We actually just heard that song at dinner, which was quite amusing. We got into Africa last night- confusing I know. Our first night in Egypt was in Taba, which is in Asia. Last night, after a long day of traveling (and after stopping at St. Catherine’s Monastery) we drove under the Suez Canal into Africa and got into Cairo after dark. The countryside in Egypt was breathtaking… the actual traveling, not so much. Egypt is very “strict” to put it lightly. We got stopped for passports nine times. Nine times.(Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?). And that’s not counting all of the stops we made just to cross the border.
Cairo is amazing. There’s so much to write, and so little time- so we’ll have to save the elaboration for when we get home. All I can say is that it is not what I was expecting. It seems very much like what I imagine Tokyo to be. Our hotel room overlooks about 20 electric billboards. They call New York the city that never sleeps. I’m taking back the title and giving it to Cairo. They seriously never sleep. We know, because the millions of people on the streets below our balcony were there until 6am this morning. We have the pictures to prove it, otherwise you wouldn’t believe us. The population here is 20 million, and I think I counted them all on one street corner last night. There are people everywhere.
Today was the Cairo Museum, Pyramids of Giza, the Coptic Church, and of course- the Sphinx. It was absolutely surreal, and we relished every minute of it. I still don’t believe we were actually there. But we have a million pictures that say otherwise.
We fly early (4:30) in the morning to Aswan, then fly to Abu Simbel for the afternoon, then back to Aswan, then get on our Nile Cruise by sunset. We don’t know if we will have Internet there or not so it may be our last post, but hopefully not.
We love and miss all of you!
My head is about to explode. Let me explain.
Yesterday, we drove through the Israeli wilderness. Where Moses, et al., wandered for 40 years. Remember what I said about the Dead Sea being harsh? I lied. The Sinai Peninsula (which is where our term ‘sin’ comes from, but there’s no time for that) is the most hateful, God awful, rocky terrain of brownish red mountains you can imagine. At least the Dead Sea had flat areas.
I know understand why God made the Israelites wander. You either trust God implicitly, or you die. And for that matter I understand why they got fed up with Moses and cast a golden calf. I mean we’re talking desperation here.
And finally for yesterday, why was the ark of the covenant made of Acacia wood? Because there is one Acacia tree, no taller than me, every 6 miles or so. Thanks a lot for leading us out of Egypt, Moses. This is great.
Today, the Cairo Museum was amazing. We weren’t there that long, but it was a lifetime of education. The two big eye openings were how close Egyptian history ties to the Bible. The Old, Middle and New Kingdoms all coincide with Abraham, Joseph of the Technicolor Coat, and Moses. And after the periods where these Hebrews interact with the Pharaohs are archaeologically proven areas of monotheism in Egypt. Spooky stuff.
The other big eye opener was that ALL of the pyramids, 107 of them, are on the west side of the Nile. Due to the cities of the living being on the East (where the sun rises) and the cities of the dead being on the West (where the Sun sets). So why did God have the Israelites cross the Red Sea from west to east when there really was plenty of dry land to go across? Because they were moving from one life (slavery in Egypt) to the next (freedom in the promised land). And Allison and I thought this was going to be the more relaxing ‘secular’ part of our trip.
I go back to what Larry Lemmons said on the Mount of Olives.
It’s all true.