Posts Tagged With: Horus

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.

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

Temple of Horus at Edfu

8/3/11

I woke up exhausted. This morning we were heading to the Temple of Horus aka Temple of Hours at Edfu aka Temple of Edfu. We had to have an early start to beat the heat and make it to Luxor on time. There was no time for breakfast so I ate my cereal in the lobby. We grabbed water bottles and walked to our horse and buggies, which are called calashes. Mike, Sonja, Nicole, and I got into #54 because it had a plastic seat. Mike sat by the driver because Sherif had told us girls we shouldn’t. As we rode we got to see typical Egyptian life. Lots of people were waiting in line for bread for dinner.

Edfu from my window

Edfu from my window

Edfu from my window

Calash

Calash

We pulled into an area in front of the Temple of Horus. We were the first ones into the complex and we actually had to wait a minute or two until the temple opened. Paul, Sonja, and I walked in front with Sherif. It was great because we were able to get pictures without anyone being in our way. We all took pictures for a while and then Sherif talked to us about the temple and the outside. It was a shame that people cut holes into the entrance wall because they were living there.

I spy the Temple of Horus

Temple of Horus

Temple of Horus

We then went into the main courtyard where there were statues of falcons. We went further back into a dark room that was somewhat destroyed due to the fires of the Christian squatters. Sherif had me read the part before the cartouches aka Sa Ra (son of Ra/Re) and Nisut Bati (King of Upper and Lower Egypt). In addition, he asked me to the read the name Ptolemis aka Ptolemy. We went further back into the sanctuary where there was a boat used for ceremonies. To the right there was a great image of Nut on the ceiling. A room close by had images of the gods going up the stairs. When we went to the left of the sanctuary there were images of the gods embracing Ptolemy. There was also another staircase showing the gods coming down the stairs. We went into a hall where Sherif showed us the glyphs for 100 (a spiral) and for a village. We came across my favorite image, which is Ptolemy being crowned King of Upper and Lower Egypt. I couldn’t believe I was finally seeing this image in person! He also showed us where the Egyptians used to tie up their animals to the temple walls. That was pretty cool.

Ptolemis aka Ptolemy

Life and Dominion

Nut

Heading upstairs

King of Upper and Lower Egypt

Heading downstairs

Horus and Ptolemy

Being crowned King of Upper and Lower Egypt

Next we moved to another hall, which records the first play about Osiris, Isis, Horus, and Seth. In the end Horus is victorious. My favorite image was of all the “actors” holding hands and bowing. Before we left Sherif pointed out the huge images of the pharaoh participating in ceremonies. These images acted like a big screen TV for people who came to see the ceremonies. He then took us to the side and walked us through the rest of our day. He explained to us about the guys throwing stuff on the boat near the Esna locks so they can sell it to us. I already knew about this so I didn’t really listen.

Final scene. That’s Horus and Seth (he’s being harpooned)

Gods/Actors about to take a bow

Ramadan Lamps

We boarded our calash and by accident I dropped Michael’s water into the street. O well! We board the boat and it was time to sail to Esna and Luxor.

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

Egyptian Museum in Cairo

7/31/11
I wake up, put on the clothes from yesterday and a pair of airplane socks. I wash my socks from the day before and blow dry them. I head down to the lobby and no one is there. I check the bar, restaurant, and the street. Where is everyone? There’s a girl I don’t recognize in the lounge and after 20 minutes I go and talk to her. Turns out she’s on our Contiki and missed last night’s meeting. So we now have 7 guys and 7 girls. Each girl gets 1 husband. The girl’s name is Nicole and her bag is lost as well. She’s also American. It turns out that my cell phone alarm messed up and set itself to an hour earlier then we were supposed to get up. So instead of 7am I woke up at 6am. Lovely.

The Contiki group eventually comes down. I pay for my optionals (tip, Luxor/Karnak, Light and Sound, Abu Simbel, and Edfu). I also give the girls the stuff I got them in NYC. I sit with them while they have breakfast. I take some bread for later though I doubt I’ll eat it.

We board our bus, which is nice and roomy! We each get our own row, which will be perfect for the rides to and from Hurghada. Next stop the Egyptian Museum! I knew the museum wouldn’t have AC, I had prepared for that. No, I had packed for that. My plane clothes made the museum very uncomfortable. However, I sucked it up and didn’t complain outside of my head.

Sherif ushered us past the gates for the museum because across the street was Tahrir Square. There was a mini fire by the gates and Sherif told someone to put it out. Sherif collected our cameras and checked them in. A lot of groups tried to get into the museum at the same time and one group cut in front of us. Sherif argued with that tour guide. After that we went through security.

When we walked into the museum I thought I had stepped into one of my TV programs. How many times had I seen Zahi and other Egyptologists on TV in this place? It was like I had been here a million times before. Sherif took us to the King Tut floor first. After seeing hundreds if not thousands of pictures of these items it was strange to think they were now right in front of me. The condition of everything was fantastic! Everything had his cartouche on it and the detail was incredible. I loved his gold throne that showed him and his wife sharing a pair of sandals. I was amazed at how many shawabti he had in his tomb. There must have been 2 full walls of them. We saw his fold up beds, some statues, and alabaster items. We also got to see his canopic jars, which were beautiful. They were also made of alabaster. Next we looked at the solid gold encasings that housed the sarcophagi. They were enormous and the work on them was mind blowing. I have no idea how they got them out of the tomb. Many of them featured Isis with her wings spread out.

Onto the big moment, King Tut’s golden mask. The mask, jewelry, and two sarcophagi were in a separate air-conditioned room. We walked in and I immediately went to his mask. I must have stood there for 2 minutes before moving. It was mesmerizing. I eventually moved around the room to look at the jewelry, the crook and flail, and the 2 sarcophagi. After walking around the entire room and be amazed at everything, I decided to go back to the mask. I made a point to stand there and stare into Tut’s eyes. After a minute or so, I closed my eyes and tried to make a mental image of the mask. After another minute I said farewell to the mask and joined Sherif outside.

On our way downstairs Sherif showed us some papyrus pictures. Many of them dealt with the sun rising. He also showed us a famous one of the heart being weighed against a feather. Next we stopped at a large tablet and the cartouche was broken and only setepenre remained, which would be half of Ramesses II’s name. I muttered his name and Sherif heard me. He asked if I could read it and I said I could. The next statue we went to was of Ramesses II and Horus behind his head. Sherif showed us many other statues and as we turned into a room I spotted Ankhnaten. It was the Amarna room. There was a mini bust of Nefertiti. Later we saw a lot of statues of scribes and we saw Rahotep and Nofret with their amazing glass eyes. We also got to see organs in canopic jars, statues of Hatshepsut (with her false beard), a wooden statue of Cheikh El Beced, scenes from the Book of the Dead, a seated statue of Tuthmosis III, and the palette of Narmer.

After Sherif finished with our guided tour he took me over to the image of the Rosetta Stone. We discussed it for a while and then I went to the small gift shop. I purchased a pack of King Tut postcards for 10LE and when I went to say thank you in Abrabic the guy freaked out on me. He insisted I was an Arab and that my pronunciation was perfect. He offered to teach me more Arabic words, but I wanted to catch up with the girls.

I caught up with the girls going into the mummy room. After I paid and said thank you this guy also insisted that I was an Arab. Strange. The mummies were amazing! I loved the idea of being able to look into the face of a man or woman who ruled thousands of years ago. You could make out every detail of their nose, mouth, and eyes. Some of them even had hair and eyelashes. The mummy I was most excited to see was Hatshepsut’s. In her case was the box they found her liver and tooth in. After watching that particular episode on Discovery and National Geographic a million times I couldn’t believe that I actually got to see the mummy and the box. VERY COOL!

Then we went into the jewelry room, which had AC. The room was kind of boring and we spent most of the time discussing the cartouche we wanted to buy on the boat. Then Janelle and Megan wanted to leave, so we started to look for an exit. We went to the bathroom, which wasn’t awful and then found the exit. We were all very hot and thirsty so we stopped at an outdoor café area. We spent a lot of money on overpriced water and snacks. Supply and demand at its best. We met Sherif and got our cameras back. Then we waited for everyone to come back. I spoke to Sherif about his education and the different languages he could speak and read. He has a very fascinating background! There were a couple of bees that were freaking me out and I just wanted to go at that point, but we were still waiting for Paul. Sherif sends us to the bus and there’s Paul. Where’s Paul? became our bus joke after that.

Only two pictures because we weren’t allowed to bring our cameras inside.

 

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

Blog at WordPress.com.