the prints of egypt

April 23rd 2015 Comments: 11 Topics: ,

Did you ever have one of those exotic, faraway lands you always, always wanted to visit as a child? A place that kindled the imagination and immediately set daydreams rocketing? A place so out of your everyday life, you know you’ll probably never, ever get there but if you ever did it would be the best thing in the world and it would really be wicked awesome? We all did (do).
2015-04-22_0005As far back as I can recall, mine has always been Egypt.

Back before there was Google or Wikipedia, there was this thing called “The World Book Encyclopedia”. This bulky compendium inevitably sprawled over an entire shelf in everyone’s rumpus room in the ’60s and ’70s. The “E” book (no, not that kind of Ebook) of my particular series was quite dogeared. You see, I was fascinated by all things Egyptian – pyramids, pharaohs, mummies, tombs – it all seemed so far removed from the farmlands of North Alabama. Bolster this with a voracious TV diet of The Ten Commandments, The Mummy (Boris Karloff – not Brendon Frasier) and The villainous King Tut on Batman (Adam West – not Christian Bale) and I was in heaven (or the afterlife, as it were). It just all seemed so… unfamiliar. And when you’re a overtly creative kid living in a ranch house in the backwoods South, unfamiliar was appealing!

So when a colleague of mine invited me, my crew and a choice group of other designers on a guided trip to the Land of the Kings, I leapt (nay, vaulted) at the opportunity.

Did you ever have a place you always wanted to go and, when you finally got there as an adult, it was sorely disappointing? Egypt was definitely not that place. It stirred within me every childhood fantasy, dream and magical thought imaginable. Wandering the enormous and tattooed wonders of the ancient world with the learned and travel-dulled eye of a 53 year old architect, all I could think was this seems so… unfamiliar.

As jaded as my experiences have caused me to become, I was never so happy to be so tantalized.

My deep thanks to our hosts, Marmi Stone in Atlanta and their parent company, Marmonil Stone in Egypt. You made me a kid again.












Greg Tankersley for McAlpine Tankersley


  1. kenju says:

    I have shared your fascination with Egypt since I was a child. I will probably never make it there – thanks for sharing your photos with us.

  2. Susan S says:

    I’ve not been, but I get the feeling that it would feel other-worldly.

  3. Trudy Crock says:

    Spellbinding, magical, mystical, overwhelmingly moving and beautifully written piece Greg. Your comical reference to rumpus room and The World Book Encyclopedia brought back so many buried memories. Regardless how much our lives change our past always travels with us. How wonderful that you were able to see such wonders through the eyes of a child and live your hearts desire as a grown man. You exhibit mindfulness and living at its best. So many of us followed your beautiful travel photos with awe and a healthy dose of envy. Thank you so much for sharing…

  4. Trudy Crock says:

    We had them too and they stood like sacred tomes of knowledge in our den…

  5. Gaines Blackwell says:

    I grew up on a farm 10 miles south of Selma and our set of World Books and a 1911 set of Stoddard’s Lectures, based on the idea of the Grand Tour, created my interest in travel. I simply wanted to see the world but in those days but never thought I would get out of the US. How different the world is. I am grateful I have gotten to see as much of it as I have.

    I will never get to Egypt now so greatly appreciate your “journey” Oddly, I passed up an opportunity to go but stayed to do a house a house !! Silly choice now.

  6. Wanda Hodge says:

    You are an amazing young man and I am so very proud of you! One day, I hope you will have all the countries you have visited, things you have seen, along with pictures of all the houses, etc. that you have help create in your lifetime in a book. You have had an amazing life and hopefully you have many more years to see the rest of the things you desire.

  7. Princess Tex Mex says:

    Agree, Egypt is incredible. I had low expectations, but we went to Cairo 3 months after the revolution in 2011 and it was mindblowing (btw – now is the time to go – no lines for anything!). I would love to go back someday and do a cruise up the Nile to Luxor and visit the Valley of the Kings.

  8. One of the best days of my life was on horseback from Giza to Saqqara and back.Riding along the Nile and running the horses on the dunes…was fantastic.Thought and felt like one went back a hundred years.There were many other experiences that were similar…like the Imbaba camel market outside Cairo.A fascinating place,m

  9. Rhonda Summerlin says:

    Many thanks for sharing your trip with us. The pictures are outstanding. I’ve never been there but my Dad was there during WW2 & has told me about his travel adventures while there. Always have wanted to go. The nearest I got was @ the I-Max where they showed a documentary & I felt like I could actually smell the antiquity. Maybe I will make it before I leave this life.

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