Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Souvenirs from Israel and Egypt

Here they are .....

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River Nile N Nile Cruise

In the evening, we had a Nile Cruise dinner. It was dark and we couldn't see much outside the cruiser. After dinner we were entertained by a belly dancer and her muscicians and some audience participation.

We had a better view of the Nile the next morning when we had lunch at a restaurant that was situated on the Nile River. After that we departed for Cairo Airport to begin our journey back to Singapore.

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Of Fragrant Oils and Essence

The afternoon gave the group a chance to visit a perfumery which makes their own aromatic oils and essence. The lady who did the explantion was very knowledgeable and explained about how the famous brands perfumes were made with a mixture of certain essence and alcohol contents.
I found it very informative as I hardly deal with perfume. Prior to this trip I didn't even own a single perfume. Now I have four bottles .... three aromatic oils and an essence sitting on my side table.

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Presenting them here .... aromatic oils of Narwastoo, Sweet Almond and Menth and the Lotus fragrance essence. The Narwastoo oil is the oil which Mary Magdalene poured on Jesus's feet and then she wiped them with her hair. This oil when rubbed on the skin gives a warm sensation and this helps to elevate rheumatism pains. The Sweet Almond oil is good for moisturising dry hair and skin. The Menth oil smells of mint and it helps to reduce stuffy nose problems when you inhale a mixture of warm water with a drop of the oil.
The Lotus essence is good for reducing stress. It was said that the Lotus essence fragrance was noticed when the famous Egyptian King Tutenkhamen's tomb was discovered.

Giza Plateau

Sunday 28/12/08
And so on day 12th we found ourselves immersed in Egyptian Culture in Cairo. We arrived on the Giza Plateau to visit the great pyramids and the sphinx.

Bob, our Egyptian guide told us that it would cost US$20 to enter the pyramid and that we had to crawl on all fours as the passage was very low and narrow. In addition to that he said the air circulation was terrible inside the pyramid and so advised us to think carefully before going in.
My family was content with just sight seeing on the outside and attempting to climb the rocks was equally fun but not easy. However the boys were checked when they climbed higher than the permissible level. They had tourist police all around the pyramid base to discourage people from climbing too high up the rocks.

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We also visited the Eygptian Museum and were not allowed to take photos. The group was tired and was also reluctant to pay for group photos taken by the photography touts outside the museum.
So inside the museum we saw the bodies of many mummy, their many sarcophagus, many male and female statues of kings and queens and all kinds of artifacts ....too many to describe.
They brought back memories of the Eygptian History chapters when I studied World history in secondary school. What a pity no pictures!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Burning Bush

In the Bible .... many a times, the burning bush is mentioned.
In the Old Testament we read of a smoking brazier and a flaming torch (Genesis 15:17). Also as a flame of fire out of a bush (Exodus 3:2-6) and a column of fire (Exodus 13:21).
Smoke and fire at Sinai (Exodus 19:18) and a consuming fire on the mountain top (Exodus 24:17). All these are manifestations that proclaim God's presence.

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St.Catherine's Monastery

Saturday 27/12/08

Up on the mountain, we visited St.Catherine's Monastery. It was a good 15-20 minutes walk. For those who can't walk, it is possible to go by taxi or camel too .... I saw some people rode on camels to reach the Monastery. At this place we saw the plant life that was much talked about in the book of Exodus .... the Burning Bush!

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Taba Border Crossing N St.Catherine's

Friday 26/12/08

We had a full day of travelling and began early this morning. We arrived at Eilat the last stop in Israel to have lunch at the restaurant before border crossing at Taba.

So it was here that we left Israel and entered into Eygpt. There was a stretch of land where we had to cross on foot , lugging our own luggage to Eygpt. They called it "no man's land". No Israeli nor Eygptian authorities here so we crossed to Eygpt to catch our tour bus on the other side.

In Eygpt we travelled into the night to reach St.Catherine's a wadi in the mountain. For hours in the bus we saw sand and mountain. There was hardly any greenery.

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Here is St.Catherine's ... our hotel in the morning ..... It was cold staying for a night in the mountain resort. The room was very basic and the heater was not working.

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