(Egypt 2 – Jan 24) We're just waiting while our dinner is cooked and have been offered free use of the owner's computer.
I suddenly remembered the only worthwhile sight in Hurghada: a Studebaker car parked in a side street with a For Sale sign in the windscreen. OK, you kids, you may not have heard of a Studebaker but it was a great US car that went out of production over 50 years ago. There is a collector's item waiting for you in Hurghada.
Today has been great. We took a mini-bus out to Balat, 35 kilometres away. There is a village of mud brick houses with alleys covered over to keep off the sun, and to discourage invaders on horseback.
Our guide at Balat A man showed us round a house, up on the roof for a panoramic view, then around the village, a bread oven, an ancient mosque, a mill, etc. Fascinating.
Some houses had painted symbols of a boat or a plane showing how the inhabitants had gone on their haj to Mecca.
Balat old town
Mud brick houses at Balat
Waiting for the bus at Balat
We still have seen no other foreigners (except 2 English gap year girls who avoided us). Great place to come.
Right. I think our food is ready: lamb kebabs, salad and (we hope) beer.
Wow wow wow, Baz!! Enormous thanks to you & Mrs. Faz. The pics are indeed worth many more than a thousand words. I'm sure I couldn't have envisioned something like Balat accurately. Since I'm currently reading a historical novel about Egypt, those photos were particularly enjoyable.
Who are the solemn young people sitting with you two?
As regards the Studebaker, I have been told a couple of times, but I'm not sure, that you cannot export cars from Egypt. In the backstreets of Cairo there are countless numbers of very old ones, all covered in dust.
This village fascinates me. I wonder how old it is. I love the photo , mud brick houses, with the doorway with the tear drop shaped window above. I like the ritual of painting on their homes how each inhabitant had gone on their haj to Mecca.
Parts of the village were reputed to be 300 or 400 years old. When buildings crumble they are simply rebuilt in the same way so nothing appears to have altered. The bricks are made of mud with palm frond reinforcing. I understand now that biblical allusion to making bricks without straw. They last so long because of the lack of rain. When it did rain in Mut last year some houses in the old town simply melted.