Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Impressive Abdeen Palace

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The impressive Abdeen Palace in Cairo, now a museum complex, Abdeen Palace Museum forms a great part of Egyptian history. It considered one of the greatest well known palaces in the world. Abdeen Palace is one of the important palaces that were built in the age of Mohamed Ali Pasha.

The history of the palace dates to the region of Mohammed Ali Pasha Dynasty, the palace was constructed by the order of Khedive Ismail in 1863 built on an area of 25-feddan by Egyptian, Italian, French and Turkish architects, The palace was originally built on land belonging to an Ottoman Turkish nobleman named Abdeen Bek and named after him. Abdeen Bek is one of the commanders of Mohamed Ali’s army, so you will notice that the palace museum contains military’s equipments and ancient weapons, it is noticed that among the museums, the Arms Museum is the most striking, featuring every conceivable means of killing an enemy, as well as plenty of medals, a collection of knives, guns and cannons.

The palace’s garden are one of the factors that add to the value and reputation of the palace, however the gardens were added in 1921 by Sultan Fouad on an area of 20 Acers. The cost of building the palace reached 700,000 pounds in addition to 2 million pounds for its furnishing. More money was also spent on the palace’s alteration, preservation and maintenance by consecutive rulers.

The palace includes 500 rooms, the upper floors are the former living quarters of the royal family, are reserved for visiting foreign dignitaries and the lower floor of the palace houses a Silver Museum, an Arms Museum, the Royal Family Museum, the Presidential Gifts Museum and the more recent Historical Documents Museum.

Abdeen Palace is considered one of the most sumptuous palaces in the world in terms of its adornments, paintings, and large number of clocks scattered in the parlors and wings, most of which are decorated with pure gold. Built by Khedive Ismail, to become the official government headquarters instead of the Cairo Citadel, this palace was used as well for official events and ceremonies.

After 1872 Khedive Ismail transferred to Abdeen Palace to make it the seat of the government, leaving the citadel of Salah El Din, Abdeen Palace was the seat of the government between 1872 and 1952. During this eventful period, the Palace witnessed unforgettable events that undoubtedly affected Egypt's modern and contemporary history.

Stepping in this palace is like stepping into history, it is definite that one will be overwhelmed by the beauty, the luxury and the art that occupies every inch of the palace.

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Discounted Guided Tours to Egypt - Egypt Has It All


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Edfu was the second capital of Upper Egypt, an important regional center from the Old Kingdom, partly due to the large area of fertile land belonging to the town, partly to the fact that Edfu was situated near the frontier between Egypt and Nubia, though not as close as was Philae. Edfu was probably a starting point for desert routes leading to the Kharga Oasis in the west, and to the mines of the Eastern Desert and the Red Sea coast in the east, also according to the Egyptian myths it was the place where the falcon-headed god Horus avenged the murder of his father Osiris by killing Seth.

It is a religious and commercial center. Located about 33 miles south of Esna and 65 miles north of Aswan, this friendly town with approximately 274,500 inhabitants now produces sugar and pottery, It's a lively town offering you a chance to see Edfu Temple, which is considered to be the best preserved and is the second largest Temple built in Egypt.

The modern Arabic name of Edfu is derived from the ancient Egyptian name Djeba, or Etbo in Coptic. Djeba meant "Retribution Town", since the enemies of the god were brought to justice therein. The site of ancient Djeba was the traditional location of the mythological battle between the gods of Horus and Set, and its sandstone Ptolemaic temple, dedicated to Horus, is the most complete and best preserved of all the temples of Egypt. It was built on the site of a New Kingdom temple, which was oriented east to west, the Ptolemaic structure follows instead a north-south axis. In Graeco-Roman times Edfu was called Apollinopolis Magna, the Egyptian god Horus by then being identified with the Greek god Apollo.

The construction of the Edfu Temple this Ptolemaic temple begun in 237 BCE by Ptolemy 3, but finished 180 years later by the father of Cleopatra. This is not only the best preserved ancient temple in Egypt, but the second largest after Karnak. The temple has an abundance of inscriptions on every surface, and these show the religious ceremonies of the time, as well as the usual tales of bravery, wisdom and might of the Pharaoh. There are numerous relief's, including a depiction of the Feast of the Beautiful Meeting, the annual reunion between Horus and his wife Hathor, The relief's are mostly situated on the inside of the first pylon, and spiritually connect this temple with Hathor’s Temple at the Dendera complex, The facade of the first hypostyle hail has images honoring Horus and Hathor, and there is an immaculate ten foot tall colossi of Horus as the falcon god, Beyond the great hypostyle hail is a second, smaller
hypostyle hail which leads to a well called the Chamber of the Nile where the Priests obtained pure holy water. This is a similar arrangement as found at Dendera, beyond the second hypostyle hail is the offering hall, followed by the vestibule and finally the sanctuary, The sanctuary itself is surrounded by chapels and rooms towards resurrection. The front chapel on the east is the Chapel of the New Year, a sun court like that at Dendera, a depiction on the ceiling show the voyage of the solar Braque through the Twelve Hours of the day, with an image of the goddess, Nut.

It is amazing how the thrill doesn’t die when it comes to discovering the ancient worlds wonders, one should be grateful that these monuments tolerated all the diminishing factors of time and survived to let us know all about what those before us were able to achieve with a lot less probably no facilities than what we have now at our time, proving that when there is a will there is always a way, and that man is one of Gods greatest creations.

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To read more about Edfu, please visit:
Edfu, Egypt

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


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Taba is about 429km from Cairo, located at the tip of the Gulf of El-Aqaba, considered to be a meeting of borders town, as it overlooks Jordan, Israel and Saudi Arabia. The weather at Taba is fine round the year; sunny in the Summer time and mild cold in the winter, while moderate with nice breeze in both Spring and Autumn.

The coastline from Taba to Nuweiba is characterized by its majestic mountains, magnificent bays, coves, and lagoons; as well as it has the most picturesque coastline with dramatic mountain backdrops that stretches across the golden beaches in that area.

Some of the restaurants and hotels in this area are overlooking the natural bay in outstanding scenery. On the island known as Gezirat Faroun "Pharaoh's Island" lies the most significant sight of this area which is Salah El-Din Castle, which has been restored by the Egyptian.

Pharaoh's island in Taba

Pharaoh's Island, one of Taba's main attractions, Pharaoh's Island, is simply breathtaking. The small island, surrounded by outstanding blue and turquoise waters of the Red Sea, was once a Phoenician port, later occupied by Crusaders and then taken under control by Sultan Salah El Din. The island and the castle remain intact. The reef around the island is popular with snorkels and divers alike.

Pharaoh's Island, also called Coral Island or Geziret Faroun, lies eight kilometers south of Taba and 250 meters off the coast. The Phoenicians were the first to make use of this island's fine natural harbor during the 10th century BC to foster trade with Egypt, much later the small rocky island came under Byzantine control.

Leisure activities in Taba

In addition to the traditional activities of tennis or golf, the hotels provide a wide range of water sports so that visitors can make the most of what the Red Sea has to offer - windsurfing, water skiing, sailing, sea trips, fishing and sea kayaking.

The wealth of things to see on the seabed make it essential to go equipped with a mask. The shallow depth at which the reefs lie and the absence of drop-offs make it possible to enjoy the beauty of life on the coral reef with the minimum of equipment.

The variety of creatures and the chance to observe endemic species, such as the toadfish, as well as the well-preserved state of the reefs are some of the great advantages of this area.

Numerous diving clubs offer courses and daily outings. Instructors take divers to the most suitable sites to dive in complete safety. Outings last a maximum of an hour and a half, and often much less. The dive sites feature a sandy seabed dotted with coral outcrops and contain a rich selection of marine life from seahorses to dolphins. The absence of currents makes these sites perfect for beginners, as well as fulfilling the highest expectations of photographers and divers of all levels.

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To find more about Taba visit:
Taba, Egypt

The Underwater Heaven of the Red Sea

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The underwater heaven of the Red Sea can never be described by words, in fact words do not start to explain the thrill that awaits a person, exploring it is the one and only way to find out, the amazing diving spots are almost endless, each distinguished by its own natural beauty, event the process of diving or snorkeling is the same, but from one spot to another its just an experience of its own.

The "Blue Hole" is just north of Dahab. It is an excellent day trip and perfect place to snorkel. It is a natural phenomena of a massive hole created in the reef plate dropping down to untold depths, either. Swim inside the perimeter of the hole, or zip over the outside lip and snorkel on the outer reef, but if you are up for the most spectacular experience, it would be to drop down through this pool into the blue, you will emerge on the reef wall at about 12 meters. The groove continues down to a deeper depth of 28 meters. The bottomless open water here is some of the clearest, deepest most intense blue you will see in the world.

The "Dahab Canyon" is the classic canyon, an essential dive for all fanatics of caves and cavern diving. The Canyon is itself quite a phenomenon. A narrow crack in the seabed at 18m marks the main opening into the canyon, which depths reach over 30 meters inside. Snaking its way up from the depths, it emerges in a glorious, glassfish filled coral dome, the Fish Bowl, the opening of the Fish Bowl lies around 12 meters, below that is another large bowl, opening at 18 meters, and at greater depths there are a number of smaller openings. From the outside and inside, the canyon has the appearance of the fluted mouth of a clam shell, and is by all means a sight not to be missed.

The Canyon dive site offers an easy entry and exit point through a shallow, sandy lagoon which leads out to beautiful coral gardens and drop off, which can only be fully explored after several visits. The Canyon itself is positioned approximately five minutes north-east from the exit of the lagoon.

"Ras Mumlach" is a dive site in the Abu Galum National Park, reachable from Nuweiba in an hour by jeep safari, which is spectacular as well if you like deserts. Known foe very nice pieces of fan coral, table corals, soft corals, of course also known for fish and other sea animals such as turtles, napoleons, groupers and many species of reef fish. Bigger fish such as barracudas and jacks pass by in the blue of the Gulf of Aqaba. Further more it has ravines, walls, caves, hills and chimneys, which suit all level of divers. Technical divers will have fun on stunning deep walls and at a coral plateau at 50 meters deep. One can also book 2-3 day safaris to Ras Mumlah Camp.

At a Bedouin camp north of Nuweiba is a dive site called "Ras Shetan" or Devils Head. Its highlight is without doubt its incredible mountain scenery as you get the feeling of diving through canyons and superb mountain ranges. It is also famous for its amount of anemones; species you will see are red, green and purple anemones. It is possible to experience deep diving here as there are some excellent pinnacles and beautiful coral formations at depth deeper than 40 meters. In short a stunning mountain range, very nice coral and marine life is vivid.

Now that you know some of the best diving and snorkeling spots of the Red Sea, you should be ready to take your self under the waves to experience the thrills of an underwater adventure unlike anything else.

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To read more about the Red Sea, visit:
The Red Sea, Egypt