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					Favorite Places AT Fayyum
Outside town at Ain Al-Siliyin, 9 km north towards Lake Qaroun, is a popular marvelous spot & park which has natural spring & streams, but it is overcrowded on Friday and holidays. Further north is Lake Qaroun that is a favorite beach resort. In winter, it is quite rough and teeming with ducks and geese, which brings the hunters to lakeside hotels. Qaroun means "Lake of the Horn" and it is possible to negotiate a price to get a row boat to the Golden Horn Island or to the north shore. Lake Qaroun is a safe haven and warm cradle for thousands of migrant birds fleeing the severe cold of Europe. It is also the incubator and the happy nest that embraces infant birds on the lake islets during reproduction time. Various kinds of fish live in the lake waters, while many species of mammals, reptiles and birds live in this wonderful reserve. Moreover, the reserve abounds in rare fossils, archaeological and geological formations. Declared a nature reserve Lake Qaroun was declared a nature reserve by the virtue of the Prime Minister decision No 348 of 1989 with a view to protecting and conserving the biological, archaeological and geological diversity of the area. Being a damp land area, special attention was required to maintain it. The reserve contains several monuments including as-Sagha (goldsmiths) palace that lies at the northern part, dating back to the Pharaonic Middle Kingdom. It looks like a small temple made of rosy stone with seven compartments. Three km away from as-Sagha palace there lies Abu Lifa Monastery that was built in the monastic era on an elevated spot in the bosom of a mountain to keep monks secure from Roman oppression. Greek monuments include relics of the old town of Skitnopius, once the departure point for the south desert-bound trade caravans.Fossils, many of which are kept at the Agriculture Museum in Cairo include those of a strange animal, found to have lived in Mount Qatrani. A carcass of the extinct mammal, which lived in this area some 35

million years ago, was exclusively discovered in Lake Qaroun. The second important fossil in the reserve is ape Egpotothyx, the oldest ape in the world dating back 32 million years ago. This animal is the connecting link between apes of old and modern ages. Flamingo The Golden Horn is one of the most wonderful islets in the reserve. The 376-feddanislet serves as the most convenient spots for bird reproduction, specifically the flamingo. Despite its scanty size (only one sq. km), the importance of Hamour islet rests in its favorable climate for reproduction of both resident and migrant birds, as the islet rises a little above the lake water level.

The biological diversity of the reserveis very important when one considers that 88 species of birds have been spotted here. In addition, there are rare kinds of ducks, eagles, falcons, hornbills, macaws, swans and parakeets. Many wild plants are also to be found. The lake houses more than 10 kinds of fish, including garfish, eel, cod, muskellunge, halibut, striped bass and shrimps. The reserve also offers shelter to five kinds of mammals including Egyptian hyena, red fox, beaver, kudu and gnu. Moreover, the reserve houses rare kinds of reptiles including the Egyptian Cobra, redspotted and coral snake. All these make Lake Qaroun one of the richest nature reserves nearby Cairo. To the lake and 30 km from the city on the main road towards Cairo, Kome Aushim is site of the ancient city of Karanis. The results of excavations carried out in the 1920's by the University of Michigan are displayed, together with exhibits from other sites around Fayoum, in a small museum. The most interesting exhibits are the carefully resorted pottery and glassware. The remains of two temples dating from 1st Century BC have also been found, apparently built on the foundations of earlier temples. Mud brick houses have also been discovered although there are little remains of these. Trips to Oasr Es-Saghah and the ruins of the Ptolemaic settlement of Soknopaiou Nesos which used to be on the lakeside but is now 11 km away and 65 m above the current lake, are arranged at the museum. There are 4 separate pyramid sites in and near the Fayoum depression: Hawara, Lahun and the collapsed Maidoum pyramids are all near the main road from Fayoum to Beni Swef

The pyramid of Amenemhet III (1842-1797 BC) is a 3 km walk across Bahr Youssef and into the desert from Hawara which is 6 km south east of Fayoum. Contrary to normal practice the entrance of the pyramid of which only the mud brick core remains while its external limestone cladding having long since disappeared,is situated to the south in an unsuccessfully-set attempt to confuse looters. When an archaeologist got into it, he found that Amenemhet's body had been removed and destroyed and the sarcophagus of his was missing. It was discovered next to that of his daughter Queen Sobk-Nefru, who was the last 12th dynasty ruler and had completed her father's pyramid after his death, when her own fully-intact tomb was discovered in 1965. The apex of this easily climbed pyramid offers excellent views

To the south of the pyramid is the Mortuary Temple of Amenemhet III which was known as Labyrinth in the classical days when it greatly impressed Herodotus who considered that it far surpassed the pyramids as a building. It was composed of over 3,000 rooms. About 6 Km off the main road lies the ruined pyramid of Senusert I (1897- 1878 BC) built by Amenemhet III's grandfather. It was built on a rocky surface on which limestone pillars were constructed and then covered over with mud-brick and finally encased in stone. A "sponge" made of sand and flint was placed around the base, in order to prevent any flooding. Once again the unusual south-facing entrance did not deter the tomb robbers.

Auberge Du Lac-Fayoum Hotel
It once was the hunting lodge of King Farouk, the last king of Egypt, and the prior hotel built on the same site served as a meeting place for world leaders deciding the boarders of the Middle East after World War I

Facilities
RESTAURANTS
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3 In house restaurant

OTHER
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Bar Parking Air-conditioning Phone Television Conference center Fitness Room Swimming pool Disco Watersports Hunting Children's Facilities Horse Riding Tennis


				
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posted:8/13/2009
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