Happy New Year!
In 1952, Sue Thompson recorded the hit song "You Belong to Me." Later it was covered by Patti Page, Jo Stafford, Dean Martin, Patsy Cline and Bing Crosby. My favorite rendition is in the Doo-wop style by The Duprees in 1962.*
The opening lyric of the song is "See the Pyramids along the Nile...."
I suppose it is the dream of many people around the world to "See the Pyramids."
Years ago a dear friend and colleague retired from a corporation he had served for more than two decades. The owners offered him and his wife an all-expense paid trip anywhere in the world. Bill and Grace chose Egypt and the Pyramids.
Four years ago I visited the Pyramids for the first time. Nothing you read in books and guides, nothing you see in magazines, nothing you hear from travelers' reports, nothing at all can prepare you for the enormity, the grandeur and the magnificence of the astonishing sights at Giza. Since I was traveling alone at that time, I wandered and strolled, and strolled and wandered... around and between the timeless structures.
This year I was with a small group of experienced travelers, writers and photographers. Since we all follow the "road less traveled," in addition to Giza, our tour guide added Saqqara to the itinerary.
South of Giza, near the city of Memphis, the Saqqara area is basically tourist-free. Yet the sights are rare and important: the Step Pyramid, the Bent Pyramid, and the Red Pyramid. Maha, our tour guide needed all her diplomatic skills to gather us up and herd us back to the van.
As we shuffled along the desert sands, I remarked to one young man in my group that I feel so fortunate. Fortunate to hear and feel the desert sands beneath my feet. Fortunate to have visited such a wondrous area. Fortunate to have decided to spend my retirement years as an independent traveler.
That evening, at the Sound and Light Show at Giza, the narrator concluded the show with the Arab saying, "Everyone fears Time; but Time fears the Pyramids." The Pyramids always have been, and always will be.
Yet, our time is limited and soon to expire.
"See the Pyramids!"