Romancing the Egyptian Sphinx
The ancient civilization of Egypt fascinates me so much. Therefore, I have to make a journey to romance the Egyptian Sphinx.
Could I be Cleopatra in my previous life? But I am no femme fatale. Who is my Mark Antony in this lifetime? Or did I favor Julius Caesar this time around? Intertwining the once powerful empire with a tragic story of romance adds flavor to the sights and sound of this place.
From a distance of 16 miles from Cairo, the Egypt tourist can travel to Giza where the great pyramids and the Egyptian Sphinx are.
The Riddle of the Sphinx
I can’t help but be in awe with the engineering skills of Egyptians of long ago. We are looking back at 4,600 years. How could they have built these pyramids without the advances in technology that we enjoy today?
Archaeologists have theorized that a ramp system to move stone blocks was used. Still, it is a mystery on how this system actually worked. Did it cause the sacrifice of thousands of lives for the pyramids’ completion? Nonetheless, I am thankful I got the chance to see them and marvel at the precision of the pyramids.
The Egyptian Sphinx and the Pyramids are still a Mystery. The pyramids are the final resting place of the pharaohs of old. The oldest and largest of the pyramids in Giza was supposed to be that of the 4th dynasty pharaoh Khufu.
His mummy was not found in the chambers, however. It was believed that prior to the excavations, his mummy and that of the riches that were buried with him had already been looted.
This got me thinking as I examined the mummies in the Egyptian museum, could it be that Khufu’s mummy is one of those on display all along and nobody knows. I can see the gold mask of the child king Tutankhamun smiling slyly.
This mummification, once reserved only for pharaohs in order for them to be immortal, is another fascinating ancient Egyptian practice for me.
The Sphinx Statue is just one of Many Egypt Tourist Sights
The actual chariot, sandals, clothing and treasures that were buried with their pharaohs are preserved and on display in the museum. I am thankful that they were able to preserve remnants of this ancient civilization. They are proof that what we learn from history and read from books actually happened and existed.
Their monarchs lived grand and extravagant lives. I feel sorry for the servants and soldiers who have to be buried alive with their pharaohs and queens.
The sphinx looks like an imposing guard to me. They’re guarding one of the wonders of the ancient world – the pyramids of Giza. And yes indeed, the sphinx is a spiritual guardian for the Egyptians. It is a mythical creature with the pharaoh’s headdress.
Why the sphinx statue missing nose?
You may ask. How come the sphinx’s nose is missing? It’s because it was destroyed in the 15th century by a Sufi Muslim named Muhammad Sa’im al-Dahr who apparently was outraged by the show of devotion of peasants to the sphinx. In their desire to control the flood cycle in Egypt, the peasants, therefore, made offerings to the sphinx.
Speaking of sufi muslim, I had the privilege of watching a whirling dervish. Thinking it was just part of a show, I later learned that the spinning is the dervish way of worshiping their God.
He was whirling round and round non-stop as if in a spell.
The colorful skirt of the dervish beautifully unfurling while spinning was a spectacle. To be a dervish, they have to take the vow of poverty and live a monastic life.
The Nile River may be ordinary for me but it is no ordinary river for the Egyptians.
It is the river of life for them. It is the longest river in the world and flows into the Mediterranean Sea. Egypt is in North Africa where rain fall is almost zero. The floods from the Nile are how they are able to sustain their crops and produce.
An Egypt Tourist in Old Cairo is like being there in Ancient Times
Walking in old Cairo is like walking in ancient times. In other words, it was like walking in the stories of the bible.
I was brought to a spot by the guide where he said the basket containing the baby Moses was found.
I was, therefore, most grateful to be in the cave where the Holy Family took refuge when they escaped to Egypt. This was to be free from Herod’s jurisdiction. Due to his wrath, Herod wants the Christ Child killed. The church of Abi Serja, within the walls of the Fortress of Babylon, was built in the area.
Other places of interest to the Egypt tourist in Old Cairo are the Coptic Orthodox Church.
It traces its founding to Saint Mark the Apostle; the oldest surviving synagogue in Egypt, Ben Ezra Synagogue; the Church and Monastery of St George which dates back to the 10th century; the Churches of St. Sergius and St. Barbara; and the Hanging Church which was built in 690.
The Egyptian Sphinx is just Part of the Story
While the Egyptian women are mostly wrapped in black and their faces covered, their beauty is a sight to behold. That is, once you are fortunate to gaze at them without the burka.
I saw a number of women driving cars. It left an impression on me that the cars they are driving are too small for them and most look run down.
I also noticed that they are prayerful. Most of those tending the stores, inside malls even and these are guys, are running their fingers on their prayer beads while waiting for customers.
Egypt may have gone into an age of decline after Ramses III and the Sphinx may have gone out of style as a guardian, but the enchanting mystery of this ancient world remain.