Touring Egypt on the Verge of a Pandemic: Part 2

The Nile cruise continues

Kom Ombo

On day 2 of our Nile cruise we woke up in Kom Ombo and proceeded to the Graeco-Roman Temple shared by two gods: Horus, the falcon-headed god, and Sobek, the crocodile god.  Yup, a crocodile.  The ancient Egyptians worshipped Sobek as a protection from the dangerous crocodiles that once infested the area. The building has two sides,  symmetrically built with matching courts, halls, and sanctuaries.  You wouldn’t want to show favoritism! Built circa 180–47 BC and damaged by floods and earthquakes, what remains is quite impressive with lots of the carvings still intact. Every surface has some form of symbolic decoration to tell a story or honor a deity. There is an on-site museum with several of the hundreds of mummified crocodiles (!) that were discovered in the area. Continue reading

Touring Egypt on the Verge of the Pandemic: Part 1

Note: I started to write this blog in March, shortly after I returned from Egypt, and then life changed. Many (healthy) months later, I finally returned to my writing desk.

Egypt – with its mysterious ancient religion, iconic giant structures, and the longest river in the world – has continuously fascinated people all over the globe.

Map of EgyptEgypt has the longest history of any country, going back to six thousand years B.C. (give or take a thousand), and it’s an exotic melting pot of culture: an Arab Republic on the African continent bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Like many, I  first learned about Egypt in elementary school as the “cradle of civilization” and was mesmerized by the colorful symbolic representation of the people – the hair, the clothes, the poses, the rituals!  I renewed this enchantment in my art history classes at Vassar College. So, when I had the opportunity to join a small group who were going to spend 8 days touring many of the famous places, I jumped on it. I had no idea how fortunate I was to just barely avoid the coronavirus pandemic.

Continue reading

African Safari: Glamping Across Kenya

As I mentioned in my previous post, our two-week Kenya safari was truly wonderful.  We went to three national parks, each with a different ecosystems, and “glamped”,  staying  in comfy furnished tents or huts at four different upscale camps.

We booked through Go2Africa and chose the 15-hour direct flight from NYC to Nairobi on Kenya Air rather than risk the problems that connections can cause.  Our package included all the air or ground transportation between camps. This was our full itinerary.

Getting ready

We booked many months in advance giving us lots of time to get our immunizations (this is not a trip for anti-vaxxers), do our research, fret, and over-prepare.  There were several points of confusion.
Continue reading