The city where Alexander the Great was foretold conquest of the world. The city where Cleopatra used to go only to wash in warm healing springs to. The city that is hard to find on a map today without some fine optics. Siwa. In the heart of Sakhara in 560 kilometers away from Cairo small village with incommensurably big history is cunningly hidden awaiting “its” zetetic visitor.
Many populated localities of Egypt where erased from the face of earth with the rubber of either hostile armies or sandy hug of the desert. Siwa Oasis is a lucky one in this respect. First dwellings emerged here 10 000 years ago – and the city somehow survives until now in no small measure due to restlessness of tourists. According to another theory, guests have nothing to do with that and Siwa withstood being under the auspice of Amun – ancient Egyptian god, in his honor a temple was built here as far back as in 6th century B.C. Legend tells that when a Persian king Cambyses attempted at conquering the city, its enormous army disappeared in the desert without a trace. History is silent on the details.
Siwa wasn’t of the least importance in the life of Alexander the Great – it was there where he was predicted fame of the conqueror of the world, after that a content warlord made a will to be buried in the city. Sure enough, the majority of divine messages and prophecies of those times were of perfectly human nature. Nowadays it is easy to make sure of it when inspecting temple remnants to find small niches in the walls where epiphany-whispering ministers of cult used to hide.
Egyptians used to bury the dead pompously and in a big way, even in such a distant oasis. However, no one got a personal pyramid; instead the Mountain of the Dead that quite literarily hangs over the city looks massive as well. Sadly, sepulchral halls were mostly ransacked in wartime, but bas-reliefs and wall paintings that survived vandalism are wonderfully preserved. Therefore it is strictly forbidden to take pictures of “hosts” portraits that ornament shrines – structure of ancient paints is destructed even by such trifles as a simple camera flash.
If you climb to the very top of the necropolis, you’ll see an overwhelmingly yellow view on the village on one side and an endless desert on the other. This area is called the Great Sand Sea.
When in Siwa you change scene of an era as if on a click to be taken away so far back to the past that it seems as if the air, the walls and the people around know and saw something more than you. It is probably the effect of the modest set of conveniences habitual for the citizens. A hospital, a school and a bus to the closest large city – these are all the blessings of civilization of the place. And local household almost didn’t change over centuries: people keep building houses of clay and grow olives and dates, women still wear traditional clothing and donkey-drawn carriages remain primary means of transport.
Against a moderate charge in the amount of a couple of dollar notes one can have a ride in a wagon of the kind, try some date wine and stock up on various and sundry souvenirs even not for the closest friends. Headrails, jewelry, jewelry-boxes and baskets – all these handiworks of Siwa citizens are unique. Thumbing through tourist notes of those who spent their hard-earned there of all places you realize that authentic makeshift weapon enjoys high demand. It is almost no other place but local smithery where one can order manjal – a special serrated knife with a long handle for palm leaves felling.
Don’t forget to visit local springs before you leave. As any oasis, Siwa survives thank to lakes. But, alongside cold waters that drench ground, there are hot mineral wells. Most famous of them is named after Cleopatra. It is believed that the queen used to come here in order to take healing baths. There is no way to verify the legend. Modern skeptics would probably be satisfied only with a picture of an ancient beauty in a bathing suit. Anyway, every man and more importantly every woman can try the anti-aging spring. And you must agree that it is much more pleasant to dip into warm water imagining yourself somebody like a prototype of Vivien Leigh or Elizabeth Taylor. On your way back you will at least have a right to regally cast eyes upon everyone from top downward with a hint of affectedness, heated with the sun of the desert. Because you have probably become in a way allied to Cleopatra while they have not.
It turns out possible to walk in heaven living on Earth. It is enough to go to the south of a small country of Bolivia, to one of the most extraordinary deserts of the world – Uyuni. When looking at pictures of tourists who had been there you can’t help asking: “Are you sure it isn’t Photoshop-made?”
People who like to travel usually visit the same places. Citizens of Paris, Venice, Rome, Krakow, Dresden have become accustomed to tourists for so long that they often look cavalierly at them, pouting their lips, while less known but no less interesting towns or villages always welcome guests.
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A function of UNESCO World Heritage Committee is to work in the most careful manner year after year on studying objects that constitute outstanding culture civilizations and are unique in their origins. Under number 569 of an impressive list of the organization city of Gjirokastër, the one from the south of Albania, is located – it is it we are going to study today through the length and breadth.
Except for Russian-speaking countries, nowhere else a round metal attraction is called a devil’s wheel. Named after its creator, Ferris wheel first opened panorama of Chicago city from 80-meter height in 1893. Since then rotating upright wheels with multiple passenger cabins began to spring up almost in every big city. OUTLOOK offers you to learn about the most impressive observation wheels.
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Jamaicans like rum, marihuana (hardly anybody seems to be bothered by the fact that it isn’t officially legal there), Bob Marley and… attending churches. They also wouldn’t mind winning several Olympic medals as well as competing for a crown of a beauty queen. Today we get acquainted with peculiarities of both serious and funny Jamaica.
Egyptians form an opinion about the person exactly after the greeting which, in general represents hand-shaking. However, one should remember that it should obviously be bone-crushing otherwise it could be estimated as the reflection of the lack of sincerity… Thus, exchange greetings and continue getting familiar with the peculiarities of the mindset of this nation!
The creative copywriter Masha Goldman travel around half a planet. The girl can compare travels with the useful drug. Masha tells that every trip, even the shortest and least far gives her complete renewal of powers and it seems that the new life begins.
Eastern cities are hard to imagine without a huge number of the commercial places. It is in the genes of the local citizens to sell and buy regardless their age and status. Despite the fact that Istanbul is semi-European city, the metropolis has prominent oriental features. So as to know exactly where to go and what to buy, OUTLOOK talks about the most spectacular markets after returning from Istanbul.
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Iceland is a ‘country of ice and fire’, ‘country of thousand rivers and lakes’, countless waterfalls and geysers. There, like in a fairy tale, again and again, you feel like pinching yourself to check if you are dreaming or does it all really exist…
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Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Egypt to Ukraine Hossam Eldin Mohamed Ahmed Ali on July 11 met the guests on the occasion of the national holiday. Representatives of the foreign diplomatic corps in Ukraine, members of the Government, heads of non-governmental organizations and embassy partners came to greet Egypt.
Despite many pessimistic forecasts of urbanists of the 20th century, on-street trammanaged to stand up competition withsubways, cars and other means of public transport, and even found a second wind in modern city. The beginning of the 21stcentury, with its incredible technologies will surely become history as an era of "tram renaissance".
Croatia is dubbed the pearl of the Adriatic coast. This country in the south of Central Europe recently became a member of the European Union. Now its beauty sites are much visited: every year more than 10 million tourists come to enjoy it, that is even more than population of the country. Let’s find out what attracts travellers so much.
Many travelers just don’t want to go into all the troubles to get an American visa for some two weeks of holidays. But having glanced at pictures of Puerto Rican Mosquito Bay they’ll change their minds instantly. Dark sea slick, silence… when suddenly mysterious green glow from the depth extends the darkness to shock the public on the shore.
...The virtuoso chisel inhaled the heat of a living soul in a cold stone block and created a khachkar - an inspired narrative about the spiritual search and longing for a lost paradise, unhurriedly unfolding tenacious rings of ancient mysteries in the curls of mystical ornaments.