BIR EL GABAL
A HEART-OPENING PLACE
We find ourselves in the Egyptian oasis DAKHLA approximately 900 km south from Cairo and about 600 km west from Luxor. Located at the foot of a high, elongated cliff that defines the three large oases connecting the Western Desert, Kharga, Dakhla and Farafra, formerly with a caravan route, now since approx. 1990 with a developed trunk road. Dakhla itself has a about 90 km long sand street punctuated by fields and sand with several smaller and two large towns, Mut and El Kasr connected to it.
In addition, only 5 km away from the old clay town of El Kasr with its origins from the 12th century, in the middle of the desert land, surrounded by sand and rock, we find ourselves again, in Bir El Gabal – well on the mountain, an enchanting mini oasis.
A former artesian well created this small paradise of date groves and wheat fields here, far away from tourism and the hustle and bustle of the day, a still tranquil place of peace and well-being. The rock formations of the nearby cliff to the north remind me of a great eagle sweeping his wings spread protectively around this piece of land. A bright crystalline atmosphere welcomes us, and for centuries – or more – this magical place has been the place to be for the spring festivals celebrated every year, no wonder.
In this wonderful expanse, right next to Hatem Shafik's small family guesthouse, my Hathor Chalet project started with the aim of making it possible visitors to experience this inspirational healing desert landscape up close. An infinitely old desert landscape opens up to us and with just a few steps – out of the palm garden - we roam around taller than man-high, naturally formed sphinx formations out of clay, former seabed, of layers from millions of years, to then become lime sculptures again discover and feel sand dunes or hard ground rock under your feet. Who is quick-footed may be tempted to climb the 400 m high cliff to enjoy a wide view into the distance of the Libyan sandy desert.
An old, venerable place, this Bir El Gabal, with its incredible natural treasures and its
special atmosphere it is ready to gift everyone who entrusts themselves to him with open hearts. -
Welcome to the Hathor Chalet.