Egypt covers one million square kilometers from the driest and most arid corner of Africa to the point where the Mediterranean almost touches the Red Sea to the East. Only the Sinai Peninsula separates and unites them at the same time. South and West, beyond the barriers of the vast desert, lies the immense African body, connected to Egypt by the thin wire-feeder; the Nile.
When crossing the Sudanese border into Egypt, the Nile has already traveled 5000 km. Leaving mountain lakes, tumbling waterfalls, it has partly evaporated through vast swamps, and finally managed to dig a bed that winds through miles and miles of rocks and sand. The Abu Simbel temple has been witnessing the passage of the river on Egypt’s land for over three millennia.
Lake Nasser, the largest artificial lake in the world, which water accumulates behind the High Dam, just south of Aswan, is the most colossal achievement of the twentieth century. It has forever changed the pace of life in Egypt. It is just downstream of the High Dam that the rich Nile Valley blooms into life.
Aswan, the ancient walled city where the colors and scents of Africa mingle with those of the East, marks the southern limit of the navigation from the Mediterranean. Graceful felucca with Latin sails glide around the rocky islands of the First Cataract, on one of which stands the famous temple of Philae. Cruise ships stop there and go back to the North, passing by a multitude of villages and temples such as Kom Ombo, Edfu, Esna, Luxor, Dendera and Abydos. At Luxor, they stop at the center of the largest city of ancient structures in the world, anchoring between the sacred monuments of Karnak and Luxor on the East Bank, and the vast funeral cities of the West Bank Nile at the foot of the steep mountain, ranges, marking the beginning of the Sahara.
Further North, the river winds through fields lined with palm trees. In the end, the river streams under the multiple bridges of Cairo. Over sixteen million people live in this Arab, African and Mediterranean metropolis, which by its vitality and uproar, seems to be even more populated. Here, the medieval glory of Islam is everlasting in the domes and minarets carved in marble and beautiful ironwork. To the West of Cairo, the Pyramids of Giza have been offering its huge mass of stone for two hundred generations, whereas the Sphinx, suffers impassively the erosion of time.
From Cairo, the Nile branches to form the Delta and continues its course until, at its narrowest point, it reaches the Mediterranean. A canal links the Nile to Alexandria, the main port and second largest city. Since it’s founding by Alexander the Great, Alexandria has had mixed fortunes.
The Nile River and its valley are not all Egypt. Nowadays, deep in the desert, and accessible to visitors, there are inhabited islands of greenery: the oasis. The salty depths of the Red Sea are teeming with life among the corals which have no equal. Unique underwater activities found nowhere else in the world are also offered. Finally, the Sinai Peninsula reveals its breathtaking landscapes. Its red jagged mountains and its intriguing verdant valleys, portrays another face of Egypt.
Three years have passed since the revolution. Despite some bumps, traveling in Egypt is rather possible and safe. All Egyptians are waiting to help you discover our beautiful Country with its rich history! Do not be afraid to come and trust us. You will enjoy great rates, sites where you get the impression that they are there just for you!
Come on! We are all waiting for you! See you soon in Egypt!
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