Monday, January 25, 2010

Dimai - Part 2

From Deir Abu-Lifa, we drove up farther into the hills.  You can detect the road markers along our route.

Below: Two road signs.  One for the Petrified Forest and the other which went to our left, directed visitors to Widan Elfaras an old stone quarry.  We are headed to the Petrified Forest.

Below:  As we sat on the edge of this small valley, VB told the driver that we had no wishes to re-enact Thelma and Louise.  We drove down, and yes, between those rocks there is enough space for an SUV.  On return, a good pace is needed to clip over the edge at the top of the hill. 

Below:  In the valley, looking back.

Below:  This was as far as we could get due to the blowing sand the week before. You can see where the trail becomes too deep for travel. 

Below:  We left the valley, and a kilometer or so away we arrived at the Petrified forest.  These remains are scattered throughout this area.

160 meters (524 feet) above sea level.  Before descending we stop to enjoy the view.

Below:  Another road sign, indicating the way down the mountain.

Finally, Dimai.

Below: The rooms of the castle.

Below: The walls of Dimai.

We lunched at Dimai, outside the walls, and decided to make a last minute stop to visit Lake Qarun.   Both Qasr el-Sagha and Dimai are guarded by boabs.  There is no entry fee, and not many visitors at all, but it is customary to tip the boab.  We were completely alone to explore both sites - it doesn't get any better than that.   It would have been nice to spend a bit more time at Dimai, but we had had a long day.  Several cars of visitors arrived just as we were departing Dimai. 

These are huge rock formations along the way to Lake Qarun.  (The photos of Lake Qarun weren't very good.)  Lake Qarun is 43 meters (49 feet) below sea level.


Below: Just outside of the cemetery, the drivers decide to race.

Below:  Back to the City of the Dead (cemetery), and then home.


Qasr el Sagha and Dimai are great for day trips.  The air is clean, and the skies are blue, something we don't get in Cairo.  There's no gas stations once you get to the desert people, so make sure you have a full tank of gas, food and drinks.  We took two cars, just in case of unexpected problems, like getting stuck in the sand.  And a GPS also helps, which one of the drivers had.  We had a great time and plan on doing it again when we have visitors.  It's not far from Cairo, it's not crowded, and it's a bit of an adventure, as well.

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