Posts Tagged With: Ramesses

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

Making Wishes at Karnak

8/3/11

Time to drive to Karnak and Luxor. On our drive we passed the Winter Palace, but I couldn’t get a picture of it. We also passed Luxor and the Avenue of the Sphinxes. We got off the bus and walked past a row of shops. On the walk to the temple we asked Sherif about his personal life.

Once we got to the entrance to the Temple of Karnak. Sherif showed us the canal that used to bring the materials to build the temple. He also showed us some pottery that they are currently excavating. We approached Karnak using the Avenue of the Ram Headed Sphinxes. Then we entered the Great Court. The walls were huge and here were pieces of statues and other things arranged on the sides.

Then we went to the right into the Temple of Ramesses III. It was filled with statues of him. All if them had their arms crossed like Osiris. After that we discussed the statue at the entrance of the Great Hypostyle Hall. It’s of Ramesses II and his daughter is at his feet. Sherif was telling us that two people are represented on it. The other person is the high priest Pinedjem. He put his name on the belt of the statue.

Photo belongs to Paul

The Great Hypostyle Hall is filled with enormous columns. Many of them bear the name Ramesses or Seti. The cartouches were huge!! We examined some of the scenes on the wall. Sherif pointed out a woman on the wall who was tall and thin. He thought she looked like me.

Next we saw Hatshepsut’s Obelisk. This is the one Tuthmosis surrounded with a wall. We saw another obelisk and then passed a statue of King Tut. We then saw the Temple of the Middle Kingdom and the Granite Chapel. After that we went to the Temple of Amun. Hatshepsut built this section. Her image and cartouche were chiseled out by Tuthmosis. It was cool to see because I had heard about it for many years and now I got to see it. He went through such effort to erase her.

Next was the Great Festival Temple. It was dark, but you could make out the colors on the pillars, especially the color blue. The tops of the tent shaped pillars used to be blue and white. Sherif pointed out some if the Christian images painted on the pillars. At that point my cell went off. It was my mom telling me my bag should have arrived. I told her did, but I didn’t have to open it. I promised I would text her later when I opened it.

306489_10100368089462703_1601398193_n

We walked to the area near the sacred lake where Khepri’s statue is there. You are supposed to walk around it 7 times and make a wish each time. I made the same wish 7 times. We then rested and drank water. The 116 degree heat and sun was getting to us. I was soaked and exhausted. We walked back to the entrance and passed a lot of random pieces of broken obelisks, walls, statues, etc.

We went to the bathroom where we had to pay to use it. Two guys stood right by the open door. It was strange. No privacy. We boarded the bus and downed our water. Then Nicole decided to use the bathroom, but she got freaked out by the Arab guys standing outside.

We were off to Luxor.

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

324631_10150313934326199_705631198_8266766_444350439_o

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

Penn Museum

As I have previously mentioned I am studying for my certificate in Egyptology. So I try to see as many museums as I can that have Egyptian exhibits. I had never been to the Penn museum so we decided to go and take a look. The Penn Museum is on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania so we got to look around as we walked to the museum. The museum has a discount for AAA members, which shaved off a couple of dollars.

We started with the Egyptian exhibit. They have a great timeline that I took pictures of and still refer back to. There was a giant sphinx and there were several architectural pieces that belonged to Merenptah. There were numerous statues of the gods. They also had several mummies, some had undergone the artificial mummification process and some had gone through the natural mummification process. Additionally, there were artifacts from the Amarna period. There were some large busts but some were replicas. There was a copy of the Narmer Palette and of the Rosetta Stone.

After looking at the Egyptian exhibit we walked through the rest of the museum. There were some great pieces from Asia. I enjoyed looking at the dragons and Buddhas. There was also a copy of Hammurabi’s code. I spent a lot of time looking at the Greek statues. They also had a large collection of Greek Pottery. There were so many that it reminded me of the museums in Greece that were filled with them. The gift shop is small, but it has an entire room dedicated to Egypt. Many of the items were expensive and that was because many of them came from Egypt. I owned several pieces so I only bought some postcards. We eventually ran out of time in the Mexican and Central American section.

The museum is definitely worth seeing and is easy to get to via public transportation. I would allow at least two hours here.

King Tut

Akhenaten

Neferkheperure-Waenre
Akhenaten
Nefertiti

Ptah

A serekh

Sekhmet

Osiris

Replica

Ramesses II

Canopic Jar
Duamutef
Contains the stomach

Copy of the Narmer Palette

Hercules

That’s a big nail

I’m with the replica of Hammurabi’s Code

Penn Museum

University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Egyptology, Family Vacation, History, Philadelphia, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.