Thursday, January 26, 2017

"Just like the manger scenes"

This postcard of the Sphinx and the Giza pyramid complex and a caravan of camels was sent to Yonkers, New York, in December 1978. The note states:
Dear Beverly,
This trip is like taking a step back into Biblical times. The way of life has changed so little since then & the culture is so different from ours. Driving through the desert you see scene that look just like the manger scenes. We are on a tour & it is very hectic. There really is a lot to see. We went to Cairo & Luxor & Aswan (we even saw the dam). The weather is hot & sunny & it's a nice change from Milan.
Love Ben & Barbara

These days, Egypt isn't the safest place for Americans to travel. The U.S. Department of State last updated its advisory for the country about a month ago, on December 23. It states, in part:
"The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of threats from terrorist groups in Egypt and to consider the risks of travel to the country. For security reasons, the U.S. Mission in Egypt prohibits diplomatic personnel from traveling to the Western Desert and the Sinai Peninsula outside the beach resort of Sharm El-Sheikh; U.S. citizens should also avoid travel to these areas. U.S. Mission personnel are only permitted to travel to and from Sharm el-Sheikh by air – overland travel is not allowed anywhere in the Sinai Peninsula.

"The Egyptian Government maintains a heavy security presence at major tourist sites, such as Sharm el-Sheikh, Hurghada, and other beach resorts on the Red Sea and on the Mediterranean coast west of Alexandria, and at many of the temples and archaeological sites located in and around greater Cairo and in the Nile Valley, such as Luxor, Aswan, and Abu Simbel. U.S. Mission personnel are allowed to travel to these areas. However, terrorist attacks can occur anywhere in the country."
So that's kind of sobering. These simply aren't the best days to visit the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Here's a look at the stamp that was used. It was part of a series of landmark-themed airmail stamps issued by Egypt on January 1, 1978.

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