Use the links above to see more photos.

After about a month in Luxor we drove for a couple of hours across the Eastern Desert to the small, port city of El Quseer on the Red Sea.

In ancient times the road I drove was an important camel caravan trade route. It was, and still is, the shortest overland distance in upper Egypt between the Nile and the Red Sea. El Quseer's size and importance have waxed and waned over time.

During Roman times it was the port of choice for goods traded back and forth between the Mediterranean and the East.

It took on new importance centuries later as the main port of departure for the pilgrimage that Muslims are supposed to make at least once in their lives to Mecca, in Saudi Arabia.

It was still an important enough port at the end of the 18th century that Napoleon saw fit to fortify it against the British Navy.

These days, it's just a sleepy little town awaiting another awakening. Perhaps through tourism?