Paul Cannon explores Egypt over spring break
As Park City High students return to school this week one of it’s alumni, Paul Cannon, reflects on his spring break in Egypt.
Class of 2002, Cannon is now a senior at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., and spent February 23 to March 3 on an exploration seminar that took him from Mount Sinai to the Great Pyramids.
After a seven hour layover in Amsterdam, where he saw the Anne Frank Museum, Cannon found himself in Cairo.
There he went to the National Museum and saw a variety of Egyptian art and a mummy room. He also toured a handful of Islamic Mosques.
Part of his trip included a five hour train ride to Luxor. There he saw the Valley of the Kings where King Tut was buried. Cannon and fellow classmates also watched the excavation of a new tomb that had been discovered just two weeks before they arrived.
He took a carriage ride through Luxor, and the country side area.
"We ended up going through a bunch of little towns," Cannon said.
A trip highlight was visiting Mount Sinai, and touring Saint Catherine’s Monastery, he said.
"We got to talk to one of the monks there, Brother Justin, and he was telling us about how peaceful that place was, and how incredible it was."
Cannon learned Saint Catherine’s is run by the Greek Orthodox Church and Brother Justin explained to the students about their good relationship with the locals.
"He was just telling us about how well they all get along," Cannon said.
He also had the opportunity to hike to the top of Mount Sinai.
"We had to get up at 2 a.m. to take a midnight hike up to the top because it generally gets too warm during the day."
The day also included a ferry boat ride down the Nile and a trip to see the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx.
Cannon said he received a warm reception from the locals.
"The people were really friendly and it was amazing because you’d be walking down the streets and people would just start talking to you. They were very inviting," he said.
He was surprised most by the level of security they had, and added terrorism is a large concern for the locals because they depend on tourism to support their economy.
"The biggest shock for me was probably the level of security that they have around there," he said.
Armed guards followed the tourists to ensure their protection and Cannon said he felt safe during the entire trip.
Cannon is happy to have had the opportunity to experience a different culture.
"Obviously it’s a fascinating place and they have so much history there," he said.
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Tourism revenue increased month over month this summer, the Park City Chamber/Bureau reported, but lodging numbers are still off 22% for December. Officials reported a recent uptick in bookings, though, pointing to a modicum of certainty after ski resorts announced their COVID-related opening policies.