Tales of Siwa Oasis, One of Egypt’s Treasures
A body of crystal blue water so clear that you can see right through it, standing out prominently in a desert stretched far and wide. Siwa is a calm inviting oasis in the midst of Egypt’s the Western Desert.
Escaping the City to Magical Siwa
After a challenging year that stopped the world entirely, Nour Abdelnasser, one of Ellie’s founders, decided to take a trip that she has always dreamed of. Escaping from the busy city and after a year that was unlike any other, she was looking for inspiration in the smallest of details around her. This is the story of her trip to the magical oasis of Siwa, in January 2021.
Siwa, Santaria, Oasis of Jupiter-Amun
Located 50 kilometers away from the Libyan border and 560 kilometers away from Cairo, the trip was definitely a long one. A 12-hour drive sounds tiring, but it was the perfect way to feel the effect of leaving the city behind, with all of its hustle and bustle, and empty one’s mind of all the worries and thoughts, getting ready for a few days of total relaxation and exploring.
Siwa was referred to by many names over the years. Starting with Santaria by Ancient Arabs, the Oasis of Jupiter-Amun during the Ptolemaic Kingdom, to Sekhtum by the Ancient Egyptians, meaning ‘Field of Trees’. Visited by Ancient Egyptians, Alexander the Great, Mohammed Ali, German, Italian, and British soldiers during World War I and II, and more, the oasis holds many historical moments and stories.
The Beginning of the Adventure
Arriving at Lodge Talise, the ecolodge that will be known as home for the next couple of days was a relief. She looks around and enjoys the calmness of everything, it’s definitely a contrast in scenery from the busy city life that she is used to. A charming family-owned eco-lodge, tucked away in the middle of the oasis, with no electricity outlets except one in the reception area, limited network connectivity, and home-cooked meals from the lodge’s very own garden. The perfect opportunity to sit back, unwind, and enjoy the subtle beauty of the desert.
Charging the phone during the nighttime only and with almost no network connection, she was able to detach herself from her phone and connect with those around her. Strangers become friends in a matter of minutes, spending the next coming days together, filling them with laughter, memories, and happy vibes.
Usually, people tend to escape to a place overlooking breathtaking scenery with a majestic body of water or lots of greenery. Choosing the desert isn’t the first option to come to mind. However, you would be surprised how calming it is to lay back and gaze at a dark sky filled with bright twinkling stars or stare in awe at great sand dunes, standing tall and looking perfectly structured. The total silence of the desert has its own allure, and it’s the thing that was enjoyed the most. Remember, the desert is definitely a view, one where you can clear your mind completely and enjoy nature.
A Rich Oasis
Home to 11 tribes, 10 of which are Amazighs and 1 Bedouins, you will be amazed at their rich culture, full of traditions and costumes, and their ability to navigate every inch of the desert, knowing their way back no matter which route they take, all while making it look effortless.
A place that is rich in traditions, scenery, and monuments. Whether you visit the Mountain of the Dead, the breathtaking Salt Lakes, Shali Fortress, or take a safari through the great vast desert, you will always be in awe. The beauty and stories behind each and every one of them are truly one of a kind.
A Source of Inspiration
Talking about this treasure and how mesmerizing it is, encouraged more of Ellie’s team members to visit the magical oasis as well. Allowing all of Ellie’s family to fall in love with the place, research about it firsthand, and get inspired by it.
The beauty of the place, the rich customs, and the delicious food and produce, were all magnificent and left a mark in our memories.