Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Life on the Oasis

After the hecticness of Luxor and Cairo we needed some calm. We headed out to the Western Desert with Doug and his i-pod. After a train, a bus, a police caravan, a bad hotel (with actual fleas in my bed), a mini bus and another police caravan, a town named Mut and a shared taxi we landed in Al Qasr. The town itself is a sleepy oasis village in the Daklah Oasis. The gardens all around are fed by a hot spring, and produce dates, oranges, lemons, bananas and other beautiful things. Most of the farmers travel to and fro in carts pulled by donkeys and the local people still seem surpried to see outsiders. Life is calm and traditional. The old town is something out of this world. While standing on the roof of our hotel and looking over the old town Doug commented that it looked like some place out of Star Wars. It is a desert village built completely out of mud bricks. There are a few people who still reside in the old section so the Egyptian goverment can't yet make it into a living museam and you are still able to wander though it all with out a fee. We wandered the steets and were surpriesed by the coolness inside the covered walkways. It keeps the heat out in the summer. The mud bricks that hold it all intact seem are crumbling before your eyes. Peter had to pee and almost took out a supporting wall of one house. But the town is constatly rebuilding and you can see where the new mud bricks are being made and dryed to repalce thouse that wayard tourists piss on. Many of the old houses have intricatly carved acacia wood lintels abouve the door. The lintels state the name of the inhabitants, the name of the builder and a verse from the Koran. The oldest we saw datetd back to 924 AD.

The historic minaret next to the modern day

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