Ever since I was a child, I have been fascinated by faraway places. The thought of travel has always filled my head with visions of adventure and freedom. In 2007, I was presented with the opportunity to travel to Egypt with my grandmother. Having never before been to the Middle-East, I found the culture of the people there completely different from our own. The wild rugged landscape of the desert itself was almost unreal to me after being so accustomed to the sights of northern New Jersey. Enormous, towering sand dunes and the palms beside the Nile combined with the unfamiliar Bedouins and tall Arabian men of the region left me in wonder. Men on camelback strode through the crowded streets of Giza, the wandering vendors of the Great Sahara. Dark eyes stared out at us into the dusty street from shadowy alleyways. The sounds of Arabic voices filled my ears as men and women, their hair covered with shawls, bought spices at the market.
We were in the Middle East, a part of the world that many Americans consider a danger in of itself. My grandmother and I took a cruise through time as we boarded a ship and traveled down the Nile River. To our right the massive dunes of sand towered over the river, and to our left were palm trees and ruined temples of an ancient race. The rich history of the river and the country itself was amazing to witness firsthand. Thousands upon thousands of years ago, the Egyptian Pharos governed enormous cities and built unthinkable structures, the sight of which leaves us today enchanted.
One morning my grandmother and I woke up very early for a special treat, a hot air balloon ride over the desert. We awoke before the sun had risen, and rode in a van to the outskirts of Cairo. There, in the pitch blackness of the vacant desert we saw the flames of hot air balloons. As the sunlight began to spill over the horizon, we drifted in the sky far above the beautiful desert and the sight took my breath away. The landscape seemed like a thing out of a dream, and I was speechless.
Of all the temples I saw and the fantastical statues and structures, there is one that I will never forget. The Great Pyramids of Giza left me star struck. Titanic, otherworldly, and perfect in every way, the pyramids filled me with awe. The sheer enormity was breathtaking, but even more awesome is the symmetry with which they were made. The ancient people of Egypt who lived thousands of years ago will never truly be dead, for there immortal spirits are forever captured in these monumental structures.
My trip to Egypt was the most interesting and meaningful trip to me. The things I was able to see and the experiences I gained are priceless. From seeing the colossal Temples to being attacked by wild dogs, I loved it all. The trip was arranged through the Grand Circle travel agency, and I had a brilliant experience.