The road not taken

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The road not taken

He comes in my dreams sometimes,
with eyes matching the background of the sun,
but no, his eyes are not blue and the sun has lost
the amber reflections of the sand,
where we last walked hand by hand.

We used to play scrabble, piles of Arabic letters
that didn’t resemble any meaning in any dictionary
and he knew I was spelling ‘love’ completely wrong,
but he kept smiling, until the birds made
a nest out of the telephone wires.

And I wrote a letter, two, three,
and my words swayed the pink flares
of the Pyramids just before the dawn of summer.
I had a hope for a while, that he will stop by
and read about why we are apart now.

But years from now, I will meet a stranger,
somewhere on a cruise to Panama.
We both will have hearts of travelers
and stories to exchange over the death of waves
and the spell of nymphs.

And there will be a fairytale, fantasies about
flamingos in love and a boy who missed
the last bus from El-Minia to Giza,
because the road was never his to take,
neither mine to offer.

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"Boats off Cromer" by David F. Barker

Visit David Barker at francisbarkerart.com, wonderful poetry and amazing art!

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© 2012  Broken Sparkles

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Egypt

 

All over today’s modern world, architectures have their talent built into towers, skyscrapers and luxury hotels, but the Pyramids and Temples of Egypt for me will always remain art of perfection, art that you shouldn’t be able to easily describe with words. I consider myself very lucky person and my trip to Egypt is a glimpse of this unbelievable luck that someone sprinkles on top of me when I most need it! It was nearly 1,5 years ago, but my memories are and always will be very fresh and vivid! I don’t remember to have been impatient in an airplane, ever! I like being in airplanes, but flying to Egypt was 3 hours of constant urge to sit on the pilot’s place and fly the big, white machine as faster as I could! Arriving there got my heart so excited that I couldn’t be bothered with the long queue to get the entry visa or with the poor and nearly miserable little airport of Hurghada town, the important was that I was there, so close to Pharaohs and mummies, I could finally see all Egyptian post cards from my collection alive, with my two eyes eager!

Giza, the Pyramids

Hurghada is 370 km away from Cairo, settled on the coast of Read sea and it is the pioneer of tourist resort-towns in Egypt, Before just a little village, now loaded with fancy, 5-star hotels and foreigners enjoying the sun and the crystal-clean sea water. To be honest, after all the rumors about Egypt, being a very poor country, I didn’t expect the hotel we stayed at to be so beautiful, so civilized and nicely organized. I fell in love with  “Stella Makadi” resort in the moment I set my foot in the lobby of the hotel. The huge hall and the reception desk, the fountains in the shape of stars / Stella means star/, the rooms so simple, but comfortable and elegant, the restaurant and its rich dishes, the beach with fine sand, the swimming pool … it was all unique paintings for my eyes to enjoy! But most of all what I loved there was the people, everyone was so dedicated to their work, ready to please any wish of us the guests and smiling, always smiling, always with a good word to guide you, to be helpful!

"Stella Makadi" hotel, by the pool, my favorite spot

Apart from the relaxing holiday that hotels like “Stella Makadi” can offer you, the swim and the sunbathing, the spa and the gym activities, the fresh drinks and the dancing in the night club / most 5-star hotels there, have their own night club/, the hotel provides a contact with tourist agencies, which can organize for you different trips. I did quite few of them! Trip to the town of Hurghada to visit the market, trip with a submarine to explore the coral reefs and life in the waters of Read sea, safari in the desert and a day trip to Luxor, it was worth doing each of them.

"Stella Makadi" hotel

The local people living in Hurghada are pretty much adapted to the “crazy” tourist/ in their eyes/, used to the different cultures that come to visit. What I’ve noticed was that you can hardly see women walking on the streets or any of them working / in our hotel even the cleaning of the rooms was done by men/ and if there was a woman to see, she was usually covered top to bottom, wearing long dress-looking-like clothes and a scarf on the face, showing only the eyes. I asked our guide, why is that, why women hide their beauty? I know and I have read enough about this matter, but still I wanted to hear what a local person will say about it. His explanation puzzled me, despite the expected answer! I somehow can not accept that a woman should cover her beautiful hair and face, just because someone can look at her and desire her, someone who will not be her husband, but we all come from different countries, we have different cultures and I have all the respect about it!

 

Valley of the Kings, Luxor – with my brother

I loved the various kind of fish that I saw on my trip with the submarine, so cute-looking, colorful creatures, some of them actually very dangerous. And the sand in the desert it’s much different than the sand I had in my mind thinking of the empty wilderness. The little safari we had gave me an exact icon of it! It was very tiring to walk in the desert, exposed on the sun, because even the sun shines differently there.

Amon's Temple in Karnak

Most of all trips, the one to Luxor was the greatest. It’s like being to a totally other country, surrounded with temples and valleys and not umbrellas made out of palm trees on the beach. We saw the Temple of Hatshepsut, the Valley of the Kings, the Colossus of Memnon, Karnak Temple. They all looked more or less like ruins on a land dried from the sun and the closer panoramic view was usually hidden by the hundred of tourists, but each of these places is extremely great because of its history. The tombs of  Pharaohs now empty, left only with the drawings on the walls, telling us stories of ancient Egypt and the belief of people in afterlife, the perfect, so tall columns in Amon’s temple at Karnak made me wonder  how did they survive centuries and nature, standing there after so many years to whisper tales. I personally felt such an honor to be stepping on this sacred ground , to be able to touch with my own hands the solid stones that they were made out of! It’s really sad that each of these wonderful places and the mystery of them are left more or less to the tourists, Egyptians don’t really take good care of them as monuments with such precious value, or maybe they just don’t have to possibilities to do so. One thing is sure, I can visit over and over again and to look at them with the same respect and astonishment as it is my first time to see them.

Leaving Hurghada, after 7 days of … everything that my heart can wish for, it was very difficult, it was painful and sad! I knew we were going to Cairo and the Pyramids were waiting for me, but still, I could feel the torture of the fact that my holiday was nearly over.  I was already attached to the hotel, to the people and even to the dust coming from the desert! I had fallen in love with the culture, with the temples and with the few nights walking with bare feet on the beach, with the couple of innocent kisses and Arabic words about love and beauty destined to reach my stolen heart. It wasn’t easy!  Later, when I was back to Greece, because of these mixed feelings I felt, I wrote “Missing you” and “Fairytale from Egypt“.

Giza Pyramids, Cairo

Going to Cairo with bus was a quiet ride, I was sitting silently, wearing sunglasses to hide my almost red eyes from the tears.  I was happy that my brother met few girls on the bus and he was busy talking and laughing with them, so I wouldn’t face the questions of sort:” What’s wrong?”. I almost hated the Pyramids and the part in our tourist program of visiting them, I wanted to spend the rest of my stay in Hurghada, but here I was on the road to Cairo.

Cairo is a very busy town and is famous with its traffic. I hated it from the moment we entered it! The way I loved Hurghada from the very first moment with indescribable passion, like this I felt Cairo strange and hated by my whole inside. The hotel was an absolute disappointment and I am not a person who lives in luxury, but that hotel there was a miserable place, dirty and chaotic. The streets were dusty, people were looking strange at us, men had their eyes full of lust on our white skins. It might be just in my imagination, it might be just the fact that I left my heart in Hurghada, but Cairo didn’t feel very homey. Even at night with all the lights it looked creepy to me and I think that any town with lights at night looks spectacular, any but Cairo!

Giza, the Sphinx

 

I didn’t sleep almost all night, trying to treasure every nice moment from the days before, to remember every little detail of the smiles and the faces that gave me so much comfort and love. Early in the next morning we had to be ready for the visit to the Pyramids. I was not excited, I confess! I even felt a bit of shame because of this … Bu

t once we got near, once the tiny Pyramids turned slowly, slowly into huge, once we all stood in front of them, the only thing you can do is take a deep breath and sigh in amazement! There is nothing else like this I’ve ever seen! Thousand of little blocks, put in a mysterious lines and order, leading smoothly one after another, to reach the pic, to reach heaven and to create miracles because of the divine shape they have. I forgot about the misery, about the complaints of the hotel, being there you can’t think of silly things, you just stand still and freeze, admiring, adoring every moment, every look!

To end my trip to Egypt with this view, with the story of the Pyramids, after all, was the perfect end for a trip! There are many more things I can talk about, I can tell you the story about each monument we saw, about each of their Kings and Queens, but these were the highlights! And of course there are many other places and cities in Egypt,that I didn’t manage to see, but I plan on going back very soon! Egypt was always first on my list ” To go to!” and for lots of reasons will be my very special trip forever and ever, no matter how many new and beautiful places I will visit in the future! I strongly advice you if you ever have the chance … don’t hesitate, just go! And when you do, give my regards to this holy land!

"Stella Makadi" hotel

 

 

Thank you all for reading!

Love: B.

 

© 2010  Broken Sparkles