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更新时间:2004/10/25

 The longest river in the world, the Nile, flows through the north-western area of Africa, and then into the Mediterranean Sea.
  Great civilizations have always flourished alongside rivers, but the Egyptian civilization, which started on the Nile, is the most fascinating and mysterious in the history of mankind.

  The Nile valley is a fertile one where there is an abundance of water and sun, elements which the ancient Egyptian believed were gods, they called the sun Amon and the Nile Apis.

  Memphis was the first great capital of Egypt, united as a single kingdom in the third millennium B.C..But the Nile burst its banks a few centuries ago, flooding the ancient capital.

  The river however has given more than it has taken, enough to make Herodotus, the ancient Greek historian say: Egypt is a gift from the Nile.

  The annual floods left precious silt on the fields, a miraculous natural fertilizer which made the crops grow luxuriantly.

  This instrument, called a Nilometer was used by the ancient Pharaohs to establish how high the periodic floods would be. The Nilometer, on the presupposition that the harvest would be plentiful, was nothing other than a device for setting income tax level.

  The date palm is without a doubt the plant which characterizes Egyptian agriculture more than anything else. The peasants use it to make roofs, to construct furniture, to weave baskets; but above all the sweetest fruit on earth grows on the palm: the date.

  On display are the souks. Red dates can be purchased here. They are dry and crunchy, less sweet than the others; the semi-sweet ones have all the shades of orange; the brown and the black ones are very soft, and their sugar seems to dissolve in your mouth.

  If the Nile yields simple, raw materials, the inspiration of its people gives rise to one of the most perfumed, flavorsome and colorful cuisine in North Africa. Food in Egypt is hot and spicy, drenched in sauces.

  The national dish is fouhl, a fragrant soup of beans which is sold on every street corner.

  Egyptians tend to wash down these libations with black tea. Non-Muslims also enjoy the fine local wines and beer, whose origins are actually Egyptian. Ever since the 3rd dynasty drinking it while eating bread was considered a good omen.

  What we are seeing is the village near Luxor, which is characterized by the typical houses built with mud and straw.

  Some of these houses have been painted with colorful drawings, which are very curious. Aeroplanes, departures, ships and scenes from journeys. These painted walls tell us about the Islamic custom of going on a pilgrimage to Mecca. A duty which should be carried out at least once in a lifetime, an event that is to be passed down to descendants with a vivid fresco.

  The population on the Nile has grown at a dizzying rate, giving rise to a great metropolis of the size of Cairo the second most populous city in the world.

  To see the swarming crowds in the capital it would seem that the lesson of Ramese II, whose colossal stature is located near Cairo's Central Station, is still alive in Egypt. Ramses II had more than a hundred children and in Egypt today a baby is born every 20 seconds. The population is very young and half of its 54 million inhabitants are under 20 years old.

  The crowds in Cairo, the hustle and bustle of the typical souk, are an unmissable spectacle for people arriving in Egypt, a brilliant contrast to the mysterious charm of the monuments of the Pharaohs.

  These solemn states are almost participants in modern life. You can almost find your ideas about the Nile reflected in their eyes.

  世界上最长的河流尼罗河,流经非洲西北部,最终汇入地中海。

  伟大的人类文明多发源于河流两岸,但人类历史上最为绚丽、神秘的是使于尼罗河的古埃及文明。

  尼罗河谷拥有充足的淡水与阳光,这二者被古埃及人奉为神灵,他们尊称太阳为AMON,称尼罗河为APIS。

  孟菲斯是埃及第一个首都,公元前3000年,它建立为独立王国。而若干世纪以前,尼罗河水泛滥,冲垮了古都。

  但毕竟,尼罗河所赋予的远大于它索取的。正如古希腊历史学家希罗多德所言:埃及是尼罗河赐予的礼物。

  每年洪水过后,土地上都会留下一层淤泥,这是能让庄稼茁壮成长的天然优良肥料。

  这个被称作"Nilometer"的设备,是古代法老用来预测一定时期内洪水的可能高度。用于推断丰收与否的"Nilometer",其实就是制定税收标准的装置。

  最具埃及农业特色的无疑是枣椰树。农民用它建房顶,打家具,编篮子。但最重要的是,世上最甜的水果就长在这树上——枣。

  红枣就在这里出售。风干的枣吃起来不太甜很但脆。半甜的枣呈现出橙色;棕黑色的枣口感很软,它们的糖份仿佛已经溶进了嘴里。

  如果尼罗河只提供简单的原料,北非人就会把它们变成美味佳肴。埃及食物多辛辣,并要用酱汁浸透。

  FOUHL是当地食品,这种鲜美的豆汤在各个街道都能买到。

  埃及人习惯用红茶解酒。非穆斯林也能享用当地美味的葡萄酒和啤酒,其实它们就原产于埃及。早在第三王朝,喝酒吃面包被视为是吉兆。

  现在我们见到的是位于卢克索附近的村庄。其标志性房屋是用泥和稻草砌成的。

  一些屋外画着彩色的画,有些画很罕见。飞机,离别,轮船以及旅途中的景象。壁画讲述着伊斯兰教徒去麦迦朝圣的习俗。那是教徒一生中至少要履行一次的责任,鲜活的壁画的也将代代相传。

  现在,尼罗河沿岸人口激增,首都开罗已经是世界人口最多的第2大城市。

  看着熙来攘往的人群,仿佛又看到了莱比西斯二世的故事重现。他的塑像早已矗立在开罗中央车站。莱比西斯二世有一百多个孩子,而今天的埃及每20秒就有一个新生命诞生。当地人口年轻化,5千4百万人口中,有一半不满20岁。

  喧闹的开罗会给每位来访者留下深刻的印象。

  而肃穆的法老像似乎也在参与着后人的生活。也许,你能从他的眼中读到关于尼罗河的种种证实。

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