Time Travel. And Associated Musings.

Sometimes the travel bug bites me unexpectedly. My toes itch and I start looking for flights to some faraway locations. But then the reality hits, such as work and other commitments, and I go for a much quicker and cheaper alternative. Time travel. Back to a location that has captivated me in years past.

architecture-in-cairo-5-ud103A few days ago, I did some work that reminded me of my visits to Egypt, of which the latest was about three years ago. So I traveled to Cairo. And I invite you to join me as I revisit some disparate memories – through pictures taken on my small Canon Powershot or on my first iPhone.

I fell in love with the history and culture of this ancient country on my first trip in 1999.

tiny-at-the-pyramids-ud103When I visited the pyramids, a sand storm suddenly blew up. I still remember how my hair was full of sand and how a tiny sand corn found its way into my left eye. The latter was not fun, but it was all worth it. Walking inside and around the pyramids, life as it played out around cairo-market-tut-replica-ud1032500 B.C. became palpable. I could almost see and hear the builders and the large funeral processions. I remember lingering around the Great Sphinx for a long time listening to the echoes from the past.

I also visited the Cairo museum and was fascinated by the many ancient objects, in particular all the treasures from King Tut’s tomb that were on display at the time. He was the ‘boy pharaoh’ Tutankhamun, who ruled Egypt for ten years until his death at age 19. There were rooms full of his things. I remember a golden mask, a golden throne, a small wooden chair, his chariot, his bed, his small gloves and other clothes, among other things – all beautifully preserved for over 3300 years. I was mesmerized by the workmanship revealed by these objects.

The ancient mythology was still alive in the works of many contemporary artists in Giza. I bought some of their works on papyrus, which was produced by the craftsmen pretty much the same way it always had.

egyptian-papyrus-art-ud103On one of my following visits, I attended meetings at the historic Mena House in Giza, about half a mile from the pyramids. I will never forget the sight when I was seated at my breakfast table the first morning. The Great Pyramid, built by Pharaoh Khufu around 2540 B.C., rose towards the sky right in front of my eyes.

the-pyramid-of-khufu-was-built-by-pharaoh-khufu-around-2540-bc-ud103And during my stay, I could admire the pyramids right there in the hotel gardens during the outdoor coffee breaks.

the-pyramid-of-khafre-was-built-around-2520-bc-ud103On my two most recent visits, I stayed in Cairo due to security concerns at the time. I travelled from the hotel to my client’s offices through Heliopolis, famous for its architecture. I snapped pictures of its beautiful, old buildings with my iPhone from a moving vehicle.

cairo-building-2-a-heliopolis-ud103-2

old-and-new-in-heliopolis-cairo-3-ud103

minarets-2-cairo-ud103Being ‘stuck’ in Cairo, I also visited some famous food establishments with my colleagues. The one that I truly loved was the classic Egyptian restaurant, Abou El Sid. I think its ambience of ‘old Cairo’, dating back to 1940s, is best presented in sepia and soft, warm hues.

abou-el-sid-2-ud103

ligthning-at-abou-el-sid-cairo-ud103We sampled various types of traditional Egyptian foods – all delicious. A highly recommended experience if you get a chance to go there.

But the jump from traditional to hyper modern was short. We visited, mostly for its many dining options, the City Stars Mall. Despite a sculpture of a pharaoh on its side wall, it is a sprawling luxury complex with impressive architecture and shopping alike.

cairo-city-stars-mall-interior-ud103

Back to the traditional, I visited (again) the famous Khan el-Khalili market, first established in the 14th century. It is an intriguing place. Local merchants are offering everything from real antiques and souvenir replicas of ancient statues to food, clothing and traditional Egyptian jewelry.

souverines-cairo-market-ud103

cairo-market-jewelry-shop-ud103

cairo-market-souvenirs-ud103A set of copper plates is one of my cherished souvenirs from Cairo, along with the papyrus art from Giza.

the-pyramds-on-copper-2-ud103And looking at them now, I arrive back home. With no jet lag or hole in the wallet. I think I will do a few of these time travels before rushing to buy new tickets. I hope you enjoyed the journey back in time. I wish you peace.

 

 

84 thoughts on “Time Travel. And Associated Musings.”

    1. Much of my 3D travel has been through work, but this year so far my clients are in the U.S. so 2D time travel is a great option…and at my age it’s easier to travel back in time 😎 Happy you enjoyed the quick overview, Brad.

  1. Wow, sweet Tiny how fortunate you are to have gotten to visit Egypt. These pictures are wonderful I sure did enjoy them and reading about each one. Thank you for sharing your trip in pictures, that is the only way I will ever see any part of Egypt. Hugs

    1. I have been fortunate to have seen many places through my work over the years. Egypt is among the most interesting ones as I have always been interested in history, and there it kind of comes to life through so many artifacts. Thank you for coming along on this short journey, Mags. Many hugs!

  2. Beautiful photos and travels Helen. Such an ancient land you were on. Did you dream about any pharoahs while there? I had a dream about Athena while in Athens! I will never forget it. You certainly have been to some amazing places. 💚🌅

    1. It truly felt like an ancient land, particularly in Giza – and it was easy to see those times in my mind’s eye. I did not dream of pharaohs during any of my visits, but have later had several dreams about that time 🙂 Thanks Karen ❤

  3. How interesting you should be reminiscing about Egypt. Only yesterday I was wondering about my huge papyrus in storage and where I could hang it when it eventually arrives!

    1. That is interesting, Joanne. I have hung only one of my five as I do not have the wall space now that we have downsized. All of them used to hang in the library we had up in D.C. area, but now 4 of them are carefully stored. I’m happy yours will arrive soon!

      1. Mines five by two feet so am wondering where the heck it will go. There’s always been “just” the place for it but not so here as we’ve gone smaller also…

  4. A wonderful showcase of your trip back in time Tiny, Egypt is so rich in history and ancient knowledge. I had the choice to visit there once but declined, You do look a little wind blown near the pyramids, I imaging the sand storms would be quite painful, as they are on our beaches when a strong north-easter comes up in the afternoon.Interesting how most of their gods carried the Ankh or crux ansata to represent life. The ‘new agers’ have taken it today for their symbol. It is always nice to review our wonderful journeys, I love doing the same, and often in my mind while I am busy at work I have the delight of thoughts returning to a past experience, this serve to help me through the day. Have a wonderfui week Tiny!

    1. Thank you, Ashley, for coming along on this trip. The advantage of ‘recycling’ great travels is, like in my case, one forgets the trials and remembers the good things. That sand storm was not pleasant and the tiny sand corn scratched my retina and caused pain and a fever. But as soon as it had healed, I didn’t think about it anymore 🙂 The subsequent trips were all pleasant, apart from some worry about security in 2013.

  5. What a nice journey. If I don’t happen to get there, I feel I have already been…to some extent. If I do get to travel there, to see the pyramids, I now have some things to focus on or look for specifically.

    1. Thank you Carrie. I am glad you came along on this journey. I hope you’ll get an opportunity to visit the pyramids. It is difficult to describe how I felt there – some kind of amplified belongingness, I guess.

  6. I imagine seeing King Tut’s possessions in such pristine condition after 3,300 years in ‘storage’ must have been an incredible experience, Helen! I missed them when they came to the British Museum in ’72 and again to London some few years ago.

    1. The small, white glove has etched itself in my memory the most, despite all the gold, jewelry and bigger treasures that were there. It was sewn so perfectly by hands thousands of years ago. If the exhibition comes to London again, please don’t miss it 🙂

  7. Such an awesome ride back in time ~ you made me think of my past trip to Egypt 10 years ago, and you’ve captured the magic of this place with your photos and words Helen ~ isn’t it amazing to think back about all you’ve done and seen? And then to know that there is much more out there for you to do and enjoy in the future as well. Life can be amazing when given time to do a little ‘time travel’ – love the title of this post.

    1. It is indeed amazing to look back…and some places that have given me a great, almost unexplainable sense of belonging, such as Giza, the Victoria Falls and the Great Zimbabwe are at the top of my list of ‘recyclables’. I go back to feel them again. And I’ll jump on the opportunity to experience more…at any time 🙂

    1. You are quite right, Laurie. That sand was everywhere and the tiny corn scratched my eye quite badly and gave me a fever. But once it had healed it’s not even among memories that arise when I think of the pyramids 🙂

  8. How great you have been in Egypt more than once. As an architect, this would be a place I dream to visit. Loved your travel photos since I am unlikely to ever get there. Like you mentioned for security reasons. My cousin has visited, my brother worked there almost two decades ago, and my grandmother was an archeologist there, but sadly I won’t be visiting. Love your travels.

    1. Oh, as an architect you would love both the ancient sites and the more recent architecture, for example in Heliopolis. I wished I could have stood in the middle of the street with my tripod photographing those buildings… But maybe one day the security situation will improve to the point that you will want to visit.

    1. I am pretty much the same way, Carolyn. The feelings I experience etch into my soul…and I reconnect to them as I remember. Thank you for being here, my friend XXX

  9. I love culture and history of the places I visited too – your images are awesome and it is interesting to see the ancient historical subjects with the new modern life of Cairo..

    1. Thank you Indah. Happy you enjoyed my time travel memories. It was indeed amazing to walk at the ancient sites, experience the old charm of many buildings and then suddenly walk right into a hyper modern complex. It was one of the most impressive malls I’ve visited – anywhere.

  10. How astounding it must have been to see the pyramids outside from your breakfast table! Thanks so much, Helen, for taking us back to Egypt with you, it was a wonderful journey. Your photos are lovely, beautiful expressions of ancient times and current too; and your papyrus art and copper plate are gorgeous reminders.

    1. Happy you came along for the journey, Jet. I will never forget my amazement when I sat down for breakfast. I had arrived late at night and although I knew I was in Giza, I had no idea I had been sleeping in the shadow of the pyramids.

  11. Quite a different post for you Tiny – which I very much enjoyed. There were 3 places I always wanted to see….China’s Great Wall, the Barrier Reef in Australia, and the pyramids of Egypt. I’ve done the first 2 but may never see the last because of security issues. So sad. But thanks for giiving me at least a second-hand opportunity!

    1. Happy you enjoyed the time travel, Tina. I hope the security improves and that you can visit the pyramids at some point in the future. It truly is an unforgettable experience.

  12. Thanks for the virtual holiday. I always wanted to go to Egypt. My kids really want to go to Paris. I should never have said that we could pop there on the way to England because I have family there. So much extra money. Just do a virtual tour on YouTube.

  13. Thanks for the journey, Helen! Wow! When I was young I thought I wanted to travel the world. Life didn’t turn out that way and it seems I become more and more of a homebody…I think mainly because I really love where I live. Hope all is wonderful in your world!

    1. I am happy you joined me on this journey down the memory lane, Lorrie. I have traveled a lot for work and pleasure but now the pleasure is all here at home for me too 😎I wish you a wonderful rest of the week, my friend.

  14. Yes! I agree: thanks for the journey! Wonderful photos and so much you have to remember of your past, you have seen so much. All the best to you and your family and peace:-)

  15. Wonderful post. Thank You. We have not been in Cairo, but few years ago, we made 4 days lasting Nile Cruise. Unforgettable Cruise. It was like visiting Egypt on the days of Egyptian (historical novel by Mika Waltari). I enjoyed Your photos very much.

    1. Thank you Matti! I am happy you enjoyed your ‘second visit’ to Egypt. A four day Nile Cruise certainly would be unforgettable! I have only cruised on the Nile a couple of times, both one day cruises from Cairo. Have a great weekend.

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