Heading south to Upper Egypt

With our time winding down in Egypt we had one last item to check off our list - Upper Egypt. Done, and I am glad we saved it for last as it leaves a lasting impression of some of the reasons we chose to come to Egypt in the first place. A chance to travel. A chance to experience something unique. A chance to experience a history long learned about in books and on TV.

The last few months have been difficult and frustrating for us, and for Egyptians. After the great feelings of having lived through the Arab Spring and the January 25th Revolution and coming out the other side not only unscathed but hopeful for the future, the last few months in particular, have been met with frustration and dissatisfaction at the turn of events. The hopes and dreams WE had for the future of many nations and many people were summed up in the feelings WE had about the events of those days. The reality is there is a long way to go, and the road is much rockier than anyone wanted to admit.

The truth is WE knew it wasn't all it was cracked up to be, but we had remained hopeful and we were swept up in the words of the world who praised all that Egypt was, had been, and was going to be. But it is a long road, and traveling up the Nile to experience thousands of years of history was a helpful reminder. To hear the stories of pharoahs and gods as told by the walls of monuments some 4000 years old is a reminder of how far we've come, but also how long it took us to get here. Certainly the last 100 years, heck the last 10 years have seen technological advancement only thought possible in dreams. We now have indispensible things in our life than didn't exist five years ago, let along 4000. But our stories have remained the same. The stories on those walls told of love and love lost. Betrayal and revenge. War and peace.

It is a narrative that defined a culture 4000 years ago, and it is a narrative that continues to define this culture, and every culture. So much has changed in 4000 years, yet so much has remained the same. And it is on these walls that we can find our similarities so that we can remember what we share with those who are writing the story of today - a story that includes a growing democracy and an understanding that it isn't as simple as reading it in a book or watching it on TV. It requires thought and thoughtful action. Maybe that's why the pharoahs built things to last 4000 years and more.

Oh yeah, and the whole heading south to Upper Egypt. Turns out the Nile is not only the longest river in the world, but one of the few that flows north. Meaning to go "up" the Nile we have to head south!

And lastly, the size of some of these things? Crazy!? This is just a fraction of the some 400 photos we took - most of which look very similar, but all have a pretty unique story.

Photo Album

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