A Winter Scene in Summer: White Sands National Park

Time was running out to visit White Sands National Monument. The New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamogordo and nearby pistachio farms took up most of our day. In a few hours, it would soon be dark. When my wife and I were there in 2011, White Sands was a national monument. Only in... Continue Reading →

Wonderment on the Giza Plateau (Great Sphinx)

The view was a bizarre juxtaposition. Outside my hotel window was the Pyramid of Khafre, easily 4,500 years old. In between was the hotel swimming pool, traffic roaring on the highway, trailers and a swath of the Sahara Desert. It was enough to do a double-take if I didn’t know where I was. Khafre was a... Continue Reading →

Sunrise over the Pyramids

The sun had risen while at the Sphinx. I boarded the tour bus to go to an observation area to see the three pyramids of Giza on the horizon. It stopped briefly beforehand so we could all see Khufu and Khafre's pyramids close together. In one of those serendipitous conjunctions in time and space, Khafre... Continue Reading →

Wonderment on the Giza Plateau (Great Pyramid)

The Great Pyramid has fascinated me for as long as I can remember. What started out as a youngster's obsession with things ancient became a curiosity about the incredible feat of technology, craftsmanship and genius that it took to build it. It rightfully is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the only... Continue Reading →

Splendor among the Ruins: the Pyramid of Teti

The hieroglyphic inscriptions were beautiful when I first saw them, like the most intricate wallpaper. The subterranean walls of the horizontal passage, antechamber and burial chamber were covered with them. They were a complete surprise because the pyramid of Teti is a pile of rubble above ground, thanks to robbers who quarried the stone for... Continue Reading →

What the Hell Happened at Abusir?

The sites of Abusir and Abu Ghurab are located not far from Cairo. Pharaohs of the 5th dynasty built their pyramids and temples there. While the quality of pyramids was quite inferior to Giza's, archaeological finds were important, including papyri that are the oldest ever found. Although not of primary importance to archaeologists (or because... Continue Reading →

Horse Carriages of Edfu

Mostapha was as spirited a person as they come. He enthusiastically greeted my wife and me at the cruise ship dock and immediately whisked us off to the Temple of Edfu in his horse carriage. From the seat, sitting or standing, he bellowed at people along the way but in fact was greeting or acknowledging... Continue Reading →

Hawking—Us vs. Them?

It wore me out. At Egypt's popular tourist sites, I got besieged by hawkers selling their wares. They couldn't be avoided. I steeled myself for the inevitable barrage. Haggling in Egypt (image from middleeasteye.net) The routine would invariably be the same. Some guy (it was almost always a male) would approach. He'd hold up something... Continue Reading →

The Conundrum of Baksheesh

Baksheesh, or tipping, is a pervasive part of daily life in Egypt. It's expected for any service or favor performed, no matter how small, for tourists and locals alike. It's more common than a handshake. Westerners are generally amazed at how extensive it is. Tips are a big deal to the average Egyptian whose income... Continue Reading →

The Splendid Temple of Hathor (Dendera)

Calling a woman a cow nowadays is asking for trouble, but the Egyptians of yore depicted Hathor as a cow, a woman with cow's horns or woman with cow's ears. She was one of Egypt's most important deities, a primordial goddess, daughter of Ra and Nut, goddess of joy, female love, sex, destruction and rebirth,... Continue Reading →

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: