International Writers Magazine:
knew we were in for a very hot time even though it was early April because,
it was the heat rising up off the desert that caused this shuddering.
As I looked down I could see a thin green snake surrounded by the sands,
which was where the current river bed made its way North. It was hard
to imagine all the humanity of Egypt confined to this thin green strip
but it was... It was so hot that later when we walked through the main
square of Cairo, the asphalt would stick to the soles of our shoes and
stretch like chewing gum when we raised our feet to take the next step.
Around in Mesr
Brian H. Appleton
Tired of Persia? What about De Nile?
were flying in over the Sahara desert which was ribboned with the
intertwined imprints of dried out riverbeds from where the Nile
had shifted its course over history as many times as a teenager
in love... As we came in for a landing, the airplane "shake
rattled and rolled" as that King from the other Memphis used
As we sped in our taxi through the streets towards our hotel on the island
of El Zamalek in the middle of the Nile in the middle of Cairo, I kept
looking around to see if the flags were at half mast. I was sure a national
leader had died because everyone was speaking in whispers in marked contrast
to what we were use to in Iran from which I had just come... As I stepped
into the elevator in our hotel lobby, a young Bell Hop, as black as the
Ace of Spades took my bag from me and said in the perfect King's English:"
Is this your first time in Cairo, Sir? I do hope that you have a most
pleasant stay." And thus began one of the most memorable vacations
in my life....
The Great Pyramids At Giza
That night we went disco dancing at the Saddle Rack in the basement
of The Mena House Hotel
It was within the shadows of the three great pyramids I was told
but we could see nothing out there in the pitch black of the night.
hostess and her daughter were Americans from California, who spent most
of their time studying Arabic at Cairo University and playing bridge with
Omar Shariff. Next day they introduced us to an Egyptian friend of theirs
nick named Zacky who owned a string of beautiful Arabian horses stabled
near the pyramids and he told us that his horses had been used in many
They put me on a young stallion and although we started out riding as
a group, my horse was so spirited, I just knew he wanted to run
I couldnt resist his will any longer and I took off at a fast gallop
across the desert sand
I ran a big circle around the pyramids and
whooped " Yahooo, Ridum CowBoy, Yeeehaw!" like a complete fool
but I just couldnt contain my joy and the privilege of riding on
such a beautiful horse who loved to gallop
besides like I said it
was so incredibly hot out like 145 degrees F in the shade that no one
else, not a tourist, not a local Egyptian was out and about in the noon
"just mad dogs and Englishmen" and us, so I dont
think anyone really heard me
not that I embarrass easy
coming to my senses long enough to figure out which direction I was supposed
to be headed in, I spun around and raced up the hill to the top where
our hostess and her daughter, who had driven up around the back way to
meet us by car were waiting for us at a restaurant up there
inquired after my colleagues, whom I had completely forgotten about and
I looked back down the hill after them to spy a row of 2 dots slowly heading
up our way. After a few minutes after we had had time for a cold drink,
the dots were large enough to discern as horses but they were riderless
I told our hostess: "Ill take care of this!" and I jumped
back on my horse racing around gathering up the reins of the other horses.
I headed back down the hill with two horses in tow and we retraced our
foot steps back towards the pyramids. I found the two girls lying on their
bellies passed out from the heat. One by one, I hoisted them over the
saddles of their horses and tied their hands and feet together with some
rope I had found in a saddle bag, so that they wouldnt fall off
and then I headed back up the hill to the restaurant. It looked for all
the world like a cowboy movie, with my prisoners slung over their horses
that way and me bringing them in for bounty.
The owner of the restaurant helped me carry the two girls inside where
we laid them out on top of those long blocks of ice they use commercially.
We hoped that the cold ice would cool them down enough to come back around
but when they did come around with a sudden start both sitting up at once
it was not from the ice but rather from hearing me get out my camera and
wind the film with the idea of taking their picture passed out and without
That was the day at the Great Pyramids and that night we went to see:"
The Sound and Light" there which was wonderful and moody and enchanting
like a dream. All the lights went out at the start of the show and for
a few minutes we sat in silence, then suddenly the head of the Great Sphinx
was illuminated by a floodlight and a strident melody blared out from
a harp which you normally dont think of as loud. Anyway it was very
effective and theatrical and it made me jump with a start.
love poem from a 19 year old ancient Egyptian girl found in the City
of the Dead was read and she could have been the girl next door only
4000 years ago, so beautiful and filled with longing was her poem that
I was envious of whoever the object of her affection had been, wishing
it were me
Appleton September 2007
Im glad that I saw the old sound and lights before Phillips Lighting
came and redid everything making it into a laser light show more impressed
with showing off modern technology with the ancient pyramids merely
acting as a back drop for it
More World Travel
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