A history of 5,000 years marked by pyramids, mummies, jewellery temples, art depicting Egyptian myths and the after-life are reason enough to visit Egypt. Even the desert is stunning—cliffs that look like lace and geometrical shapes chiselled by sand storms, the Red Sea’s turquoise water, and fluffy white clouds patterning the blue sky behind the mountains.
Tahrir Square, where a small protest grew into a nationwide movement to overthrow Hosni Mubarak, is always alive with demonstrating groups, which can turn turbulent without warning.
The Egyptian Museum is a stone's throw away. In November 2012, the government changed; the army who kept troublemakers at bay, was instructed not to interfere with civilians. Those wary of the army found a way to make a quick buck. Tourist buses were held to ransom. The regular route from Taba (Israel-Egypt border) to Cairo was shut.
Scheduled to head to Egypt from Israel, we considered rerouting to Mumbai. But with necessary precautions, we crossed into Egypt, taking a diversion to Cairo, and skipped visits to St. Catherine’s monastery and Mount Sinai. With an armed police vehicle in front, and a military vehicle with a light machine gun guarding the rear we reached Cairo safely. With a whiff of danger lurking in the air, this was a trip like never before—an adventure that set my heart racing.
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