Simon Alcantara


Posted in Adrere Amellal, ART AND CULTURE, BEAUTY, Egypt, photography, siwa, travel by simonalcantara on April 4, 2010

Saharan desert near Siwa Oasis copyright Simon Alcantara 2010

I have had the opportunity to travel throughout the world, though there still are many places I have not been to.  Am I jaded?  Not really. I have seen much in my life but I have not lost that sense of wonder that a child has when seeing something for the first time. Having never been to Egypt before, I jumped at the opportunity to visit for a week on route to South Africa for my dear friends Dominque and Charlie’s wedding ( more on that next post).  I was asked not to mention the names of the people I was traveling with ( at their request) I can however give a description of them.  My friends who presently live in Cairo the gorgeous diplomat and her handsome husband who comes from Hollywood royalty, the lovely London decorator, her uber chic real estate mogul husband and their beautiful young daughter, the Danish chic beauty who in her youth drove her Rolls Royce in bare feet when she picked up her cousin from school.  Said cousin is now a famous, super talented sculptor. The statuesque Egyptian and Swiss woman who had us all rolling on the floor with laughter all the time, the delicate french lady and the handsome Italian heir living in Cairo.  Our time in Cairo was spent doing the traditional sight seeing to the Pyramids in Giza followed by a surprise brunch organized by our hosts on the lawn of the famed Mena House a la Winston Churchill.  Visits to Sakara, the Egyptian Museum and the souk.  All inspiring, and wonderful.  but the real magic and transformation happened in the Siwa Oasis near the Libyan border of the Saharan desert. We arrived at night at the Eco Lodge Adrere Amellal and were welcomed by handsome Siwan men dressed in white Galabeyas.  They lit our path with lanterns and set up our rooms.  As there is no electricity (it does have hot running water) the rooms were lit with bees wax candles made on the property.  We freshened up to  get ready for cocktails in one of the many nooks and corners at the lodge followed by a candle lit mostly vegetarian dinner from the lodge’s small farm, later we had after dinner drinks outside as we heard the water of the salt lake.  Yes! We were in the desert and on the water!!! Our days were filled with breakfast and lunch on the lodge, swimming in the salt lake ,mud baths and lounging by the thermal water pool.  Afternoons were spent riding in the desert which for me was life changing.  We once had cocktails and dinner in the middle of the desert! The vastness, the realization that it was once ocean, the sculptural dunes  and the colors were transformational for me and I know that my collections will be influenced by what I saw.  Just when you think you’ve seen it all and done it all you explore the desert and everything changes.

Adrere Amellal Eco lodge copyright Simon Alcantara 2010

The lake at Adrere Amellal Eco Lodge. Copyright Simon Alcantara


6 Responses

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  1. chrisjexchiqita said, on April 4, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Stunning pictures. I was actually thinking of going to Egypt myself soon. I’ve read some articles about it by people with too much money and free time, and even though I have neither, it has still inspired me to have a go at it 🙂

    • simonalcantara said, on April 5, 2010 at 1:12 pm

      Thank you Chrisje for your kind words. You should try and go to Egypt it’s like no other place I have ever been. Your money will also go a long way with the exchange.

  2. kseverny said, on April 4, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    i’m really liking these pics.
    Such calm scenes

  3. honouehara said, on April 4, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    What a beautiful experience just seeing your picture!

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