Category Archives: Travel

A Visit to Lisbon

A couple of years ago, we visited Portugal that included Lisbon and Porto. For one of our trips this year,  I have scheduled another trip back to Lisbon for a stopover option offered via TAP Air Portugal . I highly recommend considering this option to explore two countries and more during your stay.  Today’s blog post is reviewing this past trip, recommending some travel tips, and planning for the next visit.

Lisbon, Portugal

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Fast Facts: Lisbon wasn’t always the capital of Portugal. The city has a total of 53 districts with the Alfama district being the oldest. This district is still remarkably intact, surviving the 1755 Earthquake due to its many narrow streets and compact squares.

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There is quite a bit to see in such a large city that overlooks the River Tagus and the Atlantic Ocean.  So, please plan to wear one comfy shoes as Lisbon is very hilly, with some steep climbs up narrow streets for those wishing to capture stunning views over the city

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River Tagus

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Stairs and Fruit Trees In Lisbon

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Places of Interest– Rossio Square (Praca do Rossio)

The largest square in Lisbon is known as Rossio Square (Praca do Rossio). This nerve center of the city has been active since the Middle Ages and where you will find many of the Lisbon’s most famous restaurants, bars and shops. In this square, you will find various monuments and landmarks including the following:

Column of Pedro IV

In the centre of Rossio Square sits the Column of Pedro IV of Portugal or “the Soldier King”.  Examining the base of column, you will find four female figures. These figures represent the King’s various qualities: Justice, Wisdom, Strength and Moderation.

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Dona Maria II National Theatre

Founded in 1842, the National Theatre D. Maria II replaced the old Estaus Palace, headquarters of the Portuguese Inquisition since mid-fifteenth century. On top of the Theatre’s façade is a statue of Gil Vicente, a Portuguese playwright and father of the country’s theatre.

D. Maria II National Theatre

Dona Maria II National Theatre

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Fountain in front of Dona Maria II National Theatre

Rossio Railway Station

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One of the main wonderful  architectural wonders in Lisbon is the late 19th Century style building is the Rossio Railway station. The entrance way has these horseshoe shaped arches and a clock inside (wish I could find the photo….) and is main transportation hub for trains, buses, and taxis.

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University of Coimbra-  A UNESCO World Heritage Site

The University of Coimbra is one of the oldest universities in the world dating back to 1290 and is the oldest educational institutions in Portugal. It’s medieval structure and style makes for some viewing pleasure. The university’s location about the medieval city of Coimbra and that the city was once the capital of Portugal only adds to more interest to the history in this region. In addition, the University of Coimbra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Courtyard of The Royal Palace at the University

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The Courtyard of the Royal Palace at the University

Getting Around

We often take advantage of Uber or Lyft as a transportation option, if the city is not too large. The alternative is using public transportation. For the Lisbon trip, you will have two main options when arriving to the airport. These are as follows:

1) taxis to your stay option  for a very reasonable price or

2) Uber (Lyft was not readily available during our travel)

The Uber option was convenient and affordable costing around 3-6 Euros depending on traffic and distance.

Stay Option

Dare Lisbon House– is where we stayed during our last visit to Lisbon and we highly recommend this boutique hotel with it’s flare for contemporary and modern style. The hotel is located in the Rua dos Sapateiros, which is right in the heart of the Baixa district with your choice of restaurants, shops, and nightlife.

Other choices can also be found at  Booking.com for your next travel advantage.

Tour Options

Lisbon Guided Walking Tour

DiscoverWalk – Free Walking Tours

Lisbon Small Group Food and Wine Tours 


TripAdvisor

Mosques Worth Visiting

As I remember the tragedy at the 3 mosques in New Zealand, this had me been thinking back to my travels and the many beautiful mosques we visited. One country that comes to mind is Egypt. This country has a wealth of beautiful, historical, and famous mosque that offer a chance under why this city is known as the city also known as city with a Thousand Minarets.

Consider supporting the victims and families of this shooting by donating to LaunchGood

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At the Bet She’an National Park; Israel

The Mosques of Egypts

A trip to Egypt would never be complete without a visit to some of its famous mosques including the Al-Azhar Mosque, Muhammad Ali Mosque, Abu Haggag Mosque, or the Sultan Hassan Mosque just to name a few that you can add to your itinerary of Egypt.

The Mosque of Ibn Tulun

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Right in the heart of Cairo, you will find the oldest and largest mosque.  The Mosque of Ibn Tulun still exists in in its original form and is the largest complex in terms of the property it covers. The construction of the mosque began in 879 C.E. with the commission of Ahmad ibn Tulun, Egypt’s governor at the time. Please don’t miss taking pictures from the historical staircase minaret built on Gebel Yashkur during your visit, which allows some wonderful shots of the city.

Mosque of Ibn Tulun

The Al-Azahar Mosque

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As one of the more famous mosques in Egypt, the Al-Azhar Mosque is unique for several reasons. One the main university is attached to the mosque. Also, this mosque belongs to the Sunni Sect, but also has many Shia sect influences.  Located in the city of Cairo, you can find more details about other Shia mosques around Egypt here.

This place is huge and do roam, but be cautious of pickpockets. Explore both the exterior and interior of this grand complex. This is worth your time during your trip to Egypt.

Sultan Hassan Mosque

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The Sultan Hassan mosque is often part of day tours and also located in the capital city of Egypt. If you have time to visit this mosque, do so for it interesting designs from the Mamluk era. This is one of the few Salafi mosques in Egypt.

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Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan

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Mosque of Muhammad Ali

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Inside Muhammad Ali

Inside The Muhammad Ali Mosque

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This mosque is also known as the Alabaster Mosque. This is one of the most beautiful mosques to visit while in Egypt. This is also one of the top tourist destination and please don’t forget to visit this historical place during your visit to this beautiful country. A couple of notes before you visit. This mosque is sits high above Cairo to give you a wonderful view of the city on a clear day. This means a little of walking is required to visit the mosque located at the top of the Saladin Citadel. The massive minarets of the mosque are 270 feet. If you climb up here, you can get an even more pleasant view of the city and the Giza plateau. So, how old is the mosque? The construction of the structure began in 1830 and continued up to around 1857. It was Muhammad Ali Pasha, the ruler of Egypt during this time who founded this mosque…

There you have it, m y brief total of mosques I have visited during my travels. I hope you have enjoyed reading. Please feel free to share your comments.

Touring these Mosques (in general)

Accessibility & Audience:

These sites are very friendly to visitors, tourist, and are family friendly.

Accessibility may be limited during worship service times (please check with your tour agent).

What to wear and what not to wear:  You should be respectful of local culture and cover legs and maybe asked to cover your head (if female). You may be asked to remove your shoes (most likely).

These are frowned upon:  Smoking, eating, taking pictures of someone without their permission, argumentative behavior, and intimate touching including kissing in the mosque. Please be respectful.

Atmosphere:

Please respect times of worship services. Some of the mosques will be more crowded then others and be cautious of your personal items,

There are many opportunities for photos due to these architectural landmarks both indoors and outdoors. I again remind you to respect these historical sites.

Enjoy the visit and take in the local scene. This is why we travel.

A Visit to Saint Francisville, LA

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Greenwood Plantation

During our visit through Louisiana, we drove to the town of Saint Francisville. A town of just under 2,000 people, is located about 30 miles north of the capital Baton Rouge. It is a hidden gem worth a visit.

Greenwood Plantation

Unfortunately, the original Greenwood Plantation from 1830 built by William R. Barrow in Greek Revival Style with its 28 columns burnt down in 1960. All that was left behind was the columns and the front steps. It was re-built based on original blueprint and style. The mansion now stands tall among the multiple alleys of mature, majestic, moss draped oaks. Of course, this home is a favorite of Hollywood serving as the location for such movies as:   “Louisiana,” “North & South,”  “GI Joe II,”  and “Jeepers Creepers III.”

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The Myrtles Plantation (circa 1796)

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Myrtles Plantation

The Myrtles Plantation claim to fame is that it is one of the most haunted mansions in history. You can learn about the history of this antebellum style home by visiting visit Myrtlesplantation.com

One can book a stay here for a night or more as this plantation serves as a bed & breakfast and who knows you may prove during your visit or stay?

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Entry Way

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Stairway Where William Winters Died and Presumedly Still Haunts.

Legends has it that a total of ten murders occurred at Myrtles Plantation. There is only evidence of one murder, that of William Winter, occurring at Myrtles Plantation. William Winter died on the 17th step of the house. According to historical records, Winter was shot on the front porch and presumedly crawled up the stairway to his death on the 17th stair.

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Rosedown Plantation (circa 1835)

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The third stop on our visit to  the small town of Saint Francisville was in West Felicia at the state owned RoseDown Plantation historical site. The original plantation compromised some 3,400 acres with cotton being the main crop production. Rosedown was built in 1835 by cotton planters Daniel and Martha Turnbull, it is one of the most documented and intact plantation complexes in the South and is known for its extensive formal gardens surrounding the house.

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Mural in Foyer of Rosedown- A Must See

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Oaks at Rosedown

 

Learn More about Saint Francisville and West Felicia Parish


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Thank you for reading and please share your thoughts.

Blood Mary Brunch

One of my favorite fellow bloggers Living the Q Life recently posted their thoughts on entertainment ideas with their post titled: The Bloody Mary Brunch  My own image of a Bloody Mary from Maryland is below.

Bloody-Mary

Maryland’s Take on the Bloody Mary

by Living the Q Life

Bloody Mary Brunch

If you’re looking for a fun entertaining idea, consider throwing a Bloody Mary brunch party. People can have Bloody Marys with or without vodka, you can provide different flavors of vodka, and let them garnish their own Bloody Mary. The actual origin of the Bloody Mary drink is uncertain with claims that it was invented in the 1920’s in Paris while other people claim that it originated in New York, and others say it was invented in Chicago. Wherever it came from, it is certainly a staple on many drink menus around the world. Brunch items can be simple and you can certainly offer for people to bring their own favorite items. We decided to throw one over the weekend and for our brunch items, we chose to make deviled eggs, mini-frittatas, bacon wrapped sesame bread sticks, and French toast sticks with syrup. We made our own Bloody Mary mix and had shrimp, pepperoncini, celery, pickles, cherry tomatoes, and olives (some stuffed with pimentos and some stuffed with jalapeno peppers) as garnish. Letting guests poor their own Bloody Mary and garnish it themselves allows them to control the amount of alcohol that they want as well as be creative with the way that they garnish their own drink. We have provided our recipe for the Bloody Mary mix, but if you’d like information on any of the brunch items, just let us know.

Mini Frittatas

Garnishes

INGREDIENTS

  • 48 oz Tomato Juice
  • 12 oz Clamato Juice
  • 1/4 cup Beef Broth
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 4 tbsp Prepared Horseradish
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Celery Salt
  • 2 to 3 dashes of Tabasco Sauce

Bloody Mary Mix

Bacon Wrapped Bread Sticks

Bloody Mary

INSTRUCTIONS

Add all of the ingredients in a large picture, stirring to incorporate all of the horseradish. If you can’t find Clamato brand tomato juice, you can add the 10 ounces of tomato juice and 2 ounces of clam juice. If you would like a more or less spicy Bloody Mary mix, simply increase or decrease the amount of horseradish and tabasco sauce that you add.

Deviled Eggs

French Toast Sticks

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TripAdvisor

A Few More Essentials…

As promised, here is part two on my previous post titled: A Few Travel Essentials . Now, that you have planned and booked your trip. It is time to be sure to include some important items as you pack for the next adventure. Below are a few more essentials to consider as you begin to prepare for your next travel adventure. Please share your own essentials. Enjoy!

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Azaleas’ in Bloom-My Backyard

The Camera

I want to preserve my travel experiences and memories. So, I always bring a camera with me. In addition, I have my iPhone as a backup and often grab it to take a quick photo or two. You must include a camera (small is my preference) as as a travel essential to your next travel adventure.

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Hummingbird-Costa Rica

The Traditional Road Atlas

This next recommended essential item may seem rather odd with the world of google maps and GPS at our fingertips and via most Smartphones. I have been caught with the dreaded ‘searching for signal’ notice on my iPhone (T-maybe in rural areas) and thus, must either drive aimlessly or resort to following directions the traditional way. I would rather knowing how to read an atlas.  If you understand how to read a map, you will will be ahead of the game and understand when the GPS route just doesn’t make sense. Consider adding a Road Atlas as your next travel essential when heading out on your next road trip. Your local AAA office is an excellent source, if you are a member.

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Road Somewhere in North Carolina

Books and Other Reading Material

During the travel period, you will find that there will be free time. Books are an essential item to include when packing for the trip. I often update my Kindle with a few free ebooks from the local library for long trips or grab a book from the library for shorter trips. Books and other forms of reading should be part of your packing travel essentials.

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Extra Clothes in Carry-on

This next travel essential has saved me some frustration in a couple of long flights leading to some extending lay-overs. You will be thankful to have a fresh pair of clothes.  If you have the right carry-on such as what E-Bag offers and recommended by fellow blogger Living the Q Life, you may find some extra room for this essential item.

 

Food is Energy

You should not rely on the food offered by either the airport or plan. I often pack snacks and sometimes a small lunch (if the journey is short). You need food to keep you going, focused, and avoid any exhaustion. Pack snacks that are offer energy such as protein bars.

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Check your Passport and the Visa Requirements

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months during your travel period. In addition, you should check whether or not where you are traveling will require a tourist visa. A excellent site that I use is VisaCentral. Also, make a photo copy of your passport or add it to your smartphone device as backup just in case you ever loose your passport.

I highly recommend taking care of the visa requirements prior to leaving the U.S., rather than waiting to do these details at your final destination. There are risk of delays or possibility missing required documentation and thus, a disappointing travel experience.

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Photo by Jonathan Miksanek on Pexels.com

Register with the U.S. Embassy

This next essential item involves registering  your international trip with the Safe Traveler Enrollment Program or STEP). There are two main reasons why I do this and also recommend that you do the same: 1) once you do so, you will receive email alerts for the country that you are visiting for such issues as protests, local violence, or other issues  in specific cities or regions. 2) If something should ever happen to you, the U.S. embassy is aware of where you are at the time and can notify your family and loved ones because you have registered your trip with STEP

A Good No-Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Card A Must

I don’t carry much cash during my travels. Instead, I rely on the local ATM  and two VISA credit cards that do not charge a foreign transaction fee. You will hear or read about the need to grab local currency prior to your international travels. I have rarely done this option, but for a select few countries.  The key essential here is to notify the credit card companies of your travel with date of travel, countries (including layovers). Don’t forget the layover! You would hate to have the credit card company to think someone stole your card and block all transitions. This happened once to me when I forgot to include a short UK layover to trip Italy.  Of course, the credit card may still reach out to you to confirm any transition even when you report the travel notice. So, please be sure to make note of your credit card companies contact number.  There should be a number to collect call for them to pay the cost on the back of the card.  Take note of this number somewhere else as well.

I may have mentioned that I do not keep much cash on me, but I do try to keep just enough for taxi and food; and if ever I need to as a secondary option to convert into local currency when not able to find an ATM.

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Of course none of my recommendations will guarantee the perfect trip, but offer you some opportunities to make that next trip a little less stressful. Thank you for reading and I hope you find these recommendations helpful.

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A Few Travel Essentials

As I continue to travel each year, I find myself frequently doing the same routine things to pre-plan for these new adventures including: visiting key websites, developing my own itinerary, and following other bloggers advice.  Best of all of these this information is free. Please let me share some of my travel essentials and feel free to share your own with me.

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(Image credit: (Williams, G., 2013)

Essential 1: Knowing when to go

To know when to go is often a challenge if you are just wishing to traveling to a certain part of the world. This concern can easily be answered through exploring TripAdvisor and posting a question to the site. Of course, other concerns to consider include: allotted vacation days, if it is a special family or friend event that you must attend, or you have extra cash that allows for travel.

One true consideration that can quickly eat into your travel expenses is not considering local holidays, especially when traveling to Asia or South America. For us in the U.S., I would plan well ahead for Spring Break and avoid the usually locales for travel destinations such as the southern states.

You may find www.mycalendar.org helpful.  Not all countries are there, but it’s great tools to start with that will assist in identifying holidays.

Also, this site offers some good options to explore ideas when considering the climate and season for exploring a country.  You may find best time to go helpful.

Essential 2: Finding That Cheapest Flight

Turns out there is a best time to book a flights. According to Peter Greenberg, it is Wednesday at 1 am. He explains the reason for this time in his blog from 2014 titled: The Best Time to Book Flights, Airline by Airline

The catch is not time zone specific and is applicable to the airline’s hub. If you take Peter’s advice and I have a few times, you could save some $$ through some extra effort on the phone versus online. Below is an updated list of the best times to book flights and the numbers to all for the U.S. airlines based off the original list from Mr. Greenberg’s blog.

Eastern Standard Time

Central Time Zone

Mountain Time Zone

Pacific Time Zone

Hawaii-Aluetian Time Zone

Should you always call the airlines directly? One can still find very discounted flights or if you are member of any of the airlines awards programs (i.e., American Airlines or Delta) you can still grab some good deals through exploring.  My two main online resources are listed below:

skyscanner.com

momondo.com

Another good one is SeatGuru which allows you to check which are the best seats in the aircrafts of most important airlines.

Another good website to know when to arrive and leave from many of the world’s airports is ToAndFromTheAirport.com It is not just for air travel, but can be used for buses, trains, and other transit.

A Mobile App Must Have

Do you not like uncertainty in not always knowing if you are booking the best price? Now, there is an option you can add to your mobile to potentially predict with very good accuracy (around 95% per the site). It is known as the Hopper app. I have used several times and happy with the results. You log in the typical flight details and receive notification whether to book now or wait for a better price. You can request to be notify when the price drops.

Essential 3: Need a Place to Stay

Once you have your flight booked, you will need a place to stay. One of my favorite sites to explore for the best stays (hotels, bed & breakfasts, apartments, etc.) is Booking.com This is a community of contributors (including yours truly) from across the global who offer honest and often detailed reviews of their stays.  You can also use TripAdvisor  for other objective reviews, travel recommendations, and guides.

I always visit both of these sites in my planning for the next adventure either find a hotel from scratch, or check the reviews of a hotel I am considering staying. Why do I use both as a comparison? It is my way to decide between the mix of reviews present on both sites and to gain a better understanding for the true intention of the person reviewing the stay. Sometimes the ‘bad’ review was not so bad and was an isolated incident of someone expecting a red carpet treatment at a 2 or 3 star stay.  My advice: always read all of the reviews.

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Essential 4: Currency Convertor

One of most frequently used apps on my iPhone is the  Xe Currency app. You can also use their website to explore exchange rates at xe.com I don’t there is a currency on the site that they don’t detail or at least, I haven’t come across it, yet.

Essential 5: Time is Important

This often not a concern if you don’t need to communicate with your home country. However, there are two reasons to consider time zone difference when traveling internationally.

1) knowing when the Spring (the Spring Forward–thing)  time zone hour changes worldwide or don’t for some countries, and

2) Being able to call your bookings for questions that can’t be answered on their websites.

A good app to download is:

for IOS devices: Timeanddate

for Android devices: Timeanddate

The website for the above is timeanddate.com/worldclock

Essential 6: The Weather

I can attest to planning everything and just a couple of days before the trip was to occur, a hurricane is to hit the area. This is where another essential comes later. You may not be to predict everything all the time, but a good tool to explore the current weather and local forecast is weather.com  or weather underground

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Essential 7: Travel or Trip Insurance

 This next essential may read as if I am selling an insurance policy. Of course,  this is not the case. I have found the the need to cancel a few of our travel plans due to various reasons and without travel insurance, the expense would have shocking! I highly recommend travel insurance for any international trip. One of the main trusted sites that I have used is WorldNomads.com You can learn more about travel insurance by visiting Travel Insurance

Trip cancellation insurance is just some of the many perks now being offered by many credit card companies when booking travel, but be sure to read the policy as there are often more restrictions than the above travel insurance policy.

Essential 8: Vaccinations

I am advocate for vaccination and recommend the The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‘s website and highly recommend that you download the Healix Travel Vaccinations app for your iPhone.


There is more to travel than these eight essentials and I plan to add my thoughts and perhaps fellow travelers’ recommendations as well into a quick reference. Some questions to consider:

Is Tuesday or Wednesday still the best travel day? Is Saturday catching up as the best travel day?

Is seasonal travel really the best means to plan your travel?

What other tools do you use when planning your trips?  

Please let me know in the comments.

 

 

Aswan: Philae Temple & Nubian Village Dec 2018 — by BeatriceTravels

Original Post By: beatricetravels

This morning we set sail for Aswan which was the southern frontier of ancient Egypt and provided a gateway to Africa.  It is here that granite quarries are found and supplied the rest of Egypt in the building of temples and pyramids.  The Ptolemies ruled here from 323-30 BC and built the remarkable Philae Temple dedicated to the goddess Isis.  Isis was the goddess of fertility and motherhood.  She was the wife of Osiris and mother of Horus.  Her name literally means Queen of the Throne and she was often depicted with a headdress that was an empty throne chair belonging to her husband Osiris.  In ancient Egypt, the pharaoh was often portrayed as her child and sat on the throne she provided.  Philae Temple was built during the reign of Ptolemy II and continued by Ptolemy IV, V, VI, VII, and XI.  The temple was submerged after the first Aswan dam was built in 1906 and was later saved and moved by UNESCO to Agilika Island after the building of the Aswan High Dam in 1971.  Agilika Island was modelled after Philae Island and the temple was moved stone by stone and took 9 years to complete!

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Early this morning, we arrived at the docks to board a speedboat taking us to Philae Temple on Agilika Island

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The first 18-meter pylon of Philae Temple has two towers and an open forecourt leading to the second pylon.  The mamisi or birth house here has scenes depicting the birth of Horus by Isis and Horus as a falcon in the swamps of the Delta.  The second pylon leads to the hypostyle hall where you can find Coptic crosses carved into the walls when the temple became a Christian place of worship during the early Byzantine times.  From here the three vestibules lead into the inner sanctuary where a golden statue of Isis and her barque used to stand.  On the west is a door leading to the Gate of Hadrian with reliefs depicting Hadrian making offerings to Osiris, Isis, etc. as well as Marcus Aurelius making offerings of grapes and flowers to Isis.

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Forecourt of Philae Temple

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Birth House of Philae Temple

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Coptic crosses can be found on the columns when the temple was used as a coptic church

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Pharaoh making offerings to Thoth with the head of an ibis.  He was the inventor of writing and the messenger of the gods.
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Horus in the form of the falcon wearing the double crown

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Isis suckling the young pharaoh who was deified as Horus

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The giving of life to the pharaoh represented by the ankh

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Inside the inner sanctuary with the granite base which would have held the sacred barque bearing the image of Isis.
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A relief depicting Isis supporting the mummy of Osiris with her wings.  Legend has it that Osiris was murdered by his brother Set.  Isis, Osiris’s wife, restores his body to posthumously conceive their son, Horus, who then avenges his father Osiris  The Osiris myth is integral to the ancient Egyptian concepts of kingship, the conflict between good and evil, and the idea of the afterlife.
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Hadrian’s Gate

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The small Temple of Hathor decorated with reliefs of musicians among which was an ape playing the lute and Bes, the god of childbirth.
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Bes, the dwarf god, who was the patron of childbirth and children

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Not far is the unfinished pavilion called Kiosk of Trajan or Pharaoh’s Bed.  It was a favorite subject of the Victorian painters with their boats moored beneath it.

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Temple of Isis on the left and Kiosk of Trajan on the right.

From Philae Temple, we were taken for a ride on a traditional Egyptian sail boat called a felucca.  We went around Lord Kitchener’s Island and Elephantine Island.  We returned to our cruise for a relaxing lunch before we took a speed boat to visit a Nubian Village about 45 mins away.

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Felucca sailing near Aswan
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Cruising on our felucca
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Lord Kitchener’s Island houses the Aswan Botanical Gardens with many exotic and rare plants.
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On the hill stands the Agha Khan Mausoleum built in honor of Sultan Mahommed Shah, Aga Khan III.  He was the 48th Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims and briefly served as President of the League of Nations in 1937.  The mausoleum was built using pink granite and white carrara marble.  His widow would leave a read rose on his tomb everyday until her death in 2000.  As per her request, a rose would still be laid on his sarcophagus till today.
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Arriving the Nubian Village near Aswan.  Many Nubians had to be relocated with the building of the Aswan high dam.  They have darker colored skin and their own indigenous language.  As warriors, the ancient Nubians were excellent archers and often fought for the pharaohs.

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En route back to Aswan

Shared from: Aswan: Philae Temple & Nubian Village Dec 2018 — beatricetravels

Celebrate our Flying Friends

Happy National Bird Day!

January 5th marks the Avian Welfare Coalition’s campaign to celebrate  the flying creatures that share the world with us. I am adding some images of the birds seen throughout my travels to mark today’s celebration of birds in the wild.

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Crimson-collared Tanager in Costa Rica

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Black Guan in Costa Rica

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Swans on The Rhine River, Germany

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Kure Beach, North Carolina’s Pier—Don’t feed the birds!

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A Gaggle of Ostrich on the Serengeti, South Africa

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Fruit Bat in Ecuador

Hope you enjoyed….

 

The Temple of Hatshepsut

Egypt is growing again in its popularity for visitors. Tourism is one of this African nation’s major economic driving forces and I had the pleasure of touring here for three weeks. This is perhaps one of my favorite countries to visit.

Temple of Hatshepsut 

One of the highlights of our trip was Luxor and the many ancient sites offered here for visitors.  You will need at least two days to truly capture what can be seen on the east and west banks of the Nile.  There are several ways of getting to this city including bus, car, or plane. We chose to fly the short journey from Cairo as we were to begin our Nile River cruise here. Of course, one can explore the many hotel offerings in Luxor on Booking.com, but we were staying on board our ship for 4 nights.

One of the first ancient sites we visited in Luxor on the west bank of the Nile was the “The Temple of Hatshepsut.”  Situated under the cliffs of Deir el Bahri. Some of the photos of the past visit here.

Tomb of Hasp

Entrance to Tomb of Hatshepsut

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Ancient Art…

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Hieroglyphics Inside the Temple

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Inside the Temple.

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Views of the Cliffs

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The Temple Entrance and Me

Of course, there is more to see and do than visiting this ancient complex.  I will be adding more posts of my adventure here soon.

 

What to See

This temple is open year-around from  9 am to 5 pm. I highly recommend going early to avoid the high afternoon temperatures. The Temple of Hatshepsut is just one of many archaeological wonders that make part of the UNESCO World Heritage site known as Ancient Thebes with its Necropolis. Consider staying for a few days and you can descend into the Valley of the Kings, wander the sprawling Karnak Temple Complex as one of my fellow bloggers has posted some great details and photos. Don’t forget about the Temple of Luxor.

When to Go

May through September is summer and often low season. If you can handle thedesertsummer heat, prices will be less and crowds smaller. Other times offers lower temperatures ‘milder’ and higher number of crowds.

 

Enjoy your next travel adventure!

Happy Birthday, National Parks Service!

It was August 25, 1916 when then President Woodrow Wilson signed the National Park Service Act and thus creating the National Park Service. The parks system includes over 400 areas which includes national parks, monuments, military parks, battlefields, historical parks, historical sites, lakeshores, seashores, recreation areas, scenic rivers and trails, and even the White House. Every year, millions of people visit the these areas and last year’s top 10 most visited national parks included 2 in the PNR region: Olympic National Park and Glacier National Park.

Today, marks the National Park Service’s 102th birthday.

black red and white butterfly in closeup photo

Photo by Diego Madrigal on Pexels.com

so to honor this preservation efforts of our country’s most important and stunning landscapes, check out Foder’s Travel for a top list of National Parks to inspire you to get out and enjoy our great outdoors.

Happy Birthday NPS! Please continue to do what you have been doing for over 100 years!

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