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The Carefree Traveler Magazine

2nd Feature Article

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There's Gold In Egypt


By Jack Romig


Egypt is the travel writer’s heaven. Material for destination, human interest, and information articles crowds in on you from every direction.

In May 2004 I joined a discounted-end-of-season-packaged tour for a two-week visit. Airfare from New York was included, as were seven days aboard the Semiramis II, a floating four star hotel, one of 360 cruise ships plying the Nile. Dina Talatt, Egyptologist, Historian, and our guide stunned us with her eagerly shared knowledge of every facet of ancient and modern Egyptian life. Guiding us from pyramid and temple to many locations out of the main stream. These included a trade school where girls as young as twelve, with flashing fingers, wove carpets and tapestries of pure silk, and a perfume factory where some of the worlds most exotic scents are blended, then bottled, in exquisite hand blown glass. Cultural opposites intrigued us. The nonchalant plodding of a boy and his donkey, piled high with fodder, in the middle lane of a six-lane-divided highway. A man plowing with a water buffalo within sight of a jet airfield. Children playing near a door-less mud brick house with a TV antenna on its roof. Modern high-rise condos juxtaposed with ancient mosques. Monument Police on camels,  “ships of the desert,” within sight of the 300 feet ships that now form the “caravans” that carry goods the length of this wondrous land. We found an ox turned water wheel, while nearby late model Hondas and Mercedes’ discharged passengers into a restaurant large enough to have dual buffet lines. We visited the 1000-year-old bazaar Khan El Khalili of Cairo and its staggering array of shops. Everything from lamb, herbs, spices and shirts to artistically crafted 18k Egyptian gold. Egyptians are very friendly, and at no time did we feel threatened, in spite of the mid-east situation. Go, and be enthralled. 

Take a tape recorder, countless cassettes, and batteries. Written notes are too slow. You will want to look and record simultaneously. A camera with flash is a must. I would suggest a minimum digital storage or film for 50 shots per day. 400 speed film is a good choice and is unaffected by airport security scanning equipment. Don’t forget model release forms. Up-grade to five star. Best rates - May and September. Info. Egyptian Connection (800) 334-4477;

Jack E. Romig
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