Posts Tagged With: Ramadan

Light and Sound Show

8/3/11

We got back to the boat and almost everyone went straight down to dinner. I went straight to my room and unlocked my suitcase. It was all there! I was so happy. I didn’t even know where to begin. I texted my mom and filled her in. I peeled off my clothes and put on my clean costume. I then headed down to dinner. The Trafalgar group told me I looked great and were shocked to find out about my suitcase. I sat at my usual table and Paul took some pictures. Sherif liked my outfit as well. He passed around the contact list. We all added our info to it. The shirts for Lexi and Sonja came. I gave them to them.

IMG_6777

Photo belongs to Paul

IMG_6778

Photo belongs to Paul

IMG_6779

Photo belongs to Paul

I then went back to the room and ate. I sorted through my suitcase. I condensed items and created a hamper bag. I changed into jeans, my King Tut shirt, my sandals from Greece, and my black hat. I gave Meg, Janelle, and Sonja back the clothes I borrowed from them. Lexi told me to keep her skirt, which was soooo nice of her! The twins gave me some antiseptic cream to put on my burnt legs, feet, and spots on my arms. I didn’t have time to do much else because it was time to leave for the light and sound show. Sherif commented that he liked my shirt.

We boarded the bus, but we were running late. There was a lot of traffic because people were out and about since Ramadan had ended for the night. The surprising thing was even though it was late at night it was 100 degrees out. Meg was starting not to feel well. We finally got to Karnak and we had to run to catch the beginning of the show. It was extremely dark and very cheesy. We were all bored, but I filmed the whole thing. The show had us walk through the temple to the sacred lake. I bought some water and chocolate by the lake. Everyone in our group seemed out of it.

Photo belongs to Paul

Once the show was over I walked back to the bus with Josh, Nicole, and Alli. All of sudden Alli collapses. Nicole and I carry her stuff and help her back to the bus. We find out Meg really isn’t feeling well. On the drive to the boat she starts throwing up.

We got back to the boat and I gave Janelle pepto and saltines for Meg. My burns were really painful and I kept applying Paul’s burn cream. I start to attack my suitcase and I prepare my clothes for tomorrow. I try to sort through everything and see what I need, don’t need right away, and what I can throw out. All of sudden it seems like I have a lot of stuff and I’m trying to shove it all into my suitcase and carry on bag. It’s close to 1am when I’m finally done sorting.

I’m preparing for bed when I hear Meg through the walls. She’s really sick. I knock on their door and Janelle comes out. She is really scared. I give her more saltines and pepto. Janelle calls her mother and we decide we need to get Meg a doctor. I run down to the desk, but no one is there. I head down to the lower deck and hear Nicole’s voice. She’s talking about how knowledgeable I am. I go into the jewelery story and ask them if they have seen Sherif. They haven’t. I go back to the desk and now someone is there. He gives me Sherif’s room number. Janelle and I head to his room, which is a couple doors down from mine. He comes out and isn’t wearing a shirt. Suddenly, I realize I have been running through the ship just in my tank top and PJ pants. Sherif puts on a shirt and calls a doctor. Sherif says he’ll stay with the girls until the doctor comes. Janelle tells me to go to bed. It wasn’t until well after 2am when I finally climb into bed.  Tomorrow is going to be a doozy.

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

Luxor at Night

8/3/11

The bus ride to Luxor was short, beautiful, and peaceful. We watched the sun set over the Valley of the Kings while we drove.

Our first stop was the Avenue of the Sphinxes. I couldn’t believe I was there! I’ve always wanted to see the avenue. It was just as I pictured it. We posed for some pictures and then turned our attention to the main temple. One day I hope to come back and walk the avenue from Luxor to Karnak just like the ancient Egyptians did.

The two Ramesses II statues looked incredible all lit up. The obelisk was also amazing to look at. It must have been a wondrous sight to see the temple with both obelisks. Now the other one is in the Palace de la Concorde (click here to read the entry for when I saw that one). It was given to Paris by King Mohammad Ali in 1831. There were also baboons at the bottom of the obelisk. While we were taking pictures, tourists started climbing on the statues and going behind the ropes. This was upsetting Sherif. Lexi eventually yelled “oy get off!” They didn’t listen. Lexi made me laugh because she confirmed the stereotype that Australians say oy. The call to prayer sounded, which let us know that Ramadan was done for the day. We all offered Sherif food and water. However, the tourists were annoying him so much that he went to say something to them. Then he told the guards. The tourists were taking advantage of the fact that there very few guards and that they were eating.

The video below is of the call to prayer and Sherif telling the tourists to stop.

Next we entered the Court of Ramesses II. Sherif pointed out a door to us that was really high up, which showed us where street level was in the past. It was a door to the mosque called Abu Al Haggag. The court was filled with columns and standing statues of Ramesses II. There were two black granite statues of Ramesses II in sitting positions. Sonja took a picture of me with the one on the right. Next we walked through the colonnade, which consisted of 14 columns.

Then we stooped at the entrance to the court of Amenhotep III. It was beautiful! The columns really stood out against the dark sky. It looked Greek. Sherif asked us to sing opera and all of a sudden Paul busted out some fake opera song that surprised all of us.

Next we walked through the Hypostyle Hall. In the next area Sherif showed us Christian paintings because in the 6th century it was used as a church. There were also references to Alexander the Great.

As we head back Sherif tells me not to use flash on my camera because it will work better. I try one picture and it is awful. Sherif takes the camera from me and takes a picture that rocks. He keeps taking pictures, but they suck so I tease him about it. We take one final look at the temple and walk towards the bus. We pass the guards who are still eating and a gift shop. We get to the bus, but our driver isn’t there. He eventually comes running and apologizes. We climb aboard and I chug my water. It may be night time, but it is still hot. We were all hungry. Everyone was asking me if I was excited to finally open my suitcase. I was trying not to be excited because I didn’t know if I would open it and it would be empty. Sherif said I should wear my costume to dinner. In my head I agreed to do it if all my stuff was in the bag.

Luxor from 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.

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Watching the Sun Set at Kom Ombo

8/2/11
We took a shuttle from the plane to the airport and then a bus back to our boat. Once we were all aboard we set sail.

My luggage still didn’t arrive. 😦 I went to lunch because I felt ill and wanted real food. I had super yummy mashed potatoes and some bread. I went back to my room to get cold for a bit. I watched MTV cribs. I also watched the Nile from my bed.

About 3 hrs later it was time to meet Sherif to see Kom Ombo. Sonja, Paul, Michael, and I were the only ones going. Sherif took Sonja and I outside to a tiny ledge so we could watch us pull into Kom Ombo. One false step and we would be in the Nile. We disembarked and walked to the temple.

Sunset was coming and the temple looked beautiful. There were still remnants of color in spots and the hues were brilliant. Sherif showed us a scene that contained images of medical supplies and one where a woman was giving birth. The temple was dedicated to Sobek and Haroeris (Horus the elder). It’s rare for two gods to share a temple. People used to wait to get treated here and you could still see the games and drawings they carved into the floor while they waited. There was an image on the temple wall of a lion biting the hands of its enemies. There was a picture of Cleopatra since the temple dates from the Ptolemaic Dynasty. Sherif kept saying, “Come I show you the best picture.” This kept cracking us up.

Cleopatra

The sun started to set and the place became magical. We took pictures holding the sun. Mike started not to feel well and was looking pale. Sherif sent him back to the boat because he’s had people faint in this temple before, which is strange because it wasn’t hot. I didn’t want to leave because it was like stepping back in time. It was so quiet and peaceful. Sherif showed us the Nilometer and where they kept the alligator.

It was time to break Ramadan for the day so we walked back to the boat. We saw a museum they were building. I asked Sherif what his favorite Egyptian site was and he said Abydos. That’s where Osiris’ head is supposedly buried. Random strangers offered Sherif food and water. He accepted the water.

We went back on the ship and Sherif went straight to dinner with the crew. I went to the top deck and watched Kom Ombo slip away. Everyone on the deck said they didn’t go because they felt they saw it from the boat. All they could see was the top part sticking out from the trees. They really missed out. The four of us who went loved it.

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Haggling in Aswan

8/1/13

We drove to the perfumery. It was really pretty inside. I was determined not to buy anything. After a long presentation about the oils and perfumes we were allowed to shop. The presentation had some funny moments. I caved and bought a small thing of papyrus perfume. Before we left a bunch of us changed into longer more covered outfits so we could go to the market. I wore Lexi’s skirt.

Photo credit Sonja

Picture from Sonja

Photo credit Sonja

Photo credit Sonja

Photo credit Sonja

The perfume guy drove with us for a bit and then we let him out so he could go and get dinner since Ramadan was done for the night. It was interesting to see all the shopkeepers sitting in the streets eating instead of tending to their stores. Sonja and I had indicated to Sherif that we wanted to go into the bookstore in the market. He took us to the store and stayed with us while we shopped. I was looking for Zahi Hawass books, but didn’t see any. I was also looking for the Egyptian Museum book I passed on in Cairo and was told by other bloggers to buy it here. I didn’t see it. I saw many books I had already read or owned. Sonja picked up a book on Egyptian Mythology. I decided on the book I had seen Sherif with and I bought some cool pens. Sonja and I then met up with the rest of the group.

This market was for haggling! We all needed to buy costumes for the party and we all wanted them for a cheap price. I was upset that I had to buy one since I already had a great one in my suitcase. Sonja was the first to get a skirt. Alli was next. The twins were great hagglers and got whatever they wanted for ridiculously cheap. Paul bought a bag. I also wanted a bag since I was sick of carrying everything around in a shopping bag. Every backpack I looked at was very expensive. As we walked around people called out to us with the following phrases: Free to Look! No hassle! My friend! Lexi bought a skirt and then I did as well. We were trying to get them for between 15 and 25 Egyptian pounds. It was so hard to haggle without asking how much it cost, which Sherif told us not to do. After buying our skirts Lexi and I bought chocolate and water. She paid me back for the skirt and some guy tried to pinch our butts.

We ran into Michael who joined me in search of a bag. I knew we were timing it close, but I figured we could make it back in time. I found a drawstring bag that I liked. The guy wanted over 200 Egyptian Pounds for it. It took me forever, but I finally got him down to 75 Egyptian pounds. It was still more than I wanted to spend, but I needed a bag (Later Sherif said I could have got him down to 60). Then Michael wanted to buy cigs which took forever with the haggling. He got them down to 15 Egyptian Pounds, but he didn’t have it on him. So I paid the guy. On our run back to the bus (we were now late) he told me the guys offered to sell him drugs and they offered him 1000 stuffed camels for me. I wonder how much that is in American dollars. We got to the meeting spot and the van was nowhere in sight. Crap!!! Then I spotted it parked a couple blocks away. We ran to it and Sherif refused to let us on. He pointed to his watch and shook his head. I pleaded with him and he let us on (with a smile on his face). I apologized even though we were only about 7 minutes late.

After being fake angry with us he explained that we were still waiting for Nicole. We waited and waited. Then we started to get worried. Janelle and Sherif went out looking for her. Meanwhile some little boy was attempting to sell stuff to Michael through the window of the van. It was funny at first. Janelle and Sherif came back empty handed. Now we were running into a problem. The boat was waiting for us, Sherif hadn’t eaten all day, it was very dark out, and Nicole was alone. Sherif told the van to take us back to the ship and come back for him. We gave him food and water in case he missed dinner.

I went straight back to my room and dropped off my stuff and then headed down to dinner. Sherif and Nicole showed up. Nicole didn’t have a watch so she lost track of time. So she wound up being an hour late. I had some pita bread, which was my first piece of Egyptian food.

We then went to the Nubian show which consisted of dancing, drums, singing, and chanting. I started not to feel well and went back to the room to lie down. I felt better and came back up to catch the end of the performance. I would have preferred the whirling dirvish. O well.

After that we hung by the pool for a bit. It was quite lovely on the top deck at night. The shop guy came up and dropped off our necklaces. That was fast! I went back to my room and organized my stuff for the next day and went to bed.

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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

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