward of a sunrise hot air balloon over Luxor was well worth it. We floated over the Nile, viewing the valley, mountains in the distance, Luxor Temple, and other sites in the distance. Immediately after we visited the Valley of the Kings, touring four of the amazing tombs there including King Tut’s. His may be the most famous due to its treasure, but others were much more beautiful, with incredible colors and paintings preserved for over 4,000 years! Next we visited the temple of Hatshepsut, designed by Moses when he was a prince of Egypt, and finally Karnak temple, another massive and ancient complex.
Our last day we flew back to Cairo and visited the Egyptian museum. It held some very interesting items, though honestly I preferred seeing and touring the actual locations compared with seeing all the random artifacts mis-placed in a big modern building. None the less, it was fascinating to see a statue of Moses as a prince of Egypt, the Exodus Pharaoh Thutmose III, ancient mummies, and of course some of the collection from King Tut’s tomb including his golden mask and chair. After visiting the museum we toured Giza which is hot, dusty, and slightly annoying due to all the harassing vendors, but still incredible. I returned home very thankful to be back in America, but it was well worth the trip.
To see more pictures, visit: https://naturebynat.com/egypt