Naguib Mahfouz is one of Egypt’s most famous authors and winner of the Nobel Prize. In preparation for our trip to Egypt, I read his Cairo Trilogy which is a multi-generational story about a Cairene family spanning the years from the Egyptian Revolution in 1919 to the end of World War II in 1944. It gives great insight into Egypt’s modern history through the story of the family and how each event affects the next generation and contributes to the evolution of the entire society.
And of course, if you haven’t yet read Agatha Christie’s classic Death on the Nile, it’s a must before a Nile River cruise. There is also the movie version, with Peter Ustinov, Mia Farrow, Angela Lansbury and Bette Davis, and the list goes on—it’s so good I watched it twice just before our trip.
If you’re visiting Cairo, I recommend this excellent, award-winning documentary, The Square, that will help make sense of all that happened in Tahrir Square during the 2011 revolution.
Mementos we picked up during our trip:
· A painting from a papyrus shop, customized with our names written in hieroglyphics.
· Tiny pyramids, which are available for sale everywhere.
· A Nubian-style galibaya with beautifully detailed embroidery.
· A tablecloth we bought from a boat vendor who makes a living attaching his boat to cruise ships and bargaining with people from their cabin balconies! An experience so interesting, we felt we had to buy something for all his effort.
· And a photo of our group at Luxor Temple. At the time it seemed so silly, since we all already got this shot with our own cameras. But looking back, I’m glad Shane paid the $2 for the photo. That photographer needed our patronage, and plus it reminds me of a time long ago when people were lucky to have a single photo of their great adventures.