I now have been in the Western and White Desert for the third time and it is just breathtaking and absolutely worth it! Our tour guides (www.westerndeserttours.com) were always very friendly, they cooked great meals and treated the environment with a lot of respect, which isn't normal for Egypt. A must see is the place called Agabat, where you can find calcite pillars in every possible shape, the white desert with its famous rock formation "chicken and mushroom" as well as the western desert.
I encourage everyone thinking about a trip to Bahariya or Egypt to undertake a desert trip and I can recommend the tour operators of westerndeserttours.com, although there surely are many others too.
Cairo is very noisy city so after 4 days I wanted something less stressy :) I hired a taxi again and I visited oasis Fayoum, the lake Qarun and Wadi Rayyan.
Only an hour out of Cairo and we drove through the desert until we saw waterfalls, green grass etc!!! The place was almost empty, a young boy was my guide for a while and I only met some fishermen.
It was a nice trip and I took some pics that I really love. You can see some of them here.
The taxi costed me about 15 euros and I hired the taxi from the hotel but you can find one on the streets if you like the driver and you negociate the price. I just find it safer with one from the hotel because I guess they are more reliable.
Most of the pyramids in Egypt is a smooth pentahedron, but this pyramid is stepped. The Giza Pyramid is generally crowded. If you want to find a pyramid that is not crowdedly visited and has a unique style, this is right what you shall to visit.
The Saqqara Pyramid,59meter high, was built in about 2800B.C., (4800 years ago), it's older than the Giza Pyramid.
It's located in the southwest desert, about 25km from Cairo, need 40min run by taxi.
The ancient Roman Aqueducts run through a small portion of eastern Cairo. You can easily pass them by as they appear to be just another piece of the puzzle that is the chaos of Cairo. On one side of them is busy traffic, on the other is day to day life of poor Cairenes.
To walk along the length of these ruins reminds you of the varied past of this city and how special this city is among world capitals. They are giants tucked in amongst the exhaust and horns of tens of thousands of vehicles daily. Garbage is piled under many of the archways and the dirt and debris of generations has partially submerged these structures. What lies in view is worth looking at and (for the physically able and curious) climbing upon.
Skip Al Azhar Park - it is nothing more than a green area built on top of a former garbage dump - there is a restaurant there but nothing any better than any other restuarant. It is a park that costs a few EL to get in thus keeping the less than fortunate out. It does provide a view of the city but you can get better from many other locations. Instead, spend this time exploring Islamic Cairo (which includes Khan Al Khalili but much much more as well.) This will provide you with architecture, culture, local people, etc...
Cross over into the Al Ghouri Complex - this provides you with the local shopping experience as well as discovering mosques, the ancient wall that once surrounded the city and an entrance into further exploration. You will go through Bab Zaweyla (a very distinct ancient gate) and into the tent makers bazaar - keep going and you will completely leave the tourists behind and experience daily life in one of the busiest (and most densely populated) sections of the city.
This is my favorite photo, that reflects one of the many faces of Cairo.
Dont loos the chance to enjoy a tour to the suberbs, looking the people, and taken pictures.
A big surprise for me, is the kids that they whana take them a photo. They never gona see this photos, but is a big pleasure for this kids, if you just give them your atention.
if you are lucky enough, you must visit somes of the unkown areas of the city.
is not easy like the "City of the Death", allso is not so safe places. but if you find them and they trust you, just feel very special and friendly.
they will love you.
I arrived in Baharia Oasis with no clue of how would be this desert experience, and let me tell u, it was awsome. I stayed in Ahmed´s Safari Camp in Baharia and from there we spent 2 days (one night) in the black desertt and white desert. The whitness of the desert, the sky, the lack of sound, the desert fox visiting the camp at night, the warm water springs, all.
The Fayoum Oasis deserves a stay of several days, though a day trip just visiting a few places is possible. It lies in a depression surrounded by low mountains.Cultivation is carried out at the northern tip. Water comes from Bahr Yousif by canals. The canals drain into Birket Qaroun, a large lake, saline, but once favoured as a summer resort by the ancient Egyptian royal family..
The Fayoum has been inhabited since neolithic times, but it was Amenemhat I of the 12th Dynasty who developed the area. There are two pyramids [at Hawarah and al Lahun
It was also an early centre of Christianity and offered sanctuary to Copts..
It is a sea of green as you approach on the desert road. The cultivation is dense and the produce helps feed Cairo, to which many of the younger generation gravitate.
Buffalo are used to plough, and can be seen walking along the roads. They are suppliers of milk and cheese too.
It can be reached by bus or railway.
Belbeis (or Bilbays), the ancient city of Philippos, in Sharqiah Governorate, lies 45 km north from Cairo.
This is not a place usually visited by a lot of travelers that why from a certain moment a military patrol accompanied our group.
According to the legend, when the Holy Family entered the city a funeral procession was leaving, accompanying on his last road the dead son of a widow.
Jesus felt great compassion for the poor widow and raised the dead man.
The Holy Family rested there in the shade of a tree which was called, "The Virgin Mary"s Tree", but today there is not evidence of the place were the tree was.
Belbeis was an important bishop centre in 4th Century AD, St. George Church being built in 1960 on the site of an ancient church.
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