|The Red Pyramid of Dashur.|
Is it too late to write a retrospective on on 2019? Yeah, probably, but I've been busy.
It was a pretty solid year for me travel-wise, starting and ending with trips to Egypt to write my Masked Man of Cairo mystery series. I explored the old medieval district of Cairo, hung out with Egyptian and Sudanese friends, and headed to Bahariya Oasis deep in the Western Desert. The second trip, from which I recently returned, took me up the Nile to Luxor, somewhere I hadn't been since 1991. The modern city had grown and so have the ruins! No, there aren't suddenly more ancient temples, but more had been excavated and restored. Funny how even an archaeological site with change with time.
|Bas-relief in tomb Luxor|
Sandwiched between those two trips was a trip to Fez in Morocco. Readers of this blog will know that I regularly go to Morocco and have a few books set there, but oddly enough until this past year I hadn't been to one of its most famous cities. I stayed in the old medina and spent my days wandering around the labyrinthe of alleys.
Of course I also had my usual stays in Oxford and London for research and catching up with old friends.
|The tannery in Fez ha been operating (and stinking) for centuries|
So what's on the agenda for 2020? At least one trip to Egypt, perhaps with the goal of seeing the Faiyum region, which I've never visited. I also want to get some new countries under my belt. I've been to 35 countries but not a new one for several years. I'm fixing that by giving a talk at the International Dublin Writers' Festival in June. That's right, a guy named Sean McLachlan has never been to Ireland! Shameful. I'm also considering a trip to Tunisia and maybe even the Sudan. More details when I get them!
|Holy man's tomb, Fez|
|Nobelman's tomb, Luxor|
|The hypostele hall in Karnak.|