A twenty-minute ride from the west bank of the Nile brought us to the temple complex of Medinet Habu, yet another of Ramses II’s exercises in megalomania.
Facade at Medinet Habu
This temple was pretty much in ruins. I read later that the stones of the sanctuary had been pilfered over the millennia for newer, more profane construction sites, like nearly every other important structure from ancient Egypt. You could bet this sort of thing still went on under the cover of darkness. Pre-cut building stones were surely worth hard cash in a country as dirt-poor as Egypt.
We walked around for time, kicking the sand at the base of the fallen columns, not saying much. I climbed up one of the ruined walls and sat there, sipping mineral water and watching the sun disappear over the cliffs to the west.
I watched as the sun went down. It seemed to hover over the cliffs of the Valley of the Kings forever, then suddenly plunge into the underworld, just as the ancient peoples intuited and dreamed.
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Having spent Easter Week this year in Cay Caulker, we collected a series of photographs that shows off both the good and the strange elements of this Caribbean island.
After arrival at the ferry dock
A well-fed crow
Well-fed shark and rays
The public beach
An optimistic attempt to buld more beach
Law, if not order
Financial woes mean that many people are considering cutting back on luxuries such as holidays abroad and opting for holidays in the UK instead. With the cost of some holidays spiralling, it’s no wonder. A trip abroad doesn’t have to be extortionate, though. Many island escapes can provide quality time and fun with your chosen travelling companions with an affordable price tag.
With an impressive 300 days of sunshine, plenty of beaches to relax on and beautiful tranquil coves to explore, cheap holidays to Rhodes are perfect for sun worshippers and those in need of a relaxing break. Fabulous Greek cuisine and quality nightlife opportunities mean that whether you’re there with family or you’re planning to party until the early hours, your dreams will be fulfilled.
Save a bundle and grab one of the last minute Ibiza holidays that crop up online. It’s not all about all-night partying on this Balearic Island, Ibiza is perfect for families too, even if it is just lazing on the sandy beaches digging for treasure, watching the world go by.
With a number of picturesque resorts that appeal to all travellers, Cyprus is a perfect all-round resort. Whether it’s Limassol with your family, Paphos for the history or Ayia Napa for the clubbing, Cyprus is fabulous, whatever the time of year.
Perfect for people seeking a laid back break, Gran Canaria is the more “chilled out” of the Canary Islands, in comparison to its Tenerife and Lanzarote neighbours. Relax beside any of its blue flag beaches, explore the sand dunes at Maspalomas or just kick back by the pool with your latest read – absolute bliss.
Jam packed with sandy beaches, steeped with ancient history and some fabulous watersport opportunities, Crete is more family-orientated and peaceful for a nice chilled vacation.
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Backpacking is a popular way of travelling with young people and is a cost effective way of seeing The Canary Islands and their beautiful scenery. The Canary Islands are Europe’s furthest islands and are closer to the African coast than Spain. There are seven islands that come under the umbrella, Canary Islands.
- Gran Canaria
- La Palma
- La Gomera
- El Hierro
While the first four are considered as holiday destinations for package holiday tourists, backpackers can enjoy the more rural aspects of these islands with some of Europe’s most beautiful scenery. With flights available from all major airports within Europe, a backpacking trip is an ideal choice for those looking for a cheap, yet exciting holiday.
Cheap flights are available to Tenerife which will land you and your well stocked back pack in the heart of the Canary Islands. Tenerife, is limited with back packers’ hostels, however, there is an abundance of cheap bed and breakfast accommodation for around 15 Euros per night in the resort of Playa de las Americas. Tenerife is awash with young people and night life is vibrant and exciting. For those looking for a scenic view then there is Mount Tiede, the islands volcano which is a must see. All islands have an inter-island ferry service, so a flight to one of the main islands’ airports is required, again making backpacking a cost effective way of seeing the whole of the islands in one go.
Gran Canaria is a vivid city that will serve backpackers well. It’s a one stop haven for those just looking to explore the island and embrace all it has to offer. With a city that is known for activity and visitors from all over Europe for sunnier experiences, backpackers will not be disappointed. With cheap public transport, excellent water sports, and wind swept landscapes, this island has everything covered for backpackers.
Fuerteventura and Lanzarote
Fuerteventura and Lanzarote have quieter versions than Gran Canaria and Tenerife, but there is still plenty to see. Like their bigger brothers, these two islands are busy and vibrant but with a quieter feel. Water sports are just as available and there are plenty of walks for those who prefer less bustle. Lanzarote has the quite breathtaking scenery, Timanfaya National Park an incredible volcanic setting that brings tourists flocking every year.
La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro
For a quieter backpacking trip then the volcanic terrains of La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro are the destinations. Here, there are is plenty for hikers to get their boots stuck into and completely away from the hub of the popular tourist spots. Flora and Fauna is to be beholden and you will find natural forests that are endemic to the Canary Islands. In La Palma, the water tunnels are a sight to see. These water tunnels bring the water from the mountains to the towns and villages. A walk along the tunnels is free although a permit can be purchased if inside the tunnel holds more interest.
Everyone’s got their idea of a fantastic holiday. For some, nothing beats the feeling of flying down a snow-packed piste, with a biting breeze reddening their cheeks and the thought of a hot chocolate back at the chalet. Others prefer their holidays a little more sedate, where they can wake up in a new port every day and be whisked from one magnificent destination to another on board a luxury cruise liner. Still more love the thought of sitting by the pool or sinking their toes into soft sugary sands on a sun-drenched beach.
Happily, many destinations can accommodate a number of preferences. You might not find skiable pistes and sun drenched beaches next door to each other, but you can certainly tick a number of activities off the to-do list. Take Menorca for example. Menorca vacations naturally promise plenty of fine sandy beaches, friendly resorts and first-rate hotels. But you’ll also find a historic city in the form of Ciutadella, famous for its heritage and lively festivals. It hosts numerous summer fiestas, among them the ‘Festes de Sant Joan’ which runs for several days with street parties, competitive jousting, displays of horsemanship and fireworks. Menorca is also a UNESCO biosphere reserve, which promises plenty of beautiful scenery and wide open spaces – perfect for the hikers and ramblers among us.
Other holiday gems include Turkey and its many different holiday hotspots. Bodrum is a fascinating place located on a peninsula, jutting out into the Aegean Sea, that’s famous for its castle, ancient heritage and glorious beaches. Other Turkish delights include Dalaman. If you’ve got your hopes pinned on a Dalaman 2013 holiday, don’t leave it too long until you book as this glorious spot regularly fills up fast. It’s not known as the Turquoise Coast for nothing, and its stunning scenic location is just one feature that draws visitors back year after year. Other highlights include the electric resort of Hisaronu which comes alive after dark, Turkish traditions and sumptuous cuisine in Fethiye, the knock-out beaches of Olu Deniz and family fun in the water parks of Marmaris.
Where’s your holiday hotspot?
From Empire of the In-Between by Adam Davidson in the New York Times Magazine:
“Calling for a return to the days everybody who was willing to put in a hard day’s work could make at good living at the factory is a fantasy, maybe a lie and certainly an implicit acknowledgment that nobody has any idea what to do with the underemployed in Trenton, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Southeast D.C. It’s safer to talk about Pakistan.”
I can relate to that.
A more likely modern American job: mountain-top removal, northern Nevada