Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Mt. Sinai, Egypt (April 6-7, 2008)

Mt. Sinai, where God delivered the 10 Commandments to Moses, is a popular pilgrimage site for Christians, Muslims and Jews alike. The climb up the 3750 Stairs of Repentence (laid by a monk as a form of penance) provides outstanding views of the surrounding desert, and watching the sunset from the summit is truly beautiful.

At the base of Mt. Sinai is St. Katherine's Monastery, a Greek Orthodox monastery built in the 6th century by Emporer Justinian. Inside the monastery is the Chapel of the Burning Bush, built in the 4th century by the Byzantine Empress Helena atop the site where God spoke to Moses through the burning bush. The monastery houses one of the world's largest collections of illuminated manuscripts.

St. Katherine's Monastery
The view from Mt. Sinai of the dry surrounding mountains
A small chapel at the summit of Mt. Sinai
Here I am at the summit, just before sunset
A hazy sunset over the distant mountains

A Mt. Sinai cairn just after sunset. This was just one of hundreds of cairns built along the steps to the summit.

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