Thursday, May 16, 2013

Salam

Well, this will be my last blog post before I travel to Egypt--I'm taking my iPad Mini, so it's my hope to be able to blog from there (assuming I get the time). I don't know; I have to take essays and finals with me to grade while I'm there, so between a full itinerary and papers, I might just have my hands full. At the very least I'll be posting photos to Facebook, if you happen to be a Facebook friend of mine.

Naturally I've got the "pre-travel nerves." My tummy's been a little squeamish all week. I do always get nervous before traveling, even within my country, so you can imagine the intensification of that when an international flight is involved. I'm sure the nerves will settle down once I'm at my hotel (with a bad case of jet lag) and luggage safely in hand. We'll be in Cairo for a couple of days, checking out Saqqara and Armana (Ahketaten), then fly to Aswan to see Abu Simbel, then take a three-day cruise up the Nile, stopping off at various temples, and disembarking at Luxor. There we'll spend a few days seeing sites such as the Temples of Karnak and Luxor and the Valley of the Kings. Then it's back to Cairo to see the pyramids, the Egyptian Museum, and Old Cairo. Should be a busy and exciting two weeks!

In a way, this is a spiritual journey for me; the Ancient Egyptians were, I think, a more advanced civilization than we give them credit for. The mystery schools seem shamanistic in nature, and, like the ancient Maya, they understood cosmology and mathematics well beyond what an "uncivilized" culture would. And the civilization lasted for so long--if you think about it, the first Pharoah, Menes or Narmer, the King who unified Upper and Lower Egypt, is in time further away from the last Pharoah, Cleopatra, than Cleopatra is away from us. Compared to them, America is a mere infant.

So, off I go at first light Saturday morning, flying into the eastern sun to a land full of symbology and hidden mysteries yet to be fully revealed. Salam! Peace profound to you all.

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