The Cairo Skyline – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , May 27th, 2016

Cairo Skyline

My stay at Hilton Ramesis Hotel in Cairo wasn’t really planned at all. I had to stay in the city one more night while waiting for my employer’s decision on what to do with my expired visa. It’s a long story which will bore you to death. When I arrived at the reception, I specifically told the guy that I want a room with a view of the Nile River – the higher the floor, the better. He assured me that I’d get the room I desired. He handed me the key to a room on the 18th floor.

As soon as I opened the door, I dropped my backpack and stepped out of the little private balcony. And instead of the Nile River I was expecting to see, I saw more of Cairo’s skyline that combines the old and the new. The Nile was on my further left and I can see just a little bit enough of it.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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Mt. Sinai’s Steps of Repentance – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , May 26th, 2016

Mt. Sinai

You can’t miss the Steps of Repentance when you climb Mt Sinai (aka Moses Mountain). It’s a steep climb that would really make you think to repent all your sins – unless if you’re an atheist who’ll probably think it’s just another tourist scam. 🙂

There are two authorized walking / climbing trails to Moses Mountain. On our way up there, we thread the Camel Trail early in the morning. And on our way down, we took the Steps of Repentance Trail that ended in St. Catherine’s Monastery, the world’s oldest monastery that is still occupied until today.

Related: Read my experience of climbing / hiking Mt. Sinai here to see the breathtaking sunrise, an adventure that would stay with me for a long time.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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Cairo Skyline from The Citadel

Author: , May 19th, 2016

Cairo skyline

The view of Cairo skyline from The Citadel isn’t really the best one you could get but it’s good enough to see the city from this elevated point. From here, sprawling Old Cairo dominates the skyline that’s covered in pollution.

Tall buildings are far and away, except for the skinny, towering minarets from the mosques. Surrounding the Fortress are concrete, brick houses of mostly earth hues and narrow streets with unending traffic dilemma.

There are two open terraces where you can see Cairo skyline from The Citadel. This is the first one I discovered on the northern side.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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Cairo Graffiti – Windows to a Troubled Egypt

Author: , May 13th, 2016


On January 2011, Egyptians from all walk of life gathered at Tahrir Square in Cairo to protest the country’s declining state. Poverty, government corruption and unemployment were (and still is) rampant. These drove citizens to protest against the rule of Hosni Mubarak who governed the country for three decades.

Going around Tahrir Square nowadays, one will find graffiti splattered on abandoned, dilapidated buildings. And few are on fences and doors. Most of the graffiti themes are still deeply rooted on the reasons why Egypt Revolution happened five years ago: hunger, injustices, unemployment and political bureaucracy.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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Karnak Temple – The World’s Largest Open-Air Museum

Author: , May 9th, 2016

Karnak Temple

Karnak Temple in Luxor is both an interesting and photogenic archaeological site. There are so many things to discover here, and in fact, I saw a few people in the area still digging and brushing important stones / relics that could help them understand further on the history of the country.

This is a vast open-air museum were broken pieces of structures, cracked walls and missing parts of statues are ubiquitous. From north to south and east to west, you’ll be feasting on hieroglyphs that covered walls, columns and altars. Statues of gods, goddesses and pharaohs are in every corners, standing like proud guards of the temple. This is simply a place you won’t miss when visiting Egypt.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Hatshepsut Temple – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , May 7th, 2016

Hatshepsut Temple

Hatshepsut Temple in Luxor is the scene of the murder crime in November 1997 when terrorists killed 62 people (most of them tourists). The temple is one the ancient monuments that spread across the ancient capital in the southeastern part of Egypt.

Nowadays, it’s one of the most-visited tourist attractions in the West Bank of the Nile River. Perhaps, out of the hundreds of tourists that visit this archaeological site everyday, only very few know its gruesome past. Our tour guide didn’t mention it but when I asked him about it, he seemed agitated and responded curtly, “This place is safe now.” That doesn’t really answer the question, right? My badness for being rude? \0xD83D\0xDE00

I didn’t come here to see the crime scene but I was intrigued about the Hatshepsut, the Queen Pharaoh.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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The Tomb of King Ramesses IV – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , May 5th, 2016

King Rameses IV Tomb

In Luxor, the ancient Egyptian capital, archaeologists discovered 63 royal tombs at the Valley of the Kings. These pharaohs ruled the country in the 18th, 19th and 20th dynasties. But, perhaps, the most famous discovery from here is the tomb of a Tutankhamen who ruled in the 18th dynasty.

Unlike Cairo, pyramids weren’t used here as a tomb for the Kings or Pharaohs. Instead, these royalties were buried in an elaborate, long, tunnel-like passage that goes deep down under at the valley. Nowadays, only three royal tombs are open to the public for viewing for a ticket price of one. Yes, we went down to all three but only one has left me in awe – the tomb of Rameses IV.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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Habu Temple in Luxor is an Architectural Wonder

Author: , April 21st, 2016

Madinet Habu Temple

The Madinet Habu Temple in Luxor is an architectural wonder of ancient Egypt. Its classic and timeless style remains intact until today as evidenced in the relics and antiquities that are found here.

Most of all, this temple doesn’t draw much attention from tourists, thus, it is less crowded than the rest of the attractions in Luxor. In fact, on the day we went there, only 9 of us were the ones roaming around. This ancient fortified temple was built as a Mortuary Temple of Rameses III.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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Egypt for Love – Breakaway Backpacker

Author: , April 9th, 2016

Jaime Davila

Currently on my way home from Cairo to Houston via Istanbul on Turkish Airlines. I know shocking and before y’all freak out yes everything is fine in Cairo and Him & I.

In the last 24hrs I think I may have slept like 4hrs total. I still have over 4hrs to go on this flight. I’m exhausted and even though I’ve been trying I can’t sleep and am going a bit stir crazy. I’ve already watched Steve Jobs, Suffragette, Ivory Tower, Our Brand is Crisis and The Good Dinosaur. Yeah, I have this problem when I am on a flight that has free movies, I feel like I must catch up on movies I haven’t seen and watch as many as I can. For now though I’m taking a break and to keep my mind busy I figured I’d write a blog post because I know everyone has been wanting to know about well…

I’ll start with my return to Cairo.

I arrived out of the blue to Cairo on February 29, exactly 3 years and a day (thanks leap year) from the date I left. He knew I was coming back soon, but I never told him the exact date. After the last goodbye my plan was always to just show up at his door one day. I arrived on a direct 10 hour flight from Bangkok to Cairo on Egypt Air. I was beyond nervous and scared to arrive in Cairo because thought I wouldn’t get the VISA on arrival and was also terrified of seeing him.

By Jaime Davila – Full Story at the Breakaway Backpacker

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Climbing the Great Pyramids

Author: , April 4th, 2016

Great Pyramids - Alain

Before going to Egypt, I really thought that climbing the Pyramids is a big No-No thing to do because they’re ancient, fragile and they have to be protected at all cost. Boy, I was so wrong!

Apparently you can climb the Pyramid as high as you can–that is if you can find your way to the top. Well, you aren’t allowed to climb in all three of them but in only one: The Pyramid of Khafre (or the middle Pyramid).

Somewhere, I read warning signs, “No Climbing” but only in certain areas of the said pyramid. Nearby, guards are watching people go up and down the steps. And if they think you’ve gone high and far, they’ll remind you to stop and come down.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

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