Sunday, February 12, 2012

Travel: Pyramids of northern Sudan

Vancouver Sun (Jules Knox)

Aside from the odd camel driver lounging in the shade, nobody else is around at the pyramids and I am free to explore the world-class, UNESCO-listed heritage site on my own. The Meroƫ site was built as a royal cemetery for leaders of the Kushite Kingdom between about 300 BC to 300 AD. While experts believe that they can pronounce the Meroitic script correctly because of cross-references with Egyptian names, they still have not been able to translate and understand the language. This ancient culture has been able to successfully guard its mysteries for thousands of years.

I set up my tent on the outskirts of the pyramids and flop in the soft sand to marvel at the spectacular colours that only a desert sunset can provide. The setting among the dunes is sub-lime. As dusk slowly turns to night, the full moon and soft celestial light illuminate the silhouette of the pyramids in unbelievable artistic perfection. It hasn't been easy getting to Sudan, but there is no doubt left in my mind that it has been completely worth it.

Travel to Sudan definitely presents its challenges.

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