The Captivating Contrasts of Egypt

Photo by Flickr User Cofiem

Egypt is a country of exciting contrasts, and there is nowhere else on earth where history feels so accessible and alive. From the colossi of Abu Simbel to the bustling bazaars and tranquil mosques of Cairo, thousands of years of tradition exist harmoniously with contemporary life. Touring holidays with Titan Travel are a great way to experience this fascinating country on journeys from Aswan to Cairo along the mythical River Nile.

Nowhere does this harmonious contrast exist so obviously as Cairo, where you can trace the country’s fascinating history from ancient to modern times. Begin 4000 years ago at the Giza pyramids, the only remaining of the original Seven Wonders of the World. Echoes of a lost mythology are brought to life on a guided tour, and the sphinx tells the story of the pyramids during an atmospheric evening light show. The construction of the pyramids remains awe inspiring, and an air of mystery surrounds the topic despite centuries of theories and speculation.

The fertile Nile valley is also an open history book, exhibiting the breathtaking creations of lost dynasties alongside snapshots of modern Egyptian life. On a cruise, passengers will witness riverside villages where life goes on in the same way that it has done for thousands of years. Traditions endure, from the natural building materials used to the farming methods. Approaching Abu Simbel by boat is a humbling site, the four colossi gazing proudly from the carved rock.

Tutankhamen’s death mask can be viewed at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo along with thousands of other fascinating artefacts from ancient times. It is easy to spend a while morning in the museum, and every room reveals new wonders.

After exploring the many facets of the ancient world, fast forward to medieval times with a stroll around Islamic Cairo, where antique mosques and monuments conjure a bygone era. Minarets, spires, decorative tile work and tranquil courtyards set the tone a walking tour of the area, and mosque courtyards provide a tranquil haven away from the hustle and bustle of modern Cairo.

Modern Egyptian life comes in the form of delicious food, cosy coffee shops and contemporary art exhibitions. Sit out on cafe patios during warm summer evening with locals playing chess and backgammon around you, and dine on Middle Eastern cuisine with contemporary flair. Watching life and locals pass you by from street side cafes is one of Cairo’s most enjoyable experiences.