Monday, February 1, 2016

Traveler in an Antique Land.

Recommended viewing, and reading. Oliviero Piccinali conveys the visual and emotional impact of Ancient Egypt.


From the website:

Being such an Egyptology enthusiast, I wanted to gather on these pages all information and images of my journeys through the magical land of the pharaohs.

After reading lots of useful books to get an idea of what would expect me there, finally I left for my first journey: boat-cruise on the Nile Cruising on a five-star boat serving Western-style cuisine that would suit all passengers, providing tour-guides who could speak my language ... all that seemed perfect at first but... well, endless hours spent on the boat, no chance to taste the traditional home-style cuisine, quick hikes on land before boarding again on the boat "because we are late and must go on", days spent at the bazars for buying carpets, perfumes, papyrus or alabaster jars ... All these activities seemed like chores, when all I really dreamt to do was spending more time at the archaeological sites and less to support the travel guides business.

Nevertheless, what I saw that first time simply confirmed my interest in this Country and its ancient history and, on the way home, I found myself already focused on making arrangements for the next trip to Egypt.

Exactly. For my second journey I wanted to make my own travel arrangements: where to go, how to go, for how long, what to eat, etc... without depending on a travel guide leading groups in places where nothing happens but mingling with other tourist groups, and in such a chaotic way that you may feel like being at a shopping mall during seasonal sales.

My past experiences as journey-organizer and traveller in Africa and my involvement at three Paris-Dakar African Rally editions were extremely useful in this case. I can still picture myself leaving Italy behind the steering wheels of my Land Rover Defender and Range Rover, or riding my motorbike. In this way, I spent years travelling to Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Chad, Niger, Mali, Upper Volta, Ivory Coast, and every time crossing the 8,000/10,000 km of that vast sandy territory called the “Sahara desert”. A blessing.

Because of that, once back home from my first time to Egypt, I immediately started studying – not just “reading” – all bibliography that I could find and gather from libraries, on the Internet or elsewhere and in any language available, on the ancient Egyptian civilization (and I admit it, I was never that intrigued with studying even when I was back in school), so as to literally get inside that atmosphere and, consequently, start organizing my next trip.

Well, of course the first time anybody wants to get to see all more majestic and striking locations: the pyramids at Giza, the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, the temples of Ramses II at Abu Simbel, etc... but then again, little by little, you realize that the Egyptian civilization was not only made of pharaohs and queens, of huge sky-reaching stone buildings or tombs frescoed as the Sistine Chapel.

Discovering that part of the history made by ordinary people is perhaps the best way for you to understand the true meaning of civilization.

So off you go where no one usually goes and all of a sudden you are no longer a tourist. That’s when you become a traveller.

These pages are simply meant to tell my love for the three millennia of the Pharaohs civilization, they are the result of the work of a humble Egyptophilia passionate, not those of an Egyptologist, the photos, as well, are hardly those of a professional photographer and the drawings are not those of an artist.

Nevertheless, if you find my work on Ancient Egypt interesting, do not hesitate to contact me.

   Have a nice journey!