More of Amazing Egypt!


I am currently Jordan. This trip has been so hectic that I am behind in posting photos but they will keep coming. So far the history of Egypt has amazed me. The condition of many places is astounding well considering they are thousands of years old. The government is proactive in restoring and maintaining their ancient treasures.

Here are some photos from the market & shops in Aswan, the felucca boat ride on the Nile River (which I swam in), Kom Ombo Temple, and the Temples of Karnak. More to come after.

Truly, ancient Egyptian monuments have set the bar high when it comes to historic sites & monuments.

*All photos taken and owned by Eeva Valiharju / Wanders the World

Aswan market

Aswan market spices

Traditional felucca boat that my tour group used

We had 2 feluccas – this was the other one

The crew sailing us along the Nile

Kom Ombo Temple dedicated to the Crocodile King

Detail. Kom Ombo Temple.

This was a spectacular temple. The height of the columns alone was impressive.

Mummified crocs in the adjoining museum

The Temples of Karnak can really make you feel small.

An exterior section of Karnak

Karnak’s breathtaking columns

Hieroglyphs

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Sunday Special – Meteora Monasteries, Greece


On the mainland of Greece in the Plain of Thessaly are unique rock pillars that rise up from the ground. Composed of a blend of conglomerate and sandstone they were formed millions of years ago by the earth’s movements and eventual wear resulting in astonishing vertical pillars reaching for the heavens. This area is known as Meteora which means “suspended in the air”. Perhaps that is what the builders of the Eastern Orthodox monasteries were aiming for, to be closer to the heavens along with a place of quiet and isolation. The monks that originally dwelt here were master rock climbers, scaling the daunting cliff sides to make their way to the buildings they erected. Over time they used pulley and ladder systems to make their way up the pillars and to the the neighbouring monasteries. When the Turks invaded (or danger was imminent) the ladders and ropes were reigned in and helped to ensure the survival of those residing in the 24 complexes of the time. Today only six remain and are still in use. In 1988 they were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Today visitors are welcome to explore the monasteries and neighbouring town of Kalambaka. Along with the area’s history it also draws people in with its natural beauty and hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing options. 

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Meteora, Greece – Photo credit: LucT, Stefanos Monastery, Meteora – panoramioCC BY-SA 3.0

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Meteora Monasteries, Greece – Photo credit: Thanos KoliogiorgosMeteora monastery 2CC BY-SA 4.0

 

Sunday Special – Puente Nuevo Bridge, Ronda, Spain


One of the things I like about Instagram is that you see so many interesting places in the world by simply exploring. Because I like and post travel photos that is what pops up frequently in my feed and under “explore”. That is how I found out about this amazing looking bridge in the Andalusia region of Spain.

Not far from the city of Malaga lies the town of Ronda to the west. A small town of 35,000 residents it boasts history from the neolithic area,  the Romans, the Berbers, and is even the location for a portion of Ernest Hemingway’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls”. This historic location is where this incredible bridge was built. The Puente Nuevo Bridge was constructed over 34 years beginning in 1759 CE. It is the newest and highest of three bridges in Ronda that stretch over a 120 m gorge running through the town. The Puente Nuevo Bridge, along with the Puente Romano and Puente Viejo bridge, connect the town and are points of interest in and of themselves. 

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The incredible Puente Nueva Bridge connecting the city of Ronda, Spain – photo credit: Michal Osmenda from Brussels, Belgium, The Puente Nuevo in Ronda (7077354065)CC BY 2.0

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Puente Nueva Bridge in Ronda, Spain – photo credit: Bert from Netherlands, Puente Nuevo de RondaCC BY 2.0

 

 

Sunday Special – Oxford, UK


One of the regrets I had when I was on my big trip was that I never made it Oxford, England. I spent a week in the London area and it is only 92 km / 57 miles away with frequent train service. I easily could have spent a day there (or more). Well, another reason to go back to the UK, one of my favourite countries to visit. 

Dating back to the time of the Saxons (around the 8th century, CE) Oxford grew as an important military center. Over the centuries it was not a dull place – invasions, religious growth, epidemics, martyrs, civil war, industrial growth, and of course the founding the well-known educational institution of Oxford University and it’s 38 colleges within the city centre.

Today Oxford seems to shine as city with old-world charm with its array of beautiful architecture. Noteworthy buildings include Oxford’s Bodleian Library, Carfax Tower, Radcliffe Camera, the Sheldonian Theatre, University Church, and much more. Other areas of interest include Hertford Bridge (a.k.a. Bridge of Sighs), the University of Oxford Botanic Gardens, and the oldest covered market in England: Oxford Covered Market.  Add museums, cafes, theatre, bars, and nightlife it seems it will certainly keep you busy. Oh and don’t forget that Oxford was the location for various scenes from the Harry Potter movies. 

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The Great Hall at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford, England. This hall was replicated in a studio for use in the Harry Potter films. – Photo credit: VictorperramonChrist Church HallCC BY-SA 3.0

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Hertford Bridge in Oxford, England – Photo credit: Varun Shiv Kapur from Berkeley, United States, Hertford BridgeCC BY 2.0

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Aerial panorama of Oxford, England – Photo credit: Chensiyuan1 oxford aerial panorama 2016CC BY-SA 4.0