The photos for the Egypt pages were taken during a year while living in Cairo and working for the British Council. Cairo really is one of the most amazing cities in the world, the weight of all that history almost oppressive (surely it can’t be just the heat, dust and smog). Everyone thinks of the Ancient Egyptians, but I must admit I was intrigued by more recent history – within the last 800 years and that of Islamic Cairo.
Nowhere in the world is there such a collection of fascinating medieval buildings, mainly mosques still in use, which wear their history like an old dusty overcoat. Uncover a bit of the grime on the Mosques of Cairo page. I was also intrigued by the people and buildings of the 20th century (although both also seemed to have come from times past). The Cairo today page has a motley assortment of snaps taken while wandering the streets of Cairo and Port Said in which I have hopefully captured some of the modern day essence.
Talk of Egypt and you naturally think of the desert. I spent a month before starting work travelling all around Egypt including to the far south – to Abu Simbel on the Sudanese border and the mystic oasis of Siwa near Libya, lost in the midst of the Sahara. Unfortunately the desert sands were not kind to my camera and many of my pictures didn’t make it back, but I hope the ones that did survive, presented on the Desert page give you a thirst for more.
Unknown to most, in addition to the famous tourist infested ones at Giza there are many more pyramids within range of Cairo. These include the Stepped pyramid, the Bent pyramid and the Red pyramid which are included on my Ancient Egypt page. I found them more satisfying because as there were no hordes of tourists or trinket salesmen, I could drink in their splendid isolation more readily with the satisfied feeling of all wannabee explorers of being the first to rediscover these treasures after centuries of neglect.
Talking of neglect, exploring the hidden depths of the Egyptian Museum can give you something of the excitement of Lord Carnarvon as he entered Tutankhamun’s tomb as many of the exhibits seem to have lain undisturbed for centuries. I have included photos of a few of these including the most prized exhibit – King Tut’s death mask.
All the photos on this page feature Siwa Oasis – one of the most picturesque and idyllic places in Egypt. Lying in the middle of the Western Desert, it appears pretty much like the proverbial mirage. Of course being in Egypt it is famous throughout history, not least because Alexander the Great took some time out from conquering to visit the famed oracle at the temple of Amum. Also Cleopatra bathed here in a pool named after her. It is…
Below are some photos of a few of the more important pyramids that lie not too far from Cairo along with a few exhibits from the Egyptian Museum. I took loads of photos of many other ancient Egyptian temples which can be seen on either side of the Nile all the way up to the Sudanese border almost a thousand kilometres away, but unfortunately most of these have been lost. Zoser’s step pyramid at Saqqara when constructed in 27th Century…
Here is a collection of snapshots of Cairo (and a couple of Port Said) – streetlife, vistas of the Nile and some of the more modern architecture that reflect what an amazing city this is – and one of my all time favourite places. Click on the thumbnails to view full image.
Medieval Cairo was one of the cities of “The Thousand and One Nights” and unlike Baghdad and Damascus many of its buildings from those times are still there, mostly hidden among the narrow streets and alleys of the old town. I spent many weekends searching them out to find some of them in terrible disrepair and others in remarkably good condition and still being used today. On this page I have included photos of just a few either because they…
More photos here