A stroll by the Nile River: Why Travel makes you more human

As my days in Egypt were nearing, I could feel the long awaited departure. I will finally be able to come back and tell my love ones how beautiful Egypt is. However, I felt a sudden sadness.

Graffiti of a kid that died in the Egyptian revolution taken by hugo Morel

Reality hit me like a car going 80 mph hitting a brick wall. I would be leaving behind a country, I felt so spirituality connected to! I grew so much as a person here. Got over my negative views of muslims and became a more empathetic human being.

Two kids playing by the Nile River taken by Hugo Morel

Decided to walk by the Nile River to get my mind off things. Needed some me time. Had to reflect on all of my personal growth. Learning about the Islamic culture made me feel more human. For once, I didn’t feel like a robot. A robot that has been programmed to fear the different and unknown.

Another view of the Nile River Taken by hugo Morel

Walked up a few stairs to get a better view. I wanted to really absorb the moment. People were laughing and having fun. Enjoying what little they had, the benefits of living a simple life. A life away from the big cities in the USA. Where people complain about simple issues. Like, the Air conditioning is not working or someone on the internet doesn’t agree with them. We are so lost in capitalistic gains, we forget how lucky we are compared to the world.

Sunset by the Nile taken by Hugo Morel

As the sun was setting, I walked back down the stairs to be back, where the people were being people. If you ever went people watching, you will understand that last sentence. The sounds and the energies of moment were priceless.

Nile river with Cairo tower in the background taken by Hugo Morel

For the first time in a long time, I felt at peace. It was a feeling of being happy because I’m experiencing life to the fullest. Im not just some program who can’t think outside of the box. I am a traveler who has his own opinions. Opinions that are not formed by the media biases; but, through my life experiences. This is what means to be human. To be unique, not follow the crowd and to have empathy towards those who are different to you. Took me a flight halfway across the world to learn that.

Sunset Taken by Hugo Morel

Sometimes, it’s hard to believe that you are seeing in person, the place you read in history books. Funny how someone who never got good grades in history class, gets to experience the locations in person. Life is truly amazing.

Thank you so much for reading! Much love and safe travels!

To start your own adventures, check out the link below.

Check out our latest e-book “How to Travel for Dirt Cheap” by Hugo Morel for ways to make your dreams of traveling come without breaking the bank: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07M848M47?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420&fbclid=IwAR0_mRF-eE9tODIshljVr7CQ8h6vKT6hHn_8gZfJ94DySY1ylPO2Itu2Qe0

Inside Cairo’s Coptic community

Now, this is something not many tourists get to see. I’m truly excited to be sharing this with you all. Unfortunately, some of these sites and buildings have been destroy due to bombings. So, these are photos that are hard to come by.

Greek Orthodox church taken by Hugo Morel

The Coptic Christians are actually descents of the Greek settlers, since ancient times. They eventually mixed with the general population; however, they maintained their religion and culture. That’s why you see a lot of greek letters in the Coptic alphabet.

Another church in old Cairo taken by Hugo Morel

Walking around and you really feel a sense of community. Similar to most minority communities, there’s a sense of togetherness. Everybody knows everybody, or knows your family.

Taken by Hugo Morel

As we explored the churches, it was hard not to notice the diversity. You see muslims in the churches viewing where Jesus was believed to go in hiding. What my local friend told me, Jesus is actually an important figure in Islam. Also, a lot of Muslim Egyptians have relatives that are Coptic Christians. There’s really no “bad blood” between the Coptic Christians and the average Muslims. Unlike, how the media loves to portray it. Some of my Muslim friends I met in Egypt, celebrate Christmas with their Coptic friends.

The well where Jesus was believed to drink water from taken by Hugo Morel

Learning all this from locals, made it hard not to love this country even more. It’s so interesting seeing this in person. Everyday in Egypt, has made me grow into a better person. One of the more humbling experiences in my life.

Coptic priest and a follower taken by Hugo Morel

In the Coptic traditions, the priests should not shave their beards. It’s a sign of respect, showing the wisdom of Jesus. At first, I thought they were Muslim. Then, I saw the cross necklaces and I knew the beards must be a tradition.

This is why I love traveling! It truly opens your mind and helps you experience being in the moment.

A hidden hole where Jesus was believed to hide in when the Romans were looking for him taken by Hugo Morel

Sadly, some of these places have been destroyed due to terrorist groups. I learned this from my local friends. So much history lost, due to false teachings of hate. If we were to learn more about each other, there would be a lot less conflicts in this world. Hopefully with my posts, you will learn to love others different to you. Learn to accept and appreciate people’s differences. However small, that will be the first steps to world peace. Love always shine!

Thank you for reading. Much love and safe travels!

To start your own adventures, check out the link below.

Check out our latest e-book “How to Travel for Dirt Cheap” by Hugo Morel for ways to make your dreams of traveling come without breaking the bank: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07M848M47?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420&fbclid=IwAR0_mRF-eE9tODIshljVr7CQ8h6vKT6hHn_8gZfJ94DySY1ylPO2Itu2Qe0

Exploring old Cairo: the Coptic Christians and Egyptian Judaism

Now, when someone thinks of Egypt, they don’t really think about Christians or Jews. However, it’s time to change that. Let’s spread some light to cultures and societies that are often overlooked, when speaking about this beautiful African country.

A Stairway in old Cairo taken by Hugo Morel

Getting into old Cairo just takes a simple train ride. It’s about a 20 min ride from the main square in downtown. When my friend told me where we were going, I had no idea what to expect.

Coptic Christian getting a cross tattoo. Brought to you by google.

As we arrived, I noticed that there were several people getting tattoos. The narrow alleyways were filled with tattoo parlors. That’s something I didn’t expect in a somewhat conservative Middle Eastern country.

Coptic Christian tattoo brought to you by google

My local friend told me, that the Christians in Egypt get tattoos. Also, learned the meaning behind the cross tattoos. Many centuries ago, the Egyptian government did not accept Christians; nor, any other religion that was not Islam. Until this day, the national Egyptian Ids tell you what religion a person belongs to.

The coptic language alphabet brought to you by Google.

As a way to differentiate from the Arab conquerors, the Coptic Christians tattooed themselves. In modern times, they wear their tattoo with pride. Since, it shows they were in Egypt before the Arabs.

As I was later told by my Egyptian friends in the usa, the Coptic language is the direct descent of the ancient Egyptian language. The hyroglifics were eventually turned into the Coptic alphabet, as seen in the photo above. One of the few alphabets that are native to Africa. An once almost forgotten language, many activists fought to keep the language alive. Now, it’s the main language for the Coptic Christians. Crazy to think, at one point Coptic was once an official language of Egypt.

Sign pointing out the different houses of worship taken by Hugo Morel

The further up you go through the alleyways, you eventually get to this sign (as seen above). When I saw this, I was in complete disbelief. Never would I thought a synagogue would be in Egypt. Yet, it was there in front of my eyes! When I took this picture, I knew it will probably shock you all too.

A sign of the jewish community taken by Hugo Morel

Now, the Jewish community in Egypt is very interesting. Since the ancient times, the Jewish had a presence in this country. In more modern times, the Jewish community moved to Egypt from different parts of the Ottoman Empire. Majority were the Rabbanites Jews. Most later moving to Israel, once it became a Jewish state. Sadly, not much is left of this community. The population is at most in the 200’s. Here is a link, if you want to learn more about this topic.

Thank you for reading. Much love and safe travels!

Next week, we will be explore more of old Cairo!

To start your own adventures, check out the link below.

Check out our latest e-book “How to Travel for Dirt Cheap” by Hugo Morel for ways to make your dreams of traveling come without breaking the bank: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07M848M47?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420&fbclid=IwAR0_mRF-eE9tODIshljVr7CQ8h6vKT6hHn_8gZfJ94DySY1ylPO2Itu2Qe0

The history behind the Egyptian pyramids

So according to the locals, the pyramids were not created by the Hebrews that were enslaved. They actually believe it was the Nubians who built them.

Nubians brought to you by google

Nubians brought to you by google

According to locals, Nubians are actually the indigenous Egyptians. Egypt has been invaded and conquered by almost all the nearby empires, ancient and recent. The average Egyptian has become a mixture of all these influences. I have met a few Nubians in Egypt. The Nubians, tend to look more like Sudanese. They have more darker features and skin color than the average Egyptian. From what I learned from the locals, Sudan is actually where the tradition of burrying the dead in pyramids started.

Map of Ancient Egypt brought to you by Google.

Map of sudan and Egypt being apart of ancient Egypt brought to you by google

As seen in the photos above, Sudan and Egypt were once one country. They eventually broke apart for political and culture differences.

Learning all this was so interesting to me. It’s similar to the native Americans in the USA. Many Nubians in Egypt tend to have thier own communities and customs. However, they play a part of the society and have been heavily influenced by arabization.

Nubian pyramids from the kush empire brought to you by google.

After doing some research on it, I found out that Sudan has more pyramids than Egypt. I know this sounds weird but, let me explain.

Now before ancient Egypt was at it’s full glory, there was an acient empire called Kush. The kush empire was along the Nile, as well. However, it was more south in what’s modern day Sudan. The Kush empire is home of the Nubians. Which are people of the Nubian desert. They had traditions of burrying their dead in pyramids. As seen in the picture above, these sites are the Nubian pyramids and have become a world heritage site.

A cover of a National Geographic magazine brought to you by google.

Eventually, the kush empire conquered Egypt. Which lead to 25 dynasties of having kushite kings as pharaohs. Although, I don’t agree with the title of the magazine as shown above, they did a good of covering this topic. Acient Egypt got it’s traditions of burrying thier dead in pyramids from the Nubians. Also, the pharaohs after the kushites were expelled were black too. They were just more mixed with the other conquerors.

Learning all this made truly made me interested in going back to Africa. It’s a continent with so much history. I truly wish there wasn’t so many issues with countries in Africa. Regardless, an African county should be on everybody’s bucket lists.

Hope one day to go Sudan, and show you all the Nubian pyramids.

Next week, will talk more about the Hebrew/jewish and other religious communities in modern day Egypt.

Thank you for reading. Much love and safe travels!

To start your own adventures, check out the link below.

Check out our latest e-book “How to Travel for Dirt Cheap” by Hugo Morel for ways to make your dreams of traveling come without breaking the bank: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07M848M47?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420&fbclid=IwAR0_mRF-eE9tODIshljVr7CQ8h6vKT6hHn_8gZfJ94DySY1ylPO2Itu2Qe0

Ruins: The pyramids of Giza

After going around the ground site of Giza, we finally made it to the pyramids. They were completely out of this world. Makes you really think twice about humanity and all of our achievements.

Taken by hugo Morel

All I could remember that day, was it being really hot. Finding water was somewhat a problem because you had no choice but to buy overpriced water from the street vendors. Make sure to double check, if the bottle has been opened or not. You don’t want to be drinking water from the nile. Haha no joke, it’s an actual thing here.

Someone climbing the pyramids taken by Hugo Morel

There were a lot of guards in the area. My local friend and I had to pretend we didn’t know each other because of local laws. A local woman can not show male tourists around, unless she is a tour guide. Made the whole situation awkward. Still with all the guards, there were people climbing the pyramids. As seen in the picture above.

Taken by Hugo Morel

As seen in the picture above, you can easily climb the pyramids. Of course, I wouldn’t do it because I don’t want to spend a night in an Egyptian jail. Unfortunately, this historic site has become a magnet for littering. There were a lot of empty water bottles thrown on the floor.

Where the pharaohs’ would have set thier boats taken by Hugo Morel

There’s always something special about being in the place you read growing up in history books. The feeling is out of this world.

The sphinx tourist shot taken by Hugo Morel

You know, I had to do the sphinx tourist shot. I don’t normally do things but hey, I’m in Giza.

Giza selfie taken by Hugo Morel

Also, had to throw in a selfie too. Can’t tell you all how much I dislike selfies but, I was really riding the tourist vibe.

hyroglifics taken by Hugo Morel

We walked around some more and found a little tomb with hyroglifics. Really wish we were able to read this ancient language. The stories this tomb had to tell us. We won’t be able to pass it on. It’s crazy to think that this little tomb was over 2 thousand years old.

Thank you for reading. Much love and safe travels!

Next week, I will be going inside the pyramids and share some history on the structures!

To start your own adventures, check out the link below.

Check out our latest e-book “How to Travel for Dirt Cheap” by Hugo Morel for ways to make your dreams of traveling come without breaking the bank: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07M848M47?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420&fbclid=IwAR0_mRF-eE9tODIshljVr7CQ8h6vKT6hHn_8gZfJ94DySY1ylPO2Itu2Qe0

Arriving to Giza

After getting out of the train, we took a taxi to get to the sightseeing areas. Yes, I was finally getting to see what the ancient pharaohs had left the world, in person. Excitement could not even describe, what I was feeling. It was a mixture of excitement, familiarity and peace. For some reason, deep down I knew this experience would change me.

Taken by Hugo Morel

Once at the entrance, there will be two lines to buy tickets. One side is for locals and the other is for tourists. Luckily, my friend bought tickets for me, so I got the local price. The funny thing about this, people were asking me for directions because I looked Egyptian.


Gize with the city in the background taken by Hugo Morel

Giza is not like what the movies show you. It’s actually right next to the city. As seen in the picture above! Still it was breathtakingly beautiful. There are a lot of people harassing you to buy something from them. They speak in every language known to man! Haha The best thing to do is just ignore them and say no.


The desert Taken by Hugo Morel

When you look at the desert, gives you the feeling like the desert goes on forever. Never seen anything like it. Viewing the sahara desert from the plane is completely different than seeing it on the ground. It’s like the deserts in California times tens.


A guy on his horse taken by Hugo Morel

One thing that stood out to me was the treatment of animals. I felt bad at how they treated them. I couldn’t look at times.


Camel taken by Hugo Morel

As goofy as camels are, I learned to value them. This one person kept treating one horribly. He continued to hit the camel every time the animal slowdown. This experience made me not want to ride a camel. I didn’t want to encourage this industry. Hopefully by you reading this, you will think twice about having a camel ride.

Next week, we will go to the pyramids!!

Thank you for reading. Much love and safe travels!

To start your own adventures, check out the link below.

Check out our latest e-book “How to Travel for Dirt Cheap” by Hugo Morel for ways to make your dreams of traveling come without breaking the bank: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07M848M47?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420&fbclid=IwAR0_mRF-eE9tODIshljVr7CQ8h6vKT6hHn_8gZfJ94DySY1ylPO2Itu2Qe0

Taking the subway to Giza

Well yes, you thought I would go to Egypt and not go to Giza? You must have not been following us long enough. Of course, we had to do it my way.

Inside a mosque taken by Hugo Morel

After getting familiar with the Islamic culture, it was time to go to the tourist traps. It was somewhat interesting because she suggested that we take the subway. It’s like the universe knows I love subways!! The cool thing about this experience is that not many Tourists get to take the subway like I did. So, some of these pictures will be new to those that visited Egypt.

Entering the subway station taken by Hugo Morel

Entering the subway station, you have to pass through a metal detector. Which makes sense because of all the problems this part of the world has been facing. Cairo’s subway is something similar to the Bart in San Francisco or the metro in Washington D.C. It was small; however, very complicated. Still wasn’t chaotic as New York’s and I liked it!

Waiting for the train Taken by Hugo morel

We were waiting for the train and I noticed something. The train stations were actually cool. I know this isn’t very interesting; however, outside was pretty hot. Usually, NYC’s or other cities’ subway stations are hotter than the outside temperature. Just some geeky observations.

Train passing by taken by Hugo Morel

As the train came, we jumped inside and found seats. Inside the train, there was no air conditioning and the heat was uncomfortable. Even with this, people were still smiling and laughing. Makes me really think about how lucky I was to live in the USA. Yet, I still complain about simple issues and get sad over things people around the world see as a luxury. This was definitely a humbling experience. This is why travel changes you. You get to see the world in a differnt view. Every experience helps me grow into a better person.

Thank you so much for reading! Much love and stay safe!!

To start your own adventures, check out the link below.

Check out our latest e-book “How to Travel for Dirt Cheap” by Hugo Morel for ways to make your dreams of traveling come without breaking the bank: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07M848M47?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420&fbclid=IwAR0_mRF-eE9tODIshljVr7CQ8h6vKT6hHn_8gZfJ94DySY1ylPO2Itu2Qe0

Being open to appreciate the Muslim culture

Going around Egypt in the less touristy areas, I noticed a lot of the shops were closed. My local friend, Nada, told me it was Eid. Eid is like thanksgiving for Muslims. It marks the end of ramadan, a month where muslims wouldn’t drink nor eat until sunset for a month.

Name of one the mosques I went to taken by Hugo Morel

All this was new to me because I never really knew about Islam growing up. I used to be afraid of Muslims and Arabs as a kid because all of the negativity coming from the news stations. I remembered 9/11 and San Francisco closing off the Golden Gate Bridge. Through a strange twist of events, I found out my grandma is Lebanese.

Outside shot of one of the mosques we went to taken by Hugo Morel

Since my local friend was Muslim, we had to go to a few mosques for her to pray. I wasn’t complaining because she was showing me around for free. Also, I wanted to see how Islam was in person and not what the media tells me.

A Mosque center taken by Hugo Morel

When stepping into a mosque, you must take off your shoes. Usually, in the more touristy mosques, they have a person who will watch over your shoes for a fee. In other mosques, you just leave your shoes in a cubby.

Where people get clean water from taken by Hugo Morel

Once inside, you see a community of people. Some are just hanging out or relaxing, while others are praying. It was different than a church. There was a lot of open space. As seen in the picture above. Some mosques have clean drinking water for visitors. I didn’t drink any of the water, just to be on the safe side. Although, I did get caught slipping. However, that’s a story for another post.

Muslims praying taken by Hugo Morel

As my friend was praying, I started to walk around the mosque. Accidentally, walked into the women’s section. A lady came out with a warm motherly smile and pointed out that there are two sections divided by genders for praying. By following her directions, I found the men’s section. It was unique seeing the men praying. As they were facing Mecca, I was completely invisible.

A minaret taken by Hugo Morel

When you are in a Muslim majority country, you will hear someone reading the Qur’an from time to time. In the picture above, you will see the minaret. The minaret is a tower where a person will read the Qur’an. At first, I was completely in fear when I heard the chanting. It was in the middle of the night. Of course, my first thoughts were extremely negative. After asking my friend, they told me it was normal. It’s just a part of their culture. Same thing with the division of genders. I just had to learn to accept and embrace the differences in our cultures.

minarets taken by Hugo Morel

After this experience, I learned that Muslims want the same thing. They want to live a happy and peaceful life without being in terror of extremist groups. Ironically, extremist groups kill thier own fellow Muslim more than they do Christians. Unfortunately, Muslims are in the frontlines against the extremist groups. My cousin, who’s in the U.S. army, has been stationed in the Middle East for years. The stories he came back with and my experiences in Egypt, has changed my views on the average Muslim. They just want to live in peace like the rest of us.

Thank you for reading! Much love and safe travels!

P.s. everyone! Soon there will be some changes on the blog. We will take this blog to the next level! There will be some ads on here. So please let’s us know how you feel about them in the comment section. 😁They will help us produce more content for you all and show you more of the world! However, we still want your opinons!

Check out our latest e-book “How to Travel for Dirt Cheap” by Hugo Morel for ways to make your dreams of traveling come without breaking the bank: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07M848M47?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420&fbclid=IwAR0_mRF-eE9tODIshljVr7CQ8h6vKT6hHn_8gZfJ94DySY1ylPO2Itu2Qe0

Falling in love with Egypt

It was time to officially explore this ancient country. I met up with a friend, who I knew from social media. Always treat people nice because you never know when they will help you out.

Taken by Hugo Morel

Walking around Cairo was like going through a museum. Egypt was conquered by almost all the ancient empires. You see it in the buildings and people. From the Greeks to the Ottomans, this country has been through many changes of power.


Taken by Hugo Morel

Seeing Cairo’s architecture really pulled my heart strings. This place was so mixed with cultures from Europe, Asia and Africa. It was so different; yet, so familiar. It was as if, I was meeting a part of me, I didn’t know about. Egypt felt like an extension of me. I’m a mixture of European, African and Arab; so, was Egypt. Never been to a country that I felt so spiritually connected to. It was similar to the feeling I had the day before; however, more intense. It was more like love.


Taken by hugo Morel

Walking around Egypt, you can sense the poverty. However, people were still happy. People had giant smiles on their faces. They were enjoying life with what they had. I wish most kids in the western world, learned to appreciate the little things in life.


Taken by Hugo Morel

Can’t tell you how much I love this place. It gives me warm feelings just looking back at the photos. This is one of the few countries, I’m excited to visit again. Egypt is truly a place that will steal your heart, if you are not careful. I have thought about giving everything up to move here. The smells, the history, the people and the architecture has made this history geek happy. Careful when you come to Egypt, you might be terrorized to fall in love again. I have no regrets.

Thank you so much for reading this post. Much love and safe travels!

 

Meeting my first Egyptian friend

I woke up with an excited attitude. I was finally in the land of the pharaohs. Was in somewhat disbelief to my situation because this is a place you read in history books. Actually being here was a completely different feeling!

Walking down the staircase taken by Hugo Morel

Took the stairs down because I did not have much trust on the elevator. Calling it an elevator was a stretch. It was more like an open view lift. You can see it in the picture of above. The door is where you would enter into the lift. Looking back on this experience, I was lucky this was my first African country. Other African countries have become more European-like, in terms of everyday functions and infrastructure. You get a true sense of not being in the western world here and I loved it!


Walking down the streets of Cairo taken by Hugo Morel

Stepping outside and you smell the spices from the nearby markets. The chaos and the unfamiliarity, it was hard to not start falling in love with this place. Never had a feeling like this in another country. For some reason, I felt like I belonged. As if, I could live here and be happy. I was starting to see why there are a lot of foreigners living here.


Taken by Hugo Morel

As I was exploring, walked into a little friend. Surpised to see so many street cats. In many other countries, you will see more dogs on the streets. However, cats and donkies are what I saw over here. It’s somewhat interesting because the ancient Egyptians worshipped cats. Another example of experiencing a history book in real life.


My local friend that I wish I could had brought back with me taken by Hugo Morel

As my day of exploring was ending, decided to go back to my hostel. Met a few people from all over the world. Was introduced to a soccer player from Gambia. He was working on his visa to go play in Europe. My new friend was at the hostel for the time of the visa process. Also met a friend from Sudan and another from Colombia. The hostel was actually a place where students that were studying in the local universities called home. It was an interesting experience.


Egyptian Sunset with Cairo tower taken by Hugo Morel

As the sun was setting, decided to take another photo. Same spot in a different angle. This time the Cairo tower was in the background. Currently, the tallest Building in Cairo. Tomorrow was the day, I will meet up with a local human friend. Looking back, who knew that my friend would help me so much on my adventures in this country.

Thank you so much for reading! Much love and safe travels!

 

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