When our tiny tumnayah pulled up to the Temple of the Oracle, I felt the traveler’s euphoria come over me that many of you understand. It is that feeling of triumph and exhilaration when you arrive to a significant destination that is remote, off the beaten track and that is only frequented by those with the will for exploration.
For me, it was breaking past the ideas and fears of women traveling solo. I was told by other Egyptian women on the way into Siwa Oasis that I was very brave as a foreigner, who did not know the language and customs. I looked at it as a natural curiosity of being human and not being brave, although I was always aware of my surroundings and my intuitive radar was always up!
The city of Siwa Oasis is located on the western border of Egypt and is one of the country’s most isolated settlements, with a population of over 30,000 people. It was not until a few decades ago, that a proper concrete road was built to the city. The journey from Cairo was tiresome and long but when I return, I will do it in a more comfortable manner. Siwa is a very remote desert oasis, about thirty miles from the Libyan border and it feels as if you are worlds away from home, even if your home is in Cairo.
The Temple of the Oracle has significance to those who have an interest in ancient civilizations or for those who are curious of the world beyond their backyard. Within the remains of the crumbling ancient village of Aghurmi, there is a small temple, ‘The Temple of the Oracle’ or as it is also known, ‘The Temple of Alexander the Great’.
The Temple of the Oracle was constructed during the 26th Dynasty of Ancient Egypt and was visited by Alexander the Great after it was built. The incredible story of Alexander the Great’s visit was said to have began with a flock of birds, that lead him from the shores of Marsa Matrouh to Agurmi in approximately 332 BC. While inside the oracle temple, Alexander the Great asked the Sun God many questions regarding his conquest of Egypt. The answers from the Sun God ruled in his favor because he eventually conquered Egypt, which began their period of Ancient Greek civilization.
Entering the thick walled, ‘Temple of the Oracle’
It is recommended to have a knowledgable guide to bring you to the Temple of the Oracle. It is not an easy location to find as the dirt roads are windy and the drive is through a maze of palm trees. You will also need to pay an enterance fee, across the way, that your guide can help you negotiate.
The walk through the ancient village and to the temple is easy but uphill. Once you get to the top, the views of Siwa Oasis are terrific. There are scenic palm tree views that go for miles and small housing communities that surround the temple.
The Temple of the Oracle was an astounding place to visit due to its historical significance, mystical aura and the distance it took to get here. Siwa may not offer the most comfortable and easiest journey to get to this desert oasis, but it was worth the long journey from the desert oasis of Las Vegas.
Tips: Although this is a desert oasis, the weather is still very hot and the sun beats down hard. Make sure that you wear a layer of sun screen, wear a sun hat or sun glasses and comfortable clothing.
Ladies, please dress modestly in this part of Egypt and bring a scarf to wrap around any part of your body that needs covering.
The terrain is uneven and rocky, so please wear covered shoes with a durable sole.
The journey of a 1,000 miles begins with a single step…
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📸 All photos are taken by me and are my intellectual property – Trixie Navarre