Mount Sinai, Egypt

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Saint Catherine's Monastery
South Sinai, Egypt
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One of my distinct goals for my trip to Egypt was to make it up Mount Sinai (Jebel Musa) – the site where it is believed to be where Moses received the ten commandments from God.  Indicating to the Penguin Hostel (where I was staying) that I wanted to visit Mount Sinai, the manager asked me if it was a pilgrimage.  Saying yes, they booked me into a shared taxi to the historic site for that evening at 11 PM in order to make it there for the spectacular sunrise.  They didn’t charge me for the trip.  Along with a fellow backpacker, Nate from California, we climbed Mount Sinai passing all the tourists and camels and were the first ones up the Mountain.  We go to the top by around 3:30AM and it was incredibly cold due to the wind.  Nate and I had to huddle in a crevasse to keep warm and wait until the sunrise.  The wait was worthwhile.  I had never seen a more amazing sunrise than the one I saw atop Mount Sinai.  Amidst a desert of wind-worn mountains, the barrenness of the landscape gave me peace.   I found it comforting to see a small Mass being conducted on the Mount.  On our way down, we visited Saint Catharine’s Monastery, the oldest functioning monastery in the world being around 1500 years old.  Visiting the Mount gave me great spiritual calmness, and I often reflect being back there whenever I think about Moses and the plight of the ancient Israelite people.

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Posted: Jun 21, 2008

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Category: 2008, Africa

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