Ruben in Egypt

Ruben spent a wonderful week in Egypt. Keep in mind: travel with baby is tough…travel in Africa is tough…and doing both is arguably foolhardy. However, our gracious hosts Casey, Kathleen and baby Andy made our trip infinitely easier. In spite of some rookie travel moves on our part (stroller in a third world country? Germany has made us dumb), we had a blast.

Andy is adorable. He has striking eyes, an exceedingly calm temperament, and a gigantic head. He’s undeniably cute, and stayed in good humor even when Ruben showered his particular brand of affection: forehead-swatting and eye-poking….

The Kalina cats would have been less humored by such swats (though Ruben tried to dole them out just the same). Nevertheless we managed to keep the boy out of harm’s way, with both eyes intact.

The weather cooperated for the most part. A bit hot at times (after all, it is a desert), and we had a small sandstorm on the first day (but were well-protected with a nice meal and a view–sort of– of a pyramid). We even had a bit of rain (*). These minor quibbles aside, it was good to get away from the winter redux Germany’s been experiencing this month.

*Speaking of rain in Africa — I’ve long suspected songwriting is sometimes pure inspiration and sometimes taking a germane word or phrase and constructing lyrics around it. Though it’s nice to believe it’s mostly the former, in my (limited) songwriting experience, one does end up doing quite a bit of the latter (my personal favorites: “diplomatic immunity” in the Gonzalo song and “seabiscuit” from the Good Guy). Anyway, Toto’s 80’s classic “Africa” has probably the most egregious and ham-handed example of such lyric building, in their second verse:

The wild dogs cry out in the night
As they grow restless longing for some solitary company
I know that I must do whats right
Sure as kilimanjaro rises like olympus above the serengeti

Boy that fourth line is a stretch, but all key words are included, meter and rhythm be damned. And it was stuck in my head all week. Perhaps now it’s stuck in yours.

Here’s the song and video just in case: Africa by Toto

The key segment starts about 1:40 in.

Egypt is not all pyramids either. Some of the mosques in Cairo were absolutely stunning. An ancillary benefit to the “no idolatry” tenet in Islam is that the mosques contain tremendously detailed mosaics and designs. Our pictures don’t do them justice– they were as impressive as the pyramids, in their own way. As CG aptly put it, folks come to Egypt for the Pharaonic, and stay for the Islamic.

And I’ll add that folks probably leave because of the agressive touts, contraction of “Mummy Tummy” or the deafening noise. We avoided the first two, but couldn’t escape the third. It felt funny to long for the comparative quietude of our otherwise din-filled Hauptstrasse.

Anyway, here are pictures from the trip. Highly recommended for the intrepid traveller.

Egypt March 2008 Pictures

And three short videos. First, a tomb (w/ sarcophagus) in Saqqara.

Next, at Medinet Habu, an ancient temple in Luxor

And finally, at the Sultan Hussan Mosque. Spectacular.


2 Responses to “Ruben in Egypt”

  1. 1 Stephanie Wednesday, 30 April, 2008 at 21:44

    Yay! That’s awesome!!!

    He already looks like an athlete 🙂

  1. 1 Ruben– 2008 Year in Review (& Morocco pics) « The Chronicles of Ruben Trackback on Monday, 12 January, 2009 at 22:23

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