Monthly Archives: August 2013

Valley of the Kings

Sorry that I haven’t written in a while. Just needed a break this week. Let me get back to my adventure in Egypt. Last time I left you I was in Luxor visiting the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut.

8/4/11

We got off the bus and walked through the vendors. I saw a shirt I wanted and made a mental note that I would try to get it on the way back to the bus. We went to a big  room, which had a model of all the tombs in the valley. Sherif spoke to us for a bit there. I paid to use the bathroom and then went outside to join the group. We had to catch a tram to the tombs. However, some of the vendors got on the tram, which they aren’t allowed to do. So we stopped and had to wait for them to get off. Sherif handed us our 3 tomb ticket. Michael, Paul, and I purchased tickets to see King Tut’s tomb and Ramesses VI’s tomb. Sherif wasn’t allowed in the tombs so he showed us which ones to go into and gave his speeches outside of the tombs.

The first tomb we went into was KV 2, which belongs to Ramesses IV. The tomb has a red granite sarcophagus and has many smaller side rooms. The images of Nut on the ceiling were incredible. Paul and I noticed a decoration on one of the walls that I thought looked like papyrus. Sherif didn’t know what it was, but in the end we found out I was right. The entrance to this particular tomb seemed very long. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to take pictures in the tombs. The Theban Mapping Project provides images, descriptions, and diagrams of the tombs. They are definitely worth looking at.

Next was KV 11, which belongs to Ramesses III. Sonja decided to pay the tomb guy to guide her. I didn’t need that, so I left them. When they were building this tomb they actually hit KV 10 and had to shift the tomb over a bit. This tomb had a lot of cobras in it. It also had a wonderful scene of Ramesses offering Maat to Osiris.

The next tomb was KV 16, which belongs to Ramesses I. This one was very deep and had a lot of steps to get in. The tomb guard wanted to show me around, but I kept shooing him off. I didn’t want to pay. The scenes in this tomb were so vivid! There were beautiful images of Horus, Osiris, Atum Ra Khepri, Maat, and more. All of these images were on a blue background. There was even a sarcophagus that filled up almost the entire room. It was so dusty and Michael put his hand prints on it. The guard came over and started talking to us and at this point I decided to leave. I wasn’t paying him. At the top of the steps I didn’t feel well. The heat, the depth, and the stairs were starting to get to me. No wonder Alli got sick when she came out of this tomb. I started to walk away and got harassed by a vendor. For once my Arabic wasn’t working on him. I didn’t have the energy to fight with him. He eventually gives me a book as a gift and refuses to take it back. At that moment Paul and Michael come out of the tomb with the guard. I could tell right away that something was wrong. The guard wants to get paid and the boys don’t have money. I’m forced to pay him. I’m not happy. Now the vendor sees I have money and demands to be paid for the book he shoved in my hands. I was eventually going to buy the book anyway so I look through my wallet for money. The smallest note I have is 20LE, but the book is 5LE. The vendor takes the 20LE out of my hand and refuses to give me change. I cause a scene. He gives me another book. Now he owes me 10LE. I want my change and he claims he doesn’t have any. I’m not letting him get away with my money. So I demand he at least give me more merchandise. He gives me two postcard books. I’m pissed at the whole situation.

We go into KV 9 and I am beyond agitated. This tomb belongs to Ramesses VI and was never finished because he died before it was completed. The ceiling was incredible and showed Nut swallowing Ra. There was also very colorful cartouches. The room at the end was quite large and there was a piece of a granite sarcophagus. Sherif had told us there would be images of strange guys on the ceiling, He said they looked like aliens or Buddha. He was completely right! There was a great double image of Osiris. There was also a memorable image of Meretseger.  There was just so much to see.

Last but not least was the long awaited tomb of King Tut otherwise known as KV 62. It was only fitting that the last historical thing we will be doing in Egypt would be Tut’s tomb. The tomb had a short staircase entrance. On the right of the tomb was the room Tut was originally buried in. His gold sarcophagus was in the middle of the room under the glass. On the back wall there was an image of Nut greeting Tut, the opening mouth ceremony, and finally Osiris, Tut, and his ka. On the other side wall was a scene with 6 baboons. Tut’s mummy was in the antechamber. Thank goodness I had my flashlight otherwise you wouldn’t be able to see it. I couldn’t believe I was staring at Tut after all this time. I was surprised more of the group didn’t want to see this tomb. After all, this probably the most famous tomb in Egypt.

We headed back to the “visitor center.” I wish I could have seen more tombs. I easily could have spent the whole day there. I used the bathroom. I then went to that t-shirt vendor. He wanted 170LE ($34) for the t-shirt. I got him down to 25LE ($5). The funny thing is I walked away and he followed me all the way to the bus. I wound up buying the shirt right as I got on the bus.

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Categories: Africa, Egypt, History, Travel, Trip with a Tour Group | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mallawi Museum in Egypt was Looted

I’ve been meaning to post about this all week, but it has been a busy week. The Mallawi Museum was broken into and the artifacts were looted. They also killed the security guard/ticket taker. Almost everything was taken and what wasn’t taken was damaged. About 1,040 items were taken and to date 90 have been returned. Below you’ll find more information about the incident. The article below belongs to Yahoo and the Associated Press. To read the original article please click here.

To view the salvaging of the museum click here

To view the damage on 8/17 click here

To view the list of stolen items click here

Egypt’s devastating museum looting latest casualty

Associated Press

AYA BATRAWY August 19, 2013

CAIRO (AP) — As violent clashes roiled Egypt, looters made away with a prized 3,500-year-old limestone statue, ancient beaded jewelry and more than 1,000 other artifacts in the biggest theft to hit an Egyptian museum in living memory.

The scale of the looting of the Malawi Museum in the southern Nile River city of Minya laid bare the security vacuum that has taken hold in cities outside Cairo, where police have all but disappeared from the streets. It also exposed how bruised and battered the violence has left Egypt.

For days after vandals ransacked the building Wednesday, there were no police or soldiers in sight as groups of teenage boys burned mummies and broke limestone sculptures too heavy for the thieves to carry away. The security situation remained precarious Monday as gunmen atop nearby buildings fired on a police station near the museum.

Among the stolen antiquities was a statue of the daughter of Pharaoh Akhenaten, who ruled during the 18th dynasty. Archaeologist Monica Hanna described it as a “masterpiece”. Other looted items included gold and bronze Greco-Roman coins, pottery and bronze-detailed sculptures of animals sacred to Thoth, a deity often represented with the head of an ibis or a baboon.

The museum’s ticket agent was killed during the storming of the building, according to the Antiquities Ministry.

View gallery.”

FILE -- In this Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 file photo, …

FILE — In this Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 file photo, Damaged pharaonic objects lie on the floor

Under the threat of sniper fire on Saturday, Hanna and a local security official were able to salvage five ancient Egyptian sarcophagi, two mummies and several dozen other items left behind by the thieves.

The museum was a testament to the Amarna Period, named after its location in southern Egypt that was once the royal residence of Nefertiti. The area is located on the banks of the Nile River in the province of Minya, some 190 miles (300 kilometers) south of Cairo.

When Hanna asked a group of teenagers wielding guns to stop destroying the artifacts that remained, they said they were getting back at the government for killing people in Cairo, she said.

“I told them that this is property of the Egyptian people and you are destroying it,” she said in an interview Monday. “They were apparently upset with me because I am not veiled.”

After managing to chase them away, a group of men began opening fire to try to force her and the security official to leave. She said the men were apparently also in charge of the boys, who had burned one mummy completely and partially burned another, while pushing around a half-ton statue from the Old Kingdom of the third millennium B.C.

FILE -- In this Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 file photo, …

FILE — In this Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 file photo, damaged pharaonic objects lie on the floor

“We were working and lowering our heads so they do not fire on us. There were snipers on rooftops,” she said.

The two were able to salvage some 40 artifacts and thousands of broken pieces that Hanna said will take archaeologists years to put back together. The Egypt Heritage Task Force, a group of Egyptian archaeologists who use social media to try to raise awareness about illegal digging for artifacts and looting, said 1,050 pieces were stolen from the museum.

The head of museums for the Antiquities Ministry, Ahmed Sharaf, said two statues were returned Monday. He told The Associated Press that police and ministry officials will not press charges or arrest anyone who comes forward with looted items and that a small financial reward is available for returned artifacts.

He said that until now, police have been unable to secure the museum. He accused members of ousted President Mohammed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, who have been spearheading protests against the government, of being behind the looting and attacks on the nearby police station.

Hanna said the looting was more likely carried out by heavily armed gangs of thieves who took advantage of the lawlessness to target the museum.

FILE -- In this Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 file photo, …

FILE — In this Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 file photo, a damaged object lies on the floor of the Malawi …

The chaos erupted Wednesday when security forces in Cairo, authorized by the new military-backed government, cleared out two Islamist-led sit-ins demanding Morsi be reinstated, igniting violence that has killed more than 1,000 people.

The Great Pyramids west of Cairo and the Egyptian museum in the heart of the city were closed during the country’s bloodiest day last week. At least 30 tanks line the streets outside Egypt’s main museum in Cairo.

Some looting occurred during the 18-day uprising in early 2011 against autocratic President Hosni Mubarak. More than 50 items were stolen from the Cairo museum, but Sharaf said around half have been recovered.

Never, though, was the looting then or at any other time since on the scale seen last week, according to archaeologists and ministry officials.

In the past two years of instability since Mubarak’s ouster, illegal digs have multiplied and illegal construction has encroached on ancient, largely unexplored pyramids.

Also threatening sites is the view held by some hard-line religious allies of Morsi who view Egypt’s ancient history as pagan.

The Malawi Museum was in many ways a tribute to the heritage of Minya and home to chests, coffins, masks and hematite stone with Hieroglyphic inscriptions used for measuring. The looters also made away with sculptures associated with the deity Thoth, who ironically, is known as an arbitrator of disputes.

FILE -- In this Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 file photo, rows of display cases are broken and empty at the Malawi Antiquities Museum after it was ransacked and looted between the evening of Thursday, Aug. 15 and the morning of Friday, Aug. 16, 2013 in Malawi, south of Minya, Egypt. The theft of about 1,000 artifacts spanning some 3,500 years of history from a small antiquities museum south of Cairo showcases the tenuous security in the provinces. (AP Photo/Roger Anis, El Shorouk Newspaper, File) EGYPT OUT

FILE -- In this Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 file photo, Damaged pharaonic objects lie on the floor and in broken cases in the Malawi Antiquities Museum after it was ransacked and looted between the evening of Thursday, Aug. 15 and the morning of Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, in Malawi, south of Minya, Egypt. The theft of about 1,000 artifacts spanning some 3,500 years of history from a small antiquities museum south of Cairo showcases the tenuous security in the provinces. (AP Photo/Roger Anis, El Shorouk Newspaper, File) EGYPT OUT

FILE -- In this Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 file photo, damaged pharaonic objects lie on the floor of the Malawi Antiquities Museum after it was ransacked and looted between the evening of Thursday, Aug. 15 and the morning of Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, in Malawi, south of Minya, Egypt, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013. The theft of about 1,000 artifacts spanning some 3,500 years of history from a small antiquities museum south of Cairo showcases the tenuous security in the provinces. (AP Photo/Roger Anis, El Shorouk Newspaper, File) EGYPT OUTFILE -- In this Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 file photo, a damaged object lies on the floor of the Malawi Antiquities Museum after it was ransacked and looted between the evening of Thursday, Aug. 15 and the morning of Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, in Malawi, south of Minya, Egypt, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013. The theft of about 1,000 artifacts spanning some 3,500 years of history from a small antiquities museum south of Cairo showcases the tenuous security in the provinces. (AP Photo/Roger Anis, El Shorouk Newspaper, File) EGYPT OUT

Categories: Egyptology, History, Mish Mash | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Brunswick and Princeton

8/18/13

Today’s my day’s birthday. My mom and I woke up and checked out of the Heldrich. My dad picked us up and drove us to go food shopping in Princeton.

We love to shop in New Jersey because you can buy a month’s worth of groceries for the price of a week’s grocery in the city. We headed to Walmart. I couldn’t get over how cheap the items were. I got a nice bag for $5. We bought some food and then headed to Wegman’s to do our real shopping. The breads looked amazing today. I sampled some free hummus. My mom also had free animal crackers and tomatoes. We did a full shopping that should last us a month. Wegman’s has a wonderful selection and the prices are great. They have a huge bakery, deli, seafood, hot food, sub station, pizza area, coffee bar, salad bar, sushi section, organic section, international section, etc. The place is massive. They also have a liqueur area. They card everyone in your party though.

After Walgreen’s my mom and I ran to Target. I picked up chocolate because I was starving. We then ran to Michael’s. I love Michael’s especially around Halloween. I had to restrain myself from buying everything. I got a ton of mini gifts for friends for ridiculously cheap. We then got in the car and headed back to New Brunswick.

We checked into the Hyatt. We got our favorite room which has a large living room and a fridge. My mom and I ran out and bought a cheesecake sampler from Fresh Grocer. We got candles from the hotel. I ran and got matches from Rite Aid. We met up with my grandparents for dinner. We ate at Old Man Rafferty’s again. I got my grilled cheese, garlic bread, and a giant chocolate toffee cookie. It was bigger than my head. My dad got his usual veggie burger and fries. He ate my chips. My mom got a grilled chicken sandwich with fries. I ate some of her fries. My grandma got chicken salad in a pita with chips. My grandpa ate her chips. My grandpa got a BBQ chicken sandwich with a baked potato. The food was great but I was still hungry. The waiter was beyond slow. The woman I got my cookie from in the bakery asked me 5 times what I wanted while she pointed to it. She even threw out the first one I wanted. She didn’t speak much English. Very strange.

We passed some historical plaques on our way back to the hotel. We went back to the room and they ate the cheesecake. They also got free chocolate dipped fruit from the hotel. We kicked back and watched the Red Sox/Yankee game.

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Categories: Family Vacation, Food, History, New Brunswick, Princeton, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Help Fight for Idan

I don’t normally do this, but this one hits home. Idan is the nephew of Ms. Jaffe-my favorite teacher, my HS math teacher, my NHS advisor, one of the reasons I survived a horrible senior year, and most importantly the teacher who made me want to become a teacher. Please help support Idan! Anything will help. Click  the link to give and learn more: Help Fight for Idan | Medical Expenses – YouCaring.com.

 

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Trenton and New Brunswick

8/17/13

We took Amtrak to the Trenton Transit Center. It was only a 25 minute ride. We crossed the platform to catch a 4:58pm New Jersey Transit train to New Brunswick. While we were waiting for our train we were listening to a woman who was trying to keep the Amtrak train from pulling out because her son was on the train without her. No idea how that happened. Our train pulled in early. It was a double decker. We sat in a 4 seater on the bottom level. We pulled out on time. We had a 30 minute train ride to New Brunswick. We pulled in, but the platform didn’t meet the train. We had to go to a different exit and they wheeled a platform to us.

I was super hungry so we immediately went to Old Man Rafferty’s to eat. I ordered a grilled cheese and a side of garlic bread. My grilled cheese came with chips, which my mom had. My garlic bread was a bit burnt, but I was so hungry it didn’t matter to me. The grilled cheese hit the spot. We were in and out in 30 minutes.

We headed up the block to the hotel. We normally stay at the Hyatt in New Brunswick, but the Heldrich was 50% off so we decided to try it. They accommodated our request for a high floor away from the elevators and ice machine. However, they put a $50 hold on your credit card as a security deposit. They release it once you have checked out and the room isn’t damaged. The room was average. Definitely didn’t feel like the 4 stars it was supposed to be. The TV wasn’t flat screen. The view was awful.

My mom and I went out to shop. We explored the new grocery store called Fresh Grocer. It was quite large and the prices were reasonable. The cupcakes looked good. We went back to the room and ate our cookies from Philly. One more day in Jersey then back to work. 😦

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Categories: Family Vacation, New Brunswick, Travel, Trenton, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Philadelphia Press a Pennies

Got 3 new press a pennies while I was in Philadelphia at the National Constitution Center.

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Categories: Mish Mash, Philadelphia, Press A Pennies, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

1787 and 1968

8/17/13

I woke up and got dressed while watching Scandal. We checked out of the Loews. They told us there was free coffee in the restaurant. My mom added to her cup. We left our bags with the hotel.

We went straight to the National Constitution Center. I’ve been wanting to go to this museum since it opened. I never went because of time and the price. We decided to go this trip because there’s also a 1968 exhibit. So we felt like we were getting two museums for the price of one. I got in as a youth ($13). I always say I’m 17. My mom got in for the AAA adult rate ($12). The woman giving us our tickets was not nice and didn’t give us any info about the exhibits. I took all the brochures I could find (not knowing one of the items was a fold up constitution-if I had known I would have taken some for my students).

We decided to do the 1968 exhibit first. I was happy that they allowed photography in the exhibit. I had just taught a 1960’s class so I was excited to see everything I just taught. My mom felt like she was looking at her childhood. The exhibit covered the assassination of MLK and RFK. It also covered Vietnam, the Black Panthers, moon race, music, toys, clothes, the Olympics, etc. I liked the Vietnam helicopter, the clothes, the items from the kitchen where RFK was assassinated, and the albums.

After the 60’s exhibit we went upstairs to the We the People exhibit. It’s an interactive exhibit on the constitution. It focuses on the 3 different branches. There were sections where you could watch videos. You could be sworn in as the president. You can simulate the jury duty experience. There were election booths where you could vote on ideas and it would match you with a past president. They had judicial robes you could try on. There was even a jeopardy game you could play against people. I got all the questions right. There were little sections where you could listen to Paine, Jefferson, Adams, FDR, etc. I liked that they set up FDR’s audio section to resemble a fire side chat. My favorite part of the exhibit were all the artifacts. They had items from different presidents, judges, and other historical figures. They had items from the Dred Scott case, the Scopes trial, prohibition, Sandra Day O’Connors’ robe, etc. There was an old copy of the Emancipation Proclamation and one of the first public copies of the constitution.

Our next stop was Signers’ Hall. The hall is the same size as the room where they signed the constitution. The room is filled with the delegates from the convention. The statues are very life like. My mom and I posed with several of them. We both signed the constitution. Supposedly you can print a copy of your signed constitution in this room. I didn’t see anyone doing that. You also can give people a link at home and they can watch you in the room.

After that we took pictures of Independence Hall from the second floor. By the staircase they had plaques in the ground of when each state ratified the constitution. We headed down to the gift shop. I got some postcards. I wanted postcards from the 60’s exhibit but they didn’t have any. I got 3 press a pennies (that will be a separate post).

We caught the 1:30pm Freedom Rising show. Sandra Day O’Connor called it the best 17 minute civics lesson. I couldn’t agree more. The show was extremely engaging and made me feel very patriotic. I just kept wishing I was rich enough to bring my students to see these exhibits. They would love them!

We left and walked through the visitor center. I took a picture with Rocky. We crossed the street to the President’s house. I haven’t seen that area before. They found it in the last couple years when they were trying to build bathrooms for the liberty bell.

We walked over to the Graff House, which is where Jefferson drafted the declaration. It was closed, which I knew but I still took pictures from the outside. My mom and I did some more shopping at Ross stores. We went back to the hotel to pick up our bags. We hopped on the train and had about 40 mins to kill at the 30th Street Station.

We boarded our Amtrak train on time. We were able to get quiet car seats again this time we were facing the right direction. Time to head to New Jersey.
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Categories: Family Vacation, History, Philadelphia, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eating and Shopping in Philly

8/16/13
My mom and I caught a 2:10pm Amtrak train to Philly. We picked the quiet car and chose a two seater with a window. However, we chose seats that faced the wrong direction. I hate that!! I get motion sick. This meant I couldn’t read. I tried to sleep, but couldn’t. I closed my eyes and listened to music.

We pulled into Philadelphia 30th st station around 3:45pm. We crossed the street and caught the train into the heart of Philly. We took the train to 13th st and walked the half a block to our hotel. We were going to try the Loews Hotel for the first time. Every time we come to Philly we either stay at the Hyatt at Penn’s Landing or the Hyatt Bellevue. The lobby was really elegant. We were checked in right away. The lady at the desk couldn’t have been nicer. They had free lemonade by check in. On our way to the elevator we noticed the giant vault door. We took the elevators to 22. We got upgraded to a deluxe double. We asked for a room away from the elevators and the ice machine and they actually listened to us. We had room 2212. Right away I noticed they left us gifts. There was a note welcoming us, a snow globe, and a mini LOVE sign. What a lovely touch! The room had a nice view of the bridge and the city. The decor was modern, but classy. The bathroom could easily fit two people at the same time. The shower was also roomy. They even gave us cotton balls and Q-Tips. They gave us two ropes made of silk and terry cloth. There was even a magnifying mirror. The windows seemed to be sound proof and the ceilings were pretty high. There was a coffee machine with coffee from Emeril. Everywhere I looked there were outlets. Finally a hotel that has a lot of outlets and in sensible places. The room had a flat screen tv with 63 channels. We dropped our stuff off and went out to shop.

We went to Burlington Coat Factory and Five Below. We then dashed to Reading Terminal Market to catch our favorite cookies on sale. We wound up getting 7 cookies and a marshmallow cup from the Pennsylvania General Store. My mom got a blueberry fritter from the Amish. We then went back to Burlington. We also did Claire’s and Pay Half.

We had 6pm reservations at Maggiano’s but I called and pushed it back to 6:15pm because we got stuck on line at Pay Half. The restaurant wasn’t too busy when we got there. We got the slowest waiter. We ordered a flatbread pizza, fried zucchini, and an apple crostada. I had the flatbread, which was yummy as usual. My mom had the fried zucchini. They usually give us 8 pieces of zucchini. We got about 5. I had one piece and it was good as usual. My mom had the bread and thought it was delicious. The apple crostada came and it was perfect. My mom had the ice cream that was on top. Dinner was great.

We went back to shopping. We hit K Mart and Walgreens. We then headed back to the hotel to drop our bags off. Since it was still light out and we wanted to walk off our dinner we decided to walk around the Rittenhouse Square area. We window shopped at several closed stores. We stopped in H&M and Insomnia Cookies. At 9pm everything shut down so we walked back to the hotel.

We came back to the room and ate our cookies. They never fail to disappoint. They are definitely the best cookies I’ve ever had. I had my chocolate dipped butterscotch cookie and my regular butterscotch cookie. My mom had her butterscotch cookie and her turtle cookie. We tried to watch TV, but the batteries in the clicker died. We called down and they sent a guy up with a new remote. We settled in and eventually went to bed.
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Categories: Family Vacation, Food, Philadelphia, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Colossally Good Time in Luxor’s West Bank

8/4/11

5am wake up! Oy. I got ready and made sure I didn’t leave anything in the room. I was going to miss my room and the boat. I went down the hall to return Paul’s burn gel, but he told me to keep it for awhile. I bumped into Janelle who told me the doctor came and gave Meg a shot. They were going to stay on the boat all day. We were told to leave our suitcases in front of our doors. I was really nervous about this, but had no choice.

I met the group on the lobby sofas. I had no idea how Sherif was functioning on no sleep. Everyone was commenting on my burns. I ate my cereal and waited for the rest of us to join us. We said our goodbyes to the boat staff and left the boat.

I was so glad to see my suitcase by the bus. I’m super protective of it now. Time to drive from the east bank to the west bank of the Nile. Sherif talked to us and we drove. I was looking at all the farms. They were perfect examples of what I teach. We finally stopped at the Colossos of Memnon. I was excited to see them! Surprisingly, only a couple of us left the bus to check them out. They really were huge. I had seen so many pictures of them and now I was standing next to them. Very cool. We boarded the bus again. Off to see the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut. Sherif teasingly calls her Hot Chicken Soup.

We passed a lot of houses on a hill, which Sherif explained belonged to archeologists. We also passed a lot of stores that were beautifully decorated with images from the tombs. Sherif said these Egyptians have been living here for thousands of years. We also passed a rich family’s house that was decorated to show they made Hajj to Mecca. We also passed Ramesseum. I kind of wish we could have seen it.

We got off the bus and Sherif handed us our tickets to the temple, which is also known as Deir al-Bahri. We took a little tram to get to the front of the temple. It was so beautiful to look at. Sherif starts talking to us and I notice the biggest bee ever. I start dodging it for the next 10mins praying Sherif will stop talking so we can move. Even though he tells me it is harmless I don’t believe him. As soon as he stops talking I run to the front of the temple.

On the lower terrace we explore the Birth Colonnade, the Chapel of Anubis, and the reliefs from the Punt expedition. The scenes and the ceiling were incredible. The colors were so vivid. You could clearly understand the story it was telling.

The upper terrace has statues of Hatshepsut, which Sonja and I took pictures with. We went into the Sanctuary of Amun. Sherif showed us an image of exotic dancers. We also went into the Chapel of Hathor. I wanted Sherif to show me the image of Hatshepsut and the architect, which is hidden in the temple. However, he forgot. As we were leaving the temple the bee started to follow our little tram. I wasn’t happy about that. Back on the bus I downed my water. I got my stuff prepared for the Valley of the Kings.

Categories: Africa, Egypt, History, Travel, Trip with a Tour Group | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Gifts from Holland, Belgium, and Colorado

I have two friends that just got back from their vacations. One friend came back from abroad. He brought me back chocolate, postcards (yeah for adding to my collection) and a delft windmill. I have a lot of delft items from Aruba. It was nice to add something from Holland to the collection. I had some of the chocolate with my ABP crew and we all thought it was amazing. It was so light and creamy. I also love the bag it came in. I love gifts from abroad!

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The other friend got back from Boulder and took a tour of the Celestial Seasonings Factory. I got tea and a pen.

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Categories: Amsterdam, Europe, From Friends, Gifts and Souvenirs, Mish Mash, Postcards, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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