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The "Virgin Mary Tree" Shagret Mariem  Egypt

The "Virgin Mary Tree"

Definitely off the traditional tourist trail, and not the kind of place you can find easily. This is a third generation tree that is believed to have sheltered the Holy Family during their travels in Egypt. Old gnarly stumps of the previous trees are intertwined with the current. The small garden setting is clean and well kept. There is a tiny church on site but it is usually closed off. Simple artwork of wrought iron depict scenes from the family's journeys. Getting to the site is fascinating as you're winding through neighborhoods that tour buses never visit.

Finding the spot is a challenge and does require basic communication skills in Arabic, if you don't have a local guide. It also requires a level of comfort and confidence in exploring. Combine this visit with one to the Heliopolis Obelisk which is nearby.