Saturday, February 27, 2010


After spending 3 days in Cairo, my friend and I went up to Alexandria, Egypt for 2 days. Here are some pictures from there:
1. The view from the restaurant in our hotel, overlooking the Mediterranian
2. Kassie and I
3. Me with some Roman artifacts outside the catacombs in Alexandria
4. The inside of the new Alexandria library, opened in 2002 near the site of the ancient library, which was destroyed many centuries ago.
5. Me in the park near a presidential residence, overlooking the Sea
6. Entrance to the Catacombs visitor area. No photos were allowed inside, but we went down into the place where people were buried in Roman times.
7. The Qaitbay Citadel, built by a Sultan in 1477
8. The countryside view from the train ride between Cairo and Alexandria

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pyramids and Sphinx

I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Egypt during the last part of January and beginning of February. The Fellows program opts to send Fellows in several neighboring regions to an annual English teacher's conference in Cairo, and adds on a couple days of ELF specific training. The requirement was that we submit a presentation proposal for the conference. They sure didn't have to twist my arm before I emailed in my proposal! I'll post some pictures of my presentation later.

I took a week of vacation before the conference and was able to travel with a friend from MN, Kassie, who met me in Cairo. It was great to see her and together experience things we've read about and seen in movies. We visited the pyramids at Giza--there are more than 100 pyramids in Egypt, but these are the most famous. We even went inside the Great Pyramid and also rode in a horse-drawn cart.

The pyramids are 4,500 years old! I can't conceptualize how old that really is. The Great Pyramid (or Khufu's pyramid) has 2.3 million blocks of stone that weigh an average of 2.5 tons each. That's a number I have an even harder time conceptualizing!

For me, the "Solar Boat" museum was almost as awe-inspiring as the pyramids. The 43 meter long boat was found buried near the Great Pyramid, dismantled. Restorers put the boat back together and now it's in a museum where visitors can view all sides of the boat as it's suspended in the middle of the museum. Historians are not sure if the boat was used by the pharaoh during his lifetime, to carry his body for the funeral, or if it was a religious item meant to carry him to the afterlife. Being from northern Minnesota, I've seen many boats in various states of disrepair, and they were much, much younger than this boat. Enjoy the photos!