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Egypt's salt hotel

Transcript:

The Siwa Valley is a remote oasis in western Egypt.

Here you can find a hotel made entirely of salt.

The building materials come from the shores of lakes like this one. The crystals are used for food while the rocks are turned into bricks by artisans.

Small sculptures, the walls and even the beds are made of salt.

But doesn't it dissolve in water? Workers at the hotel say it's resisted the rain so far. So, no need to take this story with a pinch of salt.

Vocabulary:

oasis - fertile area in the middle of a desert shores - edge of a lake, sea or river crystals - natural mineral substances which are clear artisans - craftsmen; workers who are good at producing objects with their hands take with a pinch of salt - believe something only partly because it might not be 100% true

Exercise:

Use one of the words or phrases below to complete each of these sentences from news reports. Note that you may have to change the form of a word to complete the sentence correctly.

oasis / shores / crystals / artisans / take with a pinch of salt

1. In her workshop just outside Solo in Central Java, there are more than 100 __________ who spin, weave, draw, wax and dye using only their hands and traditional instruments.

2. Situated at an __________ in the Syrian desert, Palmyra is known across the world as the home of the monumental ruins of a great Roman-era city that was one of the most important cultural cities of the ancient world.

3. This is a lush, quiet place, not far from the __________ of Lake Victoria. But many of these youngsters are likely to have to follow the path of migration from the country into the cities to look for work.

4. "Our experience shows that their track record is not very convincing and I think one should take these kind of promises not only __________ but a sack full of salt."

5. From a battered cardboard box Andrea produces a cylinder 15cm long and 3cm wide, encrusted with __________ of a beautiful silver-coloured metal. It is, he tells me, titanium.

Answers:

1. In her workshop just outside Solo in Central Java, there are more than 100 artisans who spin, weave, draw, wax and dye using only their hands and traditional instruments.

Source: Indonesian entrepreneur who made batik chic

2. Situated at an oasis in the Syrian desert, Palmyra is known across the world as the home of the monumental ruins of a great Roman-era city that was one of the most important cultural cities of the ancient world.

Source: Syria capital Damascus sees heavy Jobar fighting

3. This is a lush, quiet place, not far from the shores of Lake Victoria. But many of these youngsters are likely to have to follow the path of migration from the country into the cities to look for work.

Source: Sunshine powers Uganda's school computers

4. "Our experience shows that their track record is not very convincing and I think one should take these kind of promises not only with a pinch of salt but a sack full of salt."

Source: Cameron and Miliband clash over Pfizer deal

5. From a battered cardboard box Andrea produces a cylinder 15cm long and 3cm wide, encrusted with crystals of a beautiful silver-coloured metal. It is, he tells me, titanium.

Source: Clorine: From toxic chemical to household cleaner