For years, I have studied, researched and been left breathless at the rich history of Egypt. Most afternoons, I would find myself lost in time, learning about Pharaohs, Mummification and the powers of the Gods and Goddesses. To me, Egypt was a place that I never would have seen myself going to, not for any reason, just because it seemed like a different galaxy, a far away land that I could only ever read about but never touch. It was a mystical land where great rulers such as Tutankhamun, Amenhotep, the many Ramses’ and of course the great Cleopatra. And I was finally able to see it for myself.
Lots of people who know me well, know that seeing Egypt for the first time was, to date, the most important, memorable and significant event within my life. To say I shed a tear at the first glimpse of The Great Pyramids would be an understatement. Not only did I feel like I had jetted off to a far away land (which technically I did), but I truly felt like I was home. It was a sense of attachment to land that I had felt no where else before, Egypt and I were truly meant to meet.
Ironically, despite what everyone was telling me prior to arriving, I felt safe and comfortable. If I had listened to people, I would never had made it to Egypt. It’s funny how someone can say so many bad things about a place, and say to you that you shouldn’t go because it’s ‘dangerous’ and I’m at risk because I’m a white girl with blonde hair and blue eyes is incredibly ironic. As a traveler, I don’t ever give my two sense about a place unless I have been there for myself, and most of the time I say only positive things. So for so many people to tell me not to go when they had never been before, I found it amusing. Still I boarded a plane hours after the Easter Weekend attacks in Cairo and Alexandria, and headed towards Egypt.
For me, I was so close to touching my dreams, to walking amongst them, that nothing was going to stop me.
I fell in love with the way people were hardly bothered by my mother and I, the only tourist almost everywhere we went. The markets and how excited the locals were to see us. We had conversations about our countries, about their markets and their families. Driving around Cairo, you’ll notice that the homes aren’t completed, nearly all do not have roof. This is because if Egyptians have an incomplete home they don’t need to pay tax. Cheeky!
I fell in love with the history, not just the way I did at home reading books, but in person. Touching and seeing it all for my self was a new found feeling of enjoyment. There is something so remarkable about reading something your entire life then seeing it in person. Seeing the ruins of the room that mummification took place, just metres away from The Sphinx. Seeing the pyramids and walking inside of them. To Luxor seeing the Valley of the Kings, and walking in the tomb of the famous Tutankhamun. Seeing him with own eyes. This was a moment in itself. I swear I could have stood there all day, eyes fixed on him, thoughts racing and all of a sudden he came to life. I could see him, on his chariot, racing through the desert, sand flicking up behind him as his horse raced through dunes. So much mysteries, unanswered questions and secrets were held within these walls, the answers in history that we can not yet answer. How did Tut die? How did the people truly feel about his life and death?
I fell in love with Egypt, and I promised it I would return.