The harborfront corniche is lined with cafes, restaurants, and people out enjoying the scene. With the body of a lion and the head of a king, or god, it came to symbolize both strength and wisdom as it faces east and the rising sun. Scenes like this are why many come to Egypt — and why many don't. Determined to assert her authority, her propaganda even showed her dressed as a male ruler. I think you're on the right road. These monuments were built to mark and to protect the bodies of fabulously wealthy and powerful pharaohs. Today, a 500-year-old fortress marks the spot. In Luxor, we … Tarek: Freshly caught today. This first-ever towering stone structure is more than just a grave marker. Tragically, about 2,000 years ago, that amazing repository of knowledge was burned and destroyed. But we're heading north, down the Nile to Egypt's second city, which lies on the Mediterranean coast. Climbing this passage, you marvel at the design and the audacity of the project. Rick: Mmm-hmm! It's mostly destroyed, in the sea, or buried under today's city. This was the best they could do three thousand years ago: The columns were fat and close together, making the gap easier to span. The key to this kind of sightseeing? Could be apple, strawberry, mint…too many. So, we're joined by my friend and fellow guide, Marwa Abbas. Download image, Rick at the pyramid complex at Giza, Egypt. They spent a good part of their lives and their kingdom's wealth building huge pyramids, which served as lockers for whatever they wanted to take into the afterlife: their bodies, their treasures — even their favorite pets. In Alexandria, we wander back lanes and stroll a Mediterranean promenade. Imagine the lighthouse that stood at the mouth of the harbor. It was so tall that light from its fires could be seen from 30 miles out at sea. Jump to bottom. Today it's a stop for every tour group and the merchants are standing by…. The people of today's Egypt represent the latest chapter in a story that goes back 5,000 years. I like that, different from the tahini. Back outside, complementing the scene, is the mysterious [Great] Sphinx. Ramses' wife and some of his children — considered less important and therefore smaller in scale — ‑are at his feet. Teeming Cairo, straddling the Nile, is the capital of Egypt and one of the leading cities of the Muslim world. In the teeming metropolis of Cairo, Rick climbs to the center of a pyramid, greets the Sphinx and marvels at King Tut's gold. I sleep at in an international-class hotel. The Great Court is the largest single area of the complex. Nearly everything filling these old halls is funerary art, art designed to help save the souls of the pharaohs: statues filled with symbolism, written prayers, and offerings to deal with the gods and help assure a happy transition into the afterlife. Video: Watch "Egypt's Nile, Alexandria, and Luxor," an episode of the Rick Steves' Europe TV show. Today I’m struggling with a decision: Do I go to Egypt this spring, or put it off? These days, Aswan is most famous for its massive dam. Home / Blog; Egypt . History's first great woman ruler is remembered for a 20-year reign of general peace and stability. In this first of two half-hour shows on Iran, Rick dodges traffic in Tehran, enjoys the tranquility of a nearby village, and encounters both anti-American propaganda … Home / Blog; Egypt. OK, we've worked up an appetite. ©2020 Rick Steves' Europe, Inc. | The iconic sights of ancient Egypt — four or five thousand years old — are basically buildings and art for dead people. To visit that temple, tourists catch a short flight from Aswan. Rick: Is it some tobacco, or what are we smoking? Pyramids — Blockbuster Egypt. Evening's a great time to visit. Watch, Read, Listen; Travel Forum; Shop Online; Rick Steves' Europe. In this hour-long special, Rick Steves explores the historic and cultural wonders of Egypt. Then, when the Ottoman Turks took Egypt, it became a bustling Turkish bazaar. The hustlers can be intense and annoying — or fun, depending on your approach. No cry! The sheer size of the complex with its forest of massive columns leading to huge squares is a testimony to Ramses' power to get things done. Tour Account › Travel Forum › Home / Travel Forum / Beyond Europe / Egypt - Travel Books; Please sign in to post. Today, they expertly maneuver as tourists leave every care behind, enjoying this scene — essentially unchanged since the time of the pharaohs. RICK STEVES EGYPT: YESTERDAY & TODAY sails beyond Europe, exploring the historic and cultural wonders of Egypt. Statues show the queen wearing a beard — a symbol of royalty. We finish our evening just down the street at Tarek's home, joining his family for dinner. Rick Steves, America's leading authority on European travel, returns to transport viewers to the continent's bustling cities, quaint villages and picturesque countryside. In the relative cool of the evening, the prosperous streets of downtown are filled with window shoppers and thriving eateries — clearly a world for Egypt's more privileged class. Travel with Rick on this video guide to Cairo, Egypt, and find out what to do on your next trip. Even if you don't understand its long and complicated history, just observing how old and new come together is rewarding to the traveler. The smaller ones? Merchant: How are you? And, to better enjoy this convivial scene, I'm joined by my Egyptian friend Tarek in a classic shisha joint. These were the glory days of the pharaohs. The traditional felucca — long a hard-working cargo boat — now hauls vacationing tourists. This grandest of all pyramids — 700 feet long on each side — was built 2,500 years before Christ. Tarek grew up as a member here, he met his wife here, and today their children enjoy this privileged environment almost daily. Posted on December 9, 2019 October 6, 2020. The Egyptian, or "Coptic," Church actually predates Islam by six centuries. Rick: And Heba, what do you wish for your daughters, to be successful and to be happy? And so were the great pyramids before it. Download image, A Cairo artisan giving Rick a hands-on lesson in tombstone engraving. It's a commotion of activity. Rick: So fried eggplant and tahini, you find this in many countries in the Mediterranean. Both still stand — this one here, and its sister in far-away Paris. And today, Cairo's known as the city of a thousand minarets. Must be from the time of Akhenaten. While the ancient lighthouse guided friendly ships in to Alexandria, centuries later this fort was designed to keep enemies — like the Ottoman Turks — out. Together, we witness the importance of water, education, empowering women, and nutrition during a child's first thousand days. Rick: This is tahini? It's so peaceful, until the tranquility is broken by…pirates?! And here, burrowed into an arid mountain range, is the Valley of the Kings, where mummified pharaohs hide out with their treasures, awaiting the eternity express. Heba: Bailhana' walshifa'. The distinctive clanging stokes local appetites. Heba: To have good faith, good education as well, to be open-minded, self-confident. Reliefs show pharaohs wooing the gods with rituals and offerings. at Karnak was the most important place of worship in ancient Egypt. The dam created a huge reservoir, called "Lake Nasser." Amon-Ra was the god of Luxor, the god of empire, and Egypt's god of gods. Rick Steves' Europe Latest Episode. Shukran [thank you]. The friendly welcome is a reminder of how important tourism is for Egypt's economy. Watch Now. What country wouldn't want to claim this as their national cuisine? The Nile is still the lifeblood of the city, sprawling endlessly on both sides. After a timeless felucca cruise on the Nile, we finish at the temple ruins of Abu Simbel. A little shaft was designed into the pyramid to provide an escape passage for the soul of the pharaoh. After a lifetime of exploring Europe - and inspiring Americans to see Europe as the springboard for world exploration - Rick Steves shares his reasons why. Smaller text Larger text. It's early morning, and these people are heading to work. So, what is this one? A short walk is filled with cultural serendipity. And we'll start with dessert. Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. Historically, tourism has been a leading sector in Egypt’s economy. Consider the depth of the faith: this was not for the public; it was only to be seen by the royals, the priests, and the gods. Long, secret corridors, originally blocked by sliding stones, lead to the tomb chamber deep in the center of each pyramid. In his new hour-long special debuting this October, Rick Steves explores the historic and cultural wonders of Egypt. The big news for tourism in Egypt is the massive new “Grand Egyptian Museum” being built in Giza at the great pyramids. There's no menu — just point to what looks tasty. Luxor's charming riverfront promenade welcomes strollers enjoying the cool of the early evening. Heba: …very delicious, and this is Egyptian beef with onion sauce, and this is of course, rice, and this is, then, rokak… Posted by toadstool1232001 on 05/24/20 07:56 PM. Walking through neighborhoods like this, you gain an appreciation for how just making ends meet is a daily struggle for millions in a teeming city like Cairo. Anywhere on the Nile, I love a felucca ride. Another long passage leads deep into a chamber, where you find more well-preserved paintings surrounding an empty stone sarcophagus. Again and again, pyramids were looted and pharaohs were waking up in heaven with absolutely nothing. Back then, they believed you could take it with you. Streets, squares, and grand buildings are reminders of the country's colonial past — from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Nice. Sealed away dry, dark, and forgotten for over 3,000 years, they're beautifully preserved. Rick: You can choose, Egyptian or English? These are the hieroglyphs, one of the most ancient written languages because of which we understood a lot about the civilization of ancient Egypt. Rick: Bailhana'… The Mediterranean region shares many delicious and similar dishes. And that? Every year the Nile would flood, bringing water and fertile silt to the land. Haiti or Egypt? The riverbank is lined with characteristic boats ready to ferry sightseers to a world of ancient sights. Rick: That looks great. Egypt's heritage goes back twice as far as ancient Rome. Tarek: Thank you! This huge chamber was filled with treasures. Obelisks symbolically connected earth with the gods. The riverfront throbs with energy — stately bridges busy with traffic, fancy riverside restaurants, and towering apartment complexes. I make a point to explore a variety of neighborhoods. Hi, I'm Rick Steves, sailing beyond Europe this time. My friend Tarek, who runs a successful tour company, has invited me out for the evening. If there's a demonstration going on — and there have been massive ones in recent years — it's likely here. Here, the pharaoh leads his army into battle, riding his chariot — thoroughly destroying his enemies. Watch the full episode of “Rick Steves Egypt” — airing across the US on public television, or streaming (free!) The Nile still flows as it did for the pharaohs — the lifeblood of civilization then, as today. 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