The Nile River sweeps through Cairo still bringing life to modern Egypt. The Hilton is at the right with sailboats for hire along the banks. We chose to begin our World Tour 2000 here; at the beginning of mankind's recorded events on this Earth, our shared planet. We arrived on Good Friday and stayed for all of the Easter services. Exactly two thousand years after Jesus' teachings. Greek and Roman Catholic, Egyptian Coptic, as well as Protestant Churches remain today. Severe Government restrictions and frequent terrorists attacks make Egypt a hostile place for Christians living here.

The lovely Mena House Hotel at Genza. This is the view from the swimming pool area. A close look at the buildings shows two of the Pyramids seemingly amongst the hotel grounds. We spent a lovely afternoon here enjoying the view, the gardens and a fine mid-eastern lunch. The next day we took the American Express tour from the Nile Hilton which included a visit into the center of the pyramid itself. Ancient Egypt and Modern Egypt can be seen at the same instant.
Melody deep inside one of the tombs at The Valley of the Kings, Luxor. She is posing with a friendly Tomb Watchman. Note the ever-present drinking water bottle, a necessity in the Desert. The color inside the tombs is incredible. It appears as if they were painted yesterday and not 3000 years ago. It is still unclear how they accomplished this. The glass on the columns and walls is an attempt to prevent damage. This location is well underground and is lit by electric lights. A system of mirrors flooded the passages with sunlight during construction. What a concept! As you can see the ceilings, walls and columns are elaborately painted with most exacting detail. It all tells a story.

Dahab, Egypt. This delightful, rustic, sleepy town was one of our many surprise finds. Located on the Sinai Peninsula near St. Catherine's Monastery on Mount Sinai, it is right beside the crystal clear water of the Gulf of Aqaba. We spent 5 days here, snorkeling and eating at waterfront "tent" restaurants where everyone sits on carpets spread in the sand. Pictured here from our hotel balcony, we generally enjoyed the softness of the place.

This is the view from our hotel window in Dahab. The sun is rising through our open balcony doorway. Behind the gulf are the foreboding hills of Saudi Arabia in the distance. On our visit to Mount Sinai, locally called Moses Mountain, we joined in the custom of climbing to the peak during the night, sleeping there and awaking for the sunrise. About 10 p.m. we started out, wandering, stumbling and falling in the pitch darkness lit only by brilliant stars. It was a tiring and dangerous climb. When we reached the 2,250 meter summit around 2:00 am we were well supplied with blankets, hot chocolate and coffee by the local Bedouins. At sunrise we were joined by other pilgrims, singing familiar religious tunes in different languages. It was a wonderful spiritual awakening for us, one of many on our world tour 2000. The Pope had visited the mountain and monastery just a few weeks before us, but by helicopter.

This striking stained glass mural caught my eye at a Protestant Church in Alexandria. The Lower Panel of the cross shows the word LOVE in English, Arabic, Greek Hebrew and Hieroglyphics. The Egyptian Minister granted me a most revealing interview about being a Christian this predominantly Moslem country. Please include these people in your prayers. They will be grateful for your love in whatever language of expression. Now we were clearly Pilgrims, seeing our lovely planet earth 2000 years after Christ.
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Fred & Melody Squires
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