Guardian Life Visits Egypt
Going to Egypt will remain one of my most memorable trips in a long while. I had prepared myself for a desert trip but was opened to a lot more exciting adventure than i would have imagined.
Here are some of the unique places that made my 10-day trip worth it.
Hanging Church (Al-Muallaqa Church)
Built around the third century, it is one of the oldest Church in the Middle East. The hanging church is so called because it appears as if the church is hanging in mid-air. This is because the nave is suspended over a passageway. Anyone who goes into the church will find the 12 pillars (grouped in two’s) inside the Church signifies the 12 apostles. Our tour guide tells us that the model of the church takes after the synagogues of the ancient times, that is the Roman-built Babylon Fortress. Whenever there was a persecution, the priest opened a wooden floor inside the middle of the church. This wood leads them to a place of escape. It was here I met the ladies who could speak English fluently.
Kushari (their national dish of Egypt the same way Jollof is to Nigerians), falafel, Sharwama and pasta are some meals my adventurous self tried. Of all of them, I loved their pasta and would definitely ask for more.
Named after King Alexandra the Great who conquered the city, it is a beautiful city with lots of boats, colourful fishes and skyscrapers, think of it as Lagos, Nigeria. Here, I visited the fortress built by the Roman Empire. The Alexandra library which is one of the largest libraries in the ancient world left me and other tourists astounded with its rich literature and history. During my tour, I was shown an embalmed mummy. Look whom I found visiting, JaRule!
Local Market (Khan el-Khalili)
Visiting here reminded me of Balogun market in Lagos, the crowds haggling prices with sellers and they in turn, fighting for the attention of potential customers. After shopping, I treated myself to a nice chicken Sharwama and falafel.
Abu Serghis (Jesus Home)
As a Christian, I hoped to see some of the places I had read about in my bible. How fortunate I was. I was taken to Abu Seghis, the home where Jesus lived for three months during his flight from King Herod. There is a rather interesting account of Jesus flight to Egypt. Popularly told by the Coptic Church, and even the Muslim account, it is said that there was a time Mary was tired after her delivery of Jesus and sought to rest under a palm tree. Baby Jesus bent the tree miraculously so that Mary would be able to get the fruits. He, thereafter, let loose a spring from its roots so that she will be able to drink water. Seeing this place put me up for another view. Need I say that my tour guide also took me to where Moses was found.
Saint George is an Egyptian who died three times and rose again. Legend has it that he battled and slewed a dragon Ascalon named after the Levantine city of Ashkelon, located in Israel. Hence the legend of Saint George and the Dragon. After his fourth death, four churches were built in his honour.
Tahrir (Liberation) Square
This is where the Arab spring of 1952 happened. Before then, it was called Ismailia Square. Since 1952, the busy square has become a focal point of revolutionary protests.
Great Pyramid of Giza
The great pyramid of Giza is historically known as one of the seven wonders of the world and is located around the old Cairo. Contrary to what you may have heard, our guide revealed that it was indeed paid labourers that built one of the world’s tallest buildings and not slaves. At the moment, there is an ongoing construction of a museum close to the Pyramid which will become home to some of the artefacts. I was told that it might be completed before the end of the year and is likely to become one of the biggest museums in the world.
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