Posts Tagged With: Abu Simbel

Postcards from Egypt

Here are my postcards from Egypt. There are a lot so it took some time to get them all uploaded. Hope you enjoy them! You can read about my trip to Egypt here.

To view some of my other postcards click here

Categories: Africa, Egypt, Egypt, History, Postcards, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reflection on my Trip to Egypt

I’ve been dreaming about going to Egypt since I was about 7 and read my first King Tut article. I’ve been obsessed with Egypt ever since. I own at least 40 books on the subject and am even going to school to become a certified Egyptologist just for the fun of it. Going into this trip I had no idea what to expect. My friend had backed out because of the revolution so I was technically going alone. I had “met” Alexis, Janelle, Megan, and Sonja through Facebook months prior to the trip. This was also my first time flying by myself and my first layover. So I was anxious and excited all at the same time.

Though my luggage was lost and I had to deal with the stress and lack of clothing and toiletries it was still the best trip of my life. It was everything I hoped it would be and more. Contiki, Spring Tours, Sherif (my tour guide), and my tour mates made the trip unforgettable. I honestly wish the trip was longer and covered Alexandria and Abydos.

Despite what was going in Egypt while I was there, I felt completely safe. We were kept informed about what was going on and Sherif kept us out of harms way. In southern Egypt it was completely calm and that’s where we spent the majority of our time. The locals we interacted with were all friendly. They all appreciated the little Arabic I knew and all of them were genuinely upset over my missing suitcase. So many of them wanted to stop and chat and not in a creepy way.

Egypt is beautiful! Words cannot even begin to describe how amazing the tombs, museums, statues, and temples are. You are immediately transported back in time at each site. If I had my way I could have spent hours at each site. There is just so much to see!!! I was like a kid in a candy store. I just couldn’t stop smiling knowing that I was seeing first hand what I have read about and watched on TV. My absolute favorite site was Abu Simbel. I am so glad I decided to take the 45 minute plane ride to see it. It was breathtaking! It is officially my favorite place on earth besides my beloved home city of NYC.

I knew I would be in awe of the history, but I had no idea that the Nile and Red Sea would also bring me joy. Sitting on the top deck cruising down the Nile was literally the most relaxing experience I’ve ever had. You just felt like life couldn’t get any better. The Red Sea is gorgeous and you feel like you are at a Caribbean resort and not in the middle of the Middle East.

I do not regret my trip whatsoever! Best decision I’ve probably made. Would I go back? I want to go back with my family and relive it through their eyes. I want to see places I didn’t go to like Alexandria, Sakkara, and Abydos. Would I go back in the near future? Sadly, no. The area is too volatile. I got lucky with when I went to Egypt and several other countries. There is only so many times you can go to a country during war and revolution and have a safe experience. I wouldn’t want to push my luck. If I had to go back now then I would stick to the south where things are soooo much calmer. It’s a different world down there.

Thanks for reading my Egyptian adventure. I still need to post my postcards from the trip and maybe even some of my souvenirs.

Pictures below aren’t in order. They are just some of my favorite ones from Egypt.

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

The Day I was Mistaken for an Egyptian Queen’s Soul

8/2/13

Surprisingly we did not have to wake up at the crack of dawn to catch a plane to Abu Simbel like all the other Contiki tours had to. I skipped the cruise’s breakfast and ate my cereal on the bus. We drove to the airport in Aswan. We went through security which was a metal detector and xray machine. Our waters were allowed in. Sherif showed us a picture of Nefertari that we would see in the temple. He also complimented my dress. He had us sit down and he gave us some background info on the temples. I wanted to look around at the shops in the airport, but he said we didn’t have time. So I chose the bathroom instead as did some of the other girls. We ran straight from the bathroom to our gate. We were boarding!

Once on the plane I realized that I was on the wrong side of the plane to see Abu Simbel. I needed to be on the left side. Sitting to the right of me was an Arab man who didn’t seem very nice. To the left of me was Janelle. Then Sherif calls me and asks me to move. He has me take an empty seat in the row behind him on the left side of the plane. He moved me so I could see Abu Simbel. Lexi moves and sits next to me. The plane ride was smooth. They offered us water. I got a great picture of Abu Simbel from the air. I played some American music for Lexi. We landed after what felt like only 15 minutes, but was really over 30 minutes.

Abu Simbel from the air

We got on a shuttle bus to take us to the main airport. Then a bunch of us ran to the ladies room. We boarded a coach bus which we shared with the Trafalgar group. We drove to a little food area and had to walk from there. The walk to the temples was hot and grueling. I felt like I was melting. So I joked around and prayed to Shu (the wind god) and at that moment a gust of wind hit my dress. The light breeze stayed with us! I turned a corner and there was Ramesses’ Temple. I was in awe. It was so incredible! We took some pictures then we went to a “shaded” area with a bench to listen to Sherif. He talked to us about the moving of the temples and the alligator that walked right up to people at night during the light and sound show. He asked us who wanted to buy the Abu Simbel pictures for 20 LE. I told him that I wanted them. Then he let us wander around for an hour.

The girls and I headed to the right aka Nefertari’s Temple first. It was breathtaking. We took a lot of pictures of the outside. We wandered around the inside of the temple and examined all the glyphs. Everyone was trying to sneak pictures, but I was too scared to. I finally worked up enough courage to do so and right when I went to grab my camera I saw the guy coming. Scott got caught and the temple guy deleted the pictures. See the pic below of him getting caught. Towards the entrance I started to read the hieroglyphs to Janelle. The temple guy’s face lit up when he heard me. He asked me if I could read them and I said yes. Then he went on and on in Arabic about me. He took my arm and guided me to the famous image of Nefertari and made me rub her lotus flower a couple of times. You are not supposed to touch anything so I was shocked he wanted me to touch the walls. On our way out he asked if I wanted a picture with the ankh. I did, but didn’t want him to ask me for money. I thanked him in Arabic and he wished me blessings in both languages while bowing his head towards me. The little Arabic I could understand, his behavior, and what I wound up finding out from others made me realize that he thought I was Nefertari’s Ka. A Ka is an Egyptian’s double. There are stories about people’s Ka’s tricking people into believing they are the original. Maybe that would make sense as to why the gods granted me wind when I asked for it. 😉

Picture from Sonja

We then headed to Ramesses’ Temple. We took more pictures and I looked at some of the glyphs on the outside. The entrance way had Ramesses statues/pillars that were made to look like Osiris. We looked at all the famous scenes like Ramesses on the chariot shooting an arrow and smiting his enemies. There were back rooms as well that were covered in glyphs from floor to ceiling. Some of the back rooms smelled like something died in them. We started to get hot and dehydrated so we decided to head back.

Fallen head

Usermaatre Setepenre

The walk back was uphill and was torture. At that point it was the middle of the day and the sun was beaming. We finally made it to the rest area and were so happy to see water and food even if it was overpriced. I bought a water and a kit kat. We took seats with Sherif and filled him in on our temple experience. We then went to the bathroom where we had to pay. We waited a while for Paul and Mike. We eventually gave up. We walked through a row of vendors who liked my galabiya and didn’t try to sell me stuff when I told them no thank you in Arabic. At the top of the hill was Paul and Mike. Sherif got into a bit of a tiff with Paul. We boarded the bus and headed to the airport.

Security was a joke this time. We got our tickets and used the bathroom. This time I was on the left side of the plane. I was between Meg and Mat. Aussie sandwich. They gave us water again. Meg, Mat, and I spent most of the time talking about Australian politics and how it is compulsory to vote in Australia. The conversation was interesting, but the 3 of us were scared because the plane was experiencing extreme turbulence for the entire flight. The plane couldn’t land soon enough for the 3 of us. It was because of the intensity of the heat. We were all so thankful to land. We all felt a bit queasy.

*The picture below was sent to me by Contiki because when I came back from Egypt I sent Sherif a NY Yankees shirt. He’s wearing it in Abu Simbel below.

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Categories: Africa, Egypt, History, Travel, Trip with a Tour Group | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Egypt

I went to Egypt with Contiki, a tour company for people age 18-35. My friends had gone to Egypt with Contiki and had an amazing time. I booked the trip in October of 2010. In January of 2011 the Egyptian Revolution occurred. The friend I was going with had second thoughts and decided not to join me. However, some of the Australian girls I met through Facebook were still going so I kept my plans. Plus I have been dreaming about going to Egypt since I was 5. I went at the end of July. Not only was there no government, but it was the hottest time of the year to visit and it was also Ramadan. There were also no tourists, which was a plus. I loved experiencing Egypt during Ramadan. For more information about Contiki, Contiki’s Egypt tour, the revolution, and Ramadan see below. You can also see my videos from Egypt below. Please be patient as I slowly post my Egypt entries.

Contiki

Contiki-Egypt and the Nile

Postcards from Egypt

Reflection on my Trip

Revolution

Ramadan

My Videos from Egypt

Egypt Map

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

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