After nearly a year since we went to Seville, we managed to squeeze in a week on the River Nile. Egypt is more or less devoid of tourists, which makes it very sad. It has the most amazing places to visit, a good tourist infrastructure, friendly people many of whom speak good English, delicious food and an opportunity to spend time on the water watching the world go by. Some rural areas are almost unchanged from Biblical times, but the modern cities are bustly and fun without being overwhelming. We went on this trip, but there are many other companies offering similar trips. Of course political unrest and local issues have made many stay clear of Egypt. There are armed soldiers protecting many of the sites, and there is a tourist police force. But in most places they are just doing their job and are unobtrusive. We never felt remotely unsafe, and although people do try to sell you trinkets, cigarettes, scarves and tourist booklets, they give up fairly easily.
I enjoyed everything about this adventure, but one of the special aspects was getting close to the amazing stone work and seeing, even in the smallest details, how people, animals and things were communicated with simple outlines. Any of these motifs would make a wonderful block print or textile design.
I can’t help but include some more explicit pictures. Obviously the fertility of mankind, the Gods and of nature, is to be celebrated and recorded. Sadly many of these sort of images have been defaced over the years as the Gods changed and the next generation wanted to reassert themselves. I can’t say I will be printing with these eternal symbols of life creation on a T-shirt anytime soon, but I am glad they have survived, especially the ones showing a baby being born, and a fairly big child being fed by his mother.