The Wonders of Portugal: Lisbon and Sintra

At the beginning of April, I took a 9-day trip to Portugal with my dear and long-time friend Katherine.  It was originally her idea;  it was never on my radar and I wasn’t jonesing to go, so she kinda had to persuade me.  The first big wonder: WHY DID I NOT KNOW how marvelous Portugal is?

View from the Tagus River
Arco da Rua Augusta

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Touring Egypt on the Verge of a Pandemic: Part 3

Great Pyramids of EgyptBack in Cairo

After a quick flight from Luxor, we landed in  Cairo, checked into the local Marriott, turned around, and went right back out to continue our tour of the ancient wonders: grand houses of worship, the Giza Pyramids and Sphinx, and the Egyptian museum. This was my seventh day in Egypt,  the fifth day on the official tour, and there was still so much to see.
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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