Saturday, June 14, 2008

Fayoum, Where History and Nature Infuse.

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Tourism in Egypt has a worldwide reputation, but today I will write about a spot that is relatively not as known as the pyramids and the temples of the pharos in Upper Egypt, I will write about Fayoum.

A space of 692 sq mile is the Fayoum governorate located in a depression of about 179 500 ha south of Cairo and 25km west of the Nile River, it is separated from the Nile Valley by a relatively thin ridge.

The prehistoric people who lived in Fayoum were, at first, nomadic hunters and gatherers, but later began harvesting plants near the lake. This developed into what is said to be the earliest agricultural area in the world, it has remained an agriculture center, well known for its fruits, vegetables and farm animals, specially farm birds.





I see that Fayoum is one of the most places in the world were history and nature infuse in such harmony creating one of the most distinguished tourist spots in Egypt.


Starting by the famous "Birket" Qaroun or Lake Qaroun. The space occupied by the lake is 215 sq km, life in the area has always rotated around it, it remains Egypt's largest salt water lake, today the lake is much smaller than in the past, but it is nevertheless a place of great beauty. Artificial lakes were created in the southern region towards Wadi Raiyan, where (with a 4x4) it is possible to visit the waterfalls. The Fayoum is only a few kilometers south of Cairo, and may be the ideal destination for a one-day excursion; a 4x4 will allow you to visit all the main archaeological and natural sites.








Geological studies proved that the area of the Fayoum saw significant and turbulent changes in its climate and geography, in fact the region is famous for fossils that can be found in the desert apart from shells of various sizes, skeletons of whales, sharks, crocodiles, giant turtles and large horned mammals can be found in the desert north of the lake.

The Seven Water Wheels... in Fayoum the locals are proud of their water-wheels, first introduced by the Ptolemies and used now as the official symbol of Fayoum province in post stamps. There are over 200 to see in the region. Besides the four large ones on the main Gomhouria street, the most famous are the series of seven water wheels, about 3km along Bahr Sinnuris. Access to Bahr Youssef, canal bisecting Fayoum.





Nature is very generous, locals in Fayoum have all reason not only to believe so but to be sure of it, they have it all, a fertile land, a lake and water springs, Ain as-Siliyiin is one of the major springs in the area. The water is sweet, and contains traces of titanium which are said to prevent teriosclerosis. There are some vendors, restaurants, accommodations and other amenities in the area, which is located in a lush valley. Other such springs around Fayoum include al-Sha'ir, Biahmu and al-Mandarah.

The Karanis Museum

See for yourself the originality of Fayoum and keep it in your vision memory, or don’t, your memory will do that spontaneously and by itself after visiting the Karanis Museum.

Many artifacts found within the Fayoum region are housed in the Karanis Museum. Displays include delicate glassware and pottery, females' heads which are thought to have been used to model hairstyles and a Fayoum portrait. Many of the mummies found in this area had portrait of the deceased painted on them. The museum is well laid out, and has recently been renovated.





The "Fayoum Portraits

The "Fayoum Portraits" are life-like paintings once bandaged in place over the faces of mummies, dating usually between the 1st and 3rd centuries A.D. Most of these portraits have now been detached from their mummies. Yet, they provide a wealth of information about the clothing, adornment and physical characteristics of Egypt's wealthier inhabitants during Roman times, they are considered a link between the art of portraiture in ancient Egyptian times and the middle ages and also greatly influenced Coptic iconography in Egypt.





A Perfect holiday cannot be described by the word perfect unless the accommodation is perfect too...

Auberge Du Lac-Fayoum, this hotel is made for travelers who appreciate a very homely, old fashioned mood, it is full of character, service is excellent. The lounge area is really good to sit and while away the evening or an afternoon after sightseeing, it has a wonderful atmosphere, it was built in 1954 and renovated in 1985, and was once the hunting lodge of King Farouk, the last king of Egypt, and the prior hotel built on the same site served as a meeting place for world leaders deciding the boarders of the Middle East after First World War.

A visit to Fayoum is for a person when is need to stimulate there recreational senses.

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