Monday, December 20, 2010

Cairo and Ancient Egypt

Cairo was a lot of fun.  In its center it has become a typical modern, big city, with lots of traffic, hotels, billboards, etc.  There were, however, many other sections of the city that looked and felt exactly like you would imagine Cairo would in a storybook: a maze of narrow streets lined with markets where everyone is trying to sell you something, smoke from pipes and sheesha bongs filling the air, Middle East music playing, and mosque minarets towering high above you. One of the only negatives was the amount of pollution in the air; at times I could not even see the other end of the street because of the smog.

As fun as Cairo was, more compelling of a reason to visit Egypt is to see the remains of the country´s ancient history.  Standing next to the colossal Pyramids and the Sphinx takes your breath away.  The quantity and level of intricacy of the hieroglyphics which cover every inch of the temples leave you mystified.  You feel like a real life Indian Jones as you descend down into the burial chambers of the Queens and Pharaohs.  For those with even the slightest interest in ancient Egypt, the experience is unbelievable.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Though my lack of contact recently may have suggested differently, I am alive and well, and now that I have some time and a stable internet connection, ready to tell the tale of my travels in Africa thus far.

Over the past 35 days, I have been traveling through southern and eastern Africa with an overland tour company called Africa Travel Company (ATC).  ATC and many other companies like it offer camping trips ranging from 1 to 18 weeks.  Travel is done in huge, custom-built 4x4s and groups can be as large as 30 people, not including the trip leader, cook and driver.  There are hundreds of these touring trucks on the road in Africa.  Due to extra safety and transportation concerns, it was decided at the last minute that I would go with an overland tour for this part of my trip.

The choice was a good one, I had an unbelievable time!  We visited every notable destination, explored every major national park and had the chance to do every dream activity, all the while growing closer as a group through daily tasks, long drive-days and the occasional partying.  Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, we had several opportunities to learn about the cultural, economic and health situations of the countries we were in.  This was through visits to village hospitals, schools and orphanages.  These experiences were not only the most eye-opening, but the most enjoyable and rewarding out of the whole trip.

There are now 500+ new pictures in my online album.  They do not have captions yet but I plan on adding some soon.

I am in Nairobi, Kenya currently, but in the morning I am flying to Cairo, where I will explore the many pyramids and temples for one week before moving on to Europe.  Wish me luck and enjoy the pictures (and videos)!