A Twitter Tour of Egypt
Photo by David Cogswell
It was a lightning trip, one day over and one day back with three full days on the ground in Egypt.
The Egyptian Tourist Authority gathered some tour operators and some media people together in Egypt to discuss the difficulties the Egyptian tourism industry has now based on the fact that so many people are frightened to go there.
The ETA wanted to hear from Americans who are involved in travel to Egypt about why Americans are irrationally afraid of traveling to Egypt, and to think of ways to try to clear up that misunderstanding.
It's one thing to be frightened of actual danger. But it's another to be frightened of something that doesn't exist.
Not to say there is no danger in Egypt. There is danger everywhere. As we know well in America, evil can crop up practically anywhere, in small towns like Newtown, Conn. or Columbine, Colorado. No place is exempt from random violence.
And though New York City is a target of repeated terrorist attacks, not to mention other dangers that are known to exist in New York, I don't walk around the streets cowering in fear. When I am in New York, I am swept up by the reality of what I am experiencing around me. I'm exhilarated with all the wonder I see, spectacular buildings and monuments, all the fascinating people I pass on the street, each with his own story behind the eyes.
Even if some sort of incident takes place in the city, it's not going to really affect my life until I hear about it on the news later.
It's exactly the same when I am in Cairo. When I am there, I am just blown away by what I see. I am like a grain of sand at the foot of the Great Pyramids. Egypt is large. We are very small.
When you are in a place of such splendor, such magnificence, it takes you away. It masters you. The place dominates. You are still you, but you are a different you when in Rome.
So when I was in Egypt, the kinds of things that worry people who are afraid to go to Egypt now were as far away from me as the Boob Tube, or what Frank Zappa called "that rotten box."
If you are out taking in Egypt, you don't have time to put your head in a TV screen. I'm going to show you with a series of snapshots posted on Twitter some flashes from what I did experience in Egypt.
The itinerary throughout was a mixture of conference sessions and sightseeing, nicely broken up one by the other. But with only three full days in Egypt, the itinerary was inevitably packed.
Here are a few glimpses of what I saw as I passed through in what felt like a whirl.
Sometimes when I post photos of trips, my friends say, "I hate you." But you too can travel to Egypt. And you should! pic.twitter.com/iKNifFyCgh— CogswellTravelPulse (@CogswellTravelP) February 22, 2015
Everyone on earth wants to go to Egypt. Just not now. People say they are afraid. And I can't figure out why. pic.twitter.com/1SDc770Tne— CogswellTravelPulse (@CogswellTravelP) February 22, 2015
Our final night was spent at the fantastic Mena House hotel, so close to the Pyramids you can see them from the rooms pic.twitter.com/tiCgJAKkT3— CogswellTravelPulse (@CogswellTravelP) March 2, 2015
The beauty and the opulence of the Mena House is truly extraordinary. pic.twitter.com/1wPnrTJlIG— CogswellTravelPulse (@CogswellTravelP) March 3, 2015
Here's a view of the largest pyramid from the grounds of the Mena House. pic.twitter.com/EvC6SIwfF3— CogswellTravelPulse (@CogswellTravelP) March 3, 2015
And that is only a fragmentary glimpse of what I saw in Egypt.
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