I traveled to Egypt in August of 2009. The first place I visited was the city built by Alexander the Great on the Nile Delta, Alexandria. The city was quite interesting, but there was a mix of rich and poor that made the city look awkward. My next destination was the city of Port Said, which is an interesting and somewhat charming free trade zone. I then traveled to Cairo, an even more awkward city before arriving at Giza and Memphis, which were the highlights of my trip. The experience of seeing and touching the ancient pyramids goes beyond words. The pyramids are by far, one of the most amazing sites I have ever seen.

The regularity and richness of the annual Nile River flood, coupled with semi-isolation provided by deserts to the east and west, allowed for the development of one of the world's great civilizations. A unified kingdom arose circa 3200 B.C., and a series of dynasties ruled in Egypt for the next three millennia. The last native dynasty fell to the Persians in 341 B.C., who in turn were replaced by the Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines. It was the Arabs who introduced Islam and the Arabic language in the 7th century and who ruled for the next six centuries. A local military caste, the Mamluks took control about 1250 and continued to govern after the conquest of Egypt by the Ottoman Turks in 1517. Following the completion of the Suez Canal in 1869, Egypt became an important world transportation hub, but also fell heavily into debt. Ostensibly to protect its investments, Britain seized control of Egypt's government in 1882, but nominal allegiance to the Ottoman Empire continued until 1914. Partially independent from the UK in 1922, Egypt acquired full sovereignty with the overthrow of the British-backed monarchy in 1952. The completion of the Aswan High Dam in 1971 and the resultant Lake Nasser have altered the time-honored place of the Nile River in the agriculture and ecology of Egypt. A rapidly growing population (the largest in the Arab world), limited arable land, and dependence on the Nile all continue to overtax resources and stress society. The government has struggled to meet the demands of Egypt's growing population through economic reform and massive investment in communications and physical infrastructure. (CIA Factbook)

Scenes in Alexandria 2009

Alexandria and Port Said

Cairo and Memphis

The Pyrimids at Giza