Crossing the Sands of Time......

I'm back from my travels and all fired up with new-found inspiration!

I was in the Sinai Peninsula and travelled 4 hours through the vast desert terrain in an already scorching heat, high into the mountains to visit the totally remote Greek Orthodox Monastery of St. Catherine - the oldest continually running church in the world.
Standing in front of the Burning Bush

at the base of the very mountain where Moses received the tablets of stone with the Ten Commandments, was the highlight of our trip. It was quite simply breathtaking. The most overwhelming sensation in this most sacred of places was one of utter peace and humility, dwarfed as we were by the sheer majesty of our surroundings.

Egypt. It's impossible to write just a few lines about a brilliant ancient civilisation that emerged from darkness to flourish for 3,000 years, creating magnificent monuments and world changing inventions such as paper, ink, the 365 calendar and the ox-drawn plough. So I will let my photos speak for me. The desert may appear to be an empty, arid, forbidding place yet, despite The Egyptian Government now providing housing settlements:

and schools at remote desert outposts for the children of these traditionally nomadic, tent dwelling people:

The culture of the Bedouin tribes who continue (as they have done for thousands of years, to somehow eke a living from it) still survives and thrives, full of rich tradition.

I say 'forbidding' yet just beneath the surface of this hard, barren, inhospitable landscape lies a treasure trove of untold riches; seams of turquoise, amber, lapis lazuli - all manner of semi-precious stones - which are fashioned by artisans into jewelry and objects d'art.

The old markets (souks) along the coast are filled with the hustle and bustle of traders selling their wares:

Selling everything from livestock (camels, goats, sheep and chickens):

and fresh fruit, vegetables:

herbs, teas (such as mint and hibiscus) and pungent spices:

to the vibrant textures and colours of woven rugs, baskets, mats and hats:

and the craftsmanship of metal workers using silver and beaten copper.
With modern technology and the addition of water the hot dry desert springs to life in a riot of glorious colour, transformed into a botanical paradise where bougainvillea, orchids and even petunias and hollyhocks:

bloom profusely and in abundance alongside the cacti:

the indigenous, often solitary, desert acacia trees:

and date palms which, in the eerie light of dusk, stand sentinel over this far from 'empty' wasteland but rather this wonderfully rich, colourful and fascinating remote corner of the world:

And it's warm welcoming people:

On a final note, one of the most haunting images I'm left with, is this photo I took of a Bedouin woman wandering completely alone in the desert, miles from anywhere (quite literally in the middle of nowhere!)

From now on whenever I feel the need to get 'Far from the Madding Crowd' and escape from the sea of humanity and the hustle and bustle of city life, I will simply close my eyes and transport myself back to the empty expanse of the Sinai Desert, into her shoes ......
(except that she, wasn't wearing any!)


  1. You have brought color to what seems to be construed as a desolate land, lovely pictures. Thank you.

  2. Thank you Shelley! It is the most fascinating place


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