Egypt, with its collections of ancient pyramids, temples, and tombs is fascinating place to visit.
Our Great Trip to Egypt
As far back as I can remember learning about various places around the world, I wanted to visit them, all of them, no matter where they were. When I began to be successful financially as an adult, I began traveling by leading educational tours and saving enough money so that when I retired, I would be able to travel wherever l might want to go. The picture above shows the positive results of my financial planning. I feel that my travels have enriched my life immensely.
The picture was taken a few years ago now, during the second week of a two-week tour, the first week in Israel, the second week in Egypt. Both of these weeks were incredible to me. The first is because, being a Christian, I enjoyed being in the Holy Land where Jesus lived and taught. The second being in Egypt, at places like the Karnak Temple Complex and the nearby Valley of the Kings with its tombs where various Pharaohs were buried, then Giza where the Great Pyramids are located, and then in Cairo, across the Nile River from Giza, where the great Cairo Museum houses King Tut's magnificent tomb articles and countless other archaeological articles from Egyptian antiquity, as well as a general city tour of notable sights around Cairo.
One of the disappointments of our stay in Egypt is pictured above, our visit to the Sphinx. As can be seen in the photo, the Sphinx is fenced in, with no really good way to get close to it, or even get a close look at it, because of the fence and the construction type articles around it, but all things considered, the week in Israel and the week in Egypt both were wonderful beyond my high expectations.
Our Nile River Cruise
There were a number of river cruise ships on the Nile when we were there, with obvious differences in grandeur, or lack of it, of the ships, making stops on the Nile. By far, the most important to me was at Karnak and the Valley of the Kings.
The photo above shows the entrance to the most sacred part of the Karnak Temple complex, with great statues at the entrance to the complex, and with various areas and rooms dedicated to the worship of Egyptian gods inside the area. As the photo indicates, this, even in a semi-ruined state, was a magnificently impressive site, almost beyond belief for having been built beginning about 18 centuries ago. (Important scenes from the Agatha Christie movie, Death on the Nile, were filmed in this area.)
While in the Karnak, area we also went to the nearby Valley of the Kings, an area where from about 16th to 11th centuries B.C.E., various Pharaohs were buried. The most famous of the tombs there was King Tutankhamen's, because of its gloriously beautiful gold death mask and other items that were buried with King Tut, but had not been removed by grave robbers, as had happened to many other tombs in the area. The tomb that I entered on this excursion was of Ramses III, son of Ramses II, the latter being one of the very most important Pharaohs of all time in Egypt perhaps the Pharaoh with whom Moses dealt in Exodus in the Old Testament.
Time in Cairo
We had the two greatest activities in Cairo. The first was a visit to the three Great Pyramids of Giza, where we took a short camel ride. The gigantic size of the largest pyramid was almost unbelievable, especially when trying to imagine how it could have been built without modern machines and technology. It is believed that the great pyramid was built about 2560 BCE.
I once had a great dream of climbing up one of the pyramids. However, when I got to them, I found that it was illegal to climb on the pyramids. This seemed most reasonable from a safety standpoint since the building stones were much larger than I had ever imagined climbing very high was, I realized, at my age, impossible. I was allowed to go up several feet on the biggest of the three Giza pyramids, and I enjoyed this immensely.
The second wonderful thing that we did was the quite old, but magnificent, Egyptian antiquities museum with an almost endless supply of tomb articles about out about 120,000 to one source, especially those taken from King Tutankhamen's unrobbed tomb, including his most magnificent death mask.
The museum is located in downtown Cairo in a maze of crowded streets, and it was quite an adventure just getting to from the museum and tour bus, but that is just part of a tour from to time. Established in 1902 the museum is quite a large red building sitting on the east side of the Nile, which flows from south to north through Cairo. The Museum has an almost unimaginable complexity of items.
New Egyptian Archeological Museum
Since this article was originally published, the Egyptian government has begun building a great new archeological museum in Giza where the Great Pyramids are located at the cost of $795,000,000. It will house a great number of artifacts, including the Tutankhamun collection. According to Wikipedia, this wonderful museum is scheduled to open this year.
- Information for this article was taken from articles from Wikipedia and my visit to Egypt, including comments from our excellent tour guide.
- All photos are mine, either made by me or by someone else with my camera.