the Temple of Amun

the old section of Siwa

Harvesting salt at Fantasy Island


SIWAxx xx I got my police permit and security clearance so I was off to visit Siwa, fifty kilometers from the border of Libya. I had a very quiet four-hour trip into desolation worse than Western Kansas. It was flat sand as far as the eye could see.

Siwa was a very conservative town. Women there covered up just about everything as they moved about town. There were signs requesting tourists to also dress modestly. ( I did -- and I was about the only tourist I saw.) But, it had to be so hot under all those black robes! Still, I guess they could protect them from the leftovers of the plagues. One of the ten plauges was flies -- and they were still there. Mosquitos, too!.

I checked into the nicest and most expensive place I'd stayed in Egypt except for Sharm El Shiekh.z This was just over $3.00 a night. The desk clerk from the hotel gave me a map of the town so I soon was on my way to Cleopatra's pool.xxIt was a hopping place -- used as the local bathing spot.

I continued on my loop out of town and passed the Amoun Temple and the Oracle Temple where Alexander the Great had visited. It was said he came for wisdom from the oracle, but the mystery was what he was told. He never told anyone and died ten years later. The Oracle Temple provided a great view of where the oasis ended and the desert sands began.

I took a 6 kilometer hike to Fantasy Island, just outside of town. The "island" was in the middle of a salt lake. There was not much left at all except salt. You could walk out on most spots. Some places were mushy like salty mud. Some people were "harvesting" salt for food and olives.

Copyright 2000 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.