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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:19 am 
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Have been to Egypt - back in, oh, '86. Visited Giza, stood on Cheops, walked around the Sphinx and some open dig sites where I ran my hands over heiroglyphics some ancient had carved (there was virtually no "monitoring" so you could pretty much wander where ever you pleased), which was just an incredible experience. Then went to Cairo and hit the museum, which blew me away - the enormous sarcophagi, statuary, rooms and rooms full of antiquities, glass cases loaded with gemstones and gold, and then standing in front of Tut's burial mask (I mean inches away from the glass case), was almost too much to take in... again, minimal "security" (very surprising), so no one staring at you while you took it all in. Actually, of all the countries I've visited, or have had a desire to visit, returning to Egypt would definitely be my first choice. The people are wonderful - you just have to be sure to drink bottled water, and don't forget sunglasses 8)

Blessings of She of 10,000 Names


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:49 am 
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I've been to Egypt several times, and, hopefully, I will be able to go again soon.
I think my favorite trip was in 1997. My friend and I rented a car and drove the entire valley, from Alexandria to Luxor, and then took a flight on down to Aswan, then on to Abu Symbel. We were lucky enough to spend a month there!
I think we saw almost every site in the country, from the wonderful tombs in the VoK, Luxor (my favorite city!), Karnak, Obo Komo, Medinet Habu, Dier el Bahri---you name it, we were there! Then we were lucky enough to be able to take a Nile cruise, from Luxor down the river.
I think the most beautiful site I saw, among many, was from the balcony of the Old Cataract Hotel in Aswan. It's built right on the banks of the Nile, overlooking Elephantine Island. I spent most of 2 days there, watching a German dig on Elephantine. I talked to one of the archaeologists one evening in the Hotel bar, and he told me that there was enough work there to keep them digging for the next 60 years.
I was also impressed with Amarna. There isn't a lot to be seen there, basically just the foundations of the homes and palaces. There are no people living there. But sitting on a ledge by the Northern tombs, I had an eerie feeling that there were hundreds of people standing just in back of me! Made the hair on my neck stand on end.
All of the people we met were so very nice and helpful to us, from those we met in the small bar in Minya (we spent the night drinking, smoking a bit of hash, talking in broken Arabic and off-English) to the farmers who rescued us from being trapped in the desert. (another story!) Wonderful time, wonderful people!
I really love the country!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:18 am 
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Oh Peret Kheru and Osisirs II... how I envy you people for the marvellous adventures you've had!!!

Yes, I suppose the Cairo museum would be a lovely place to visit. Osiris II it would great if you could share some of your Egyptian adventures with us :D


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 3:19 pm 
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On one trip, my companion and myself stayed in a smaller hotel, in downtown Cairo. We checked in later at night, after a long and very tiring flight from L. A. Both of us were looking forward to falling into bed and getting a good night's sleep.
At 5:00 A.M. the faithful were called to prayers. Unknown to us, a loud speaker, playing the recording of the call to pray, was fastened to the outside of the building--right next to our window! At 5 A.M. a booming voice called out--"Allah..."! Both of us thought our moment had come--we were on our way to Heaven!
Later that morning, we decided to rent a car and drive down the Nile to Amarna. (Bad decision!) Cairo drivers are probably the most fearless dare-devils in the world! No one pays any attention to lines in the road or signal lights. The only thing that matters is the horn! Within 5 minutes of renting the car, we had a slight accident. But with an Arabic shrug, a smile and raised hands, and shaking of hands among all of us, we moved on...to our trip down the valley, following the Nile.
We decided to take a side-trip out to see the Bent and Red pyramids. The road soon degenerated to an unpaved highway, then a single lane dirt road, then tire-tracks across the desert. We took a huge dune, hit a rise, bottomed out--and became stuck to our hub-caps in sand!. We tried everything we could think of to get out--laying branches from bushes in front of the tires for traction--no luck. Trying to scoop out sand with our hands--no luck. Then we sat and thought out the pros and cons of our situation. It looked bleak, to say the least--no water with us. (but there was a canal close by). Not much traffic--we'd been there for 2 hours and seen none. No blankets or jackets, and it gets quite chilly in the desert at night.
Then, after much praying, a jeep came by--with a tow bar, a chain, water and shovels. They dug us out, pulled us free of the sand, and then drove off without another word!
Then, to cap the situation, we found out later that the Bent was, at that time, on a military zone, and could not be visited!
But we did get to Dashur, and then on to Medium and the pyramid there--although it looks more like a tower than a pyramid. The outer casing is completely gone, and several courses of the pyramid have collapsed. We went inside--that was spooky! I didn't think we would Ever get to the bottom of the entrance shaft!
Then on to el Mynia, where we spent to night and went to Amarna in the morning. I relly liked el Mynia--a lot of the old houses and villas were built by the English in the last part of the 19th century.
Amarna, although there wasn't much to be seen, was one of my favorites. At that time, tourst services were almost non-existent. We hitched a ride out to the site on a tractor! The pathway up to the Northern tombs had just been completed, so we hiked up to them. The have been seriously vandalized. (mostly in ancient times) But one still gets the idea of the beauty of the carvings. We sat on large rocks outside the tombs to eat our lunch--sandwiches from a little cafe in el Mynia. We were above the site of the Northern Palace, and could see the foundations of the buildings. As far as one could see, there was absolutely no life--no trees, no grasses--nothing but sand. And, of course, no people. But sitting there, I got the strangest feeling. As if, if I turned around, all sorts of people would be standing there. Made the haair on my arms stand up!! Then we hiked down to the side of the city itself. Didn't get out to the Royal Tomb--now I wish we had! Then back to the Northern tombs, and a shade-area that had been built there. Thank God for shade! It was unbelievably hot! Another tractor was there, and we talked them in to giving us a ride. One of the little pleasures, though. The Egyptian men on the tractor stopped and made tea! So we all had a glass of mint tea, sitting in the shade provided by the tractor. It was really cool! It's really true, too, that you can stand with one foot in the destert and one in cultivated land. When they got us back to the river, it was so nice and cool! We got in the car and drove on to Beni Hassen for the night.

More later...


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:11 am 
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That was quite an experience Osiris II :D Sounded like it came straight out the pages of Indiana Jones!!!

I am glad you enjoyed the beauty of the ancient land despite difficulties along the way.

This sentence stole my heart : "It's really true, too, that you can stand with one foot in the desert and one in cultivated land."

Bravo, my friend :)


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:40 am 
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Whenever I heard that before, Akhnaton, I always thought it was just an exaggeration, but it really is true. I was amazed at so many places I visited where that was a fact. And it's also amazing to me how it can be so deadly hot in the desert, but close to the Nile---although it can be still quite hot--the temperature is several degrees cooler.
After we left Beni Hassen (where we spent most of the night drinking tea and smoking hash with a group of Egyptian men) we drove back to Cairo, rested there a couple of days, then took the train down to Luxor.
Luxor, of course, is known for the valley of the kings, and particularly, the tomb of Tutankhamen. My first impression? How very small his tomb is! He is the only Pharaoh still in the Valley, in one of his coffins in the outer sarcophagus. At that time, you couldn't see his mummy, but I understand now you can. Carter's butcher-job on the mummy is not apparent. It is re-assembled on a bed of sand. The only decoration in the tomb is a few wall paintings--particularly one showing Aye in the "Opening Of The Mouth" ceremony. I assume this is how he established his rule. It was always the next Pharaoh who presided. With special permission, one is able to go into the tomb further, but, at that time, the public was not allowed. We spent most of the day wandering through the various tombs in the Valley. I particularly liked that of Horemheb, that showed the corrections done by the master-painter before the final painting was completed.
Early the next morning (before tourists!) we went to Hapshepsut's mortuary temple. It's so very beautiful--particularly in the morning light. Senenmut, who is credited with designing the temple, did a wonderful job! It seems to be part of the bay of cliffs, not an intrusion built by man.
Then over to the Rasmusseum. The fallen statue of Rameses II is, to say the least, awesome! It's unbelievable that something so large could have been carved and polished using such simple tools as used by the Egyptians.
Up to the workman's village, over the cliffs on the old path to the Valley again.
Back to the bus that took us to the Nile--past the Colossus of Memnon--where we took a ferry across. Our hotel was on the Cornish. (The seaside walk on the East bank, in Luxor)
Then on the train again, this time down to Aswan. Hot! We saw the old dam, and the new, High Dam. Our hotel, the Old Cataract, had been built by dam workers in 1902, and was extremely nice. Our room had a balconey overlooking the Nile and Elephantine Island. It was so great to sit there, watching the sun go down behind the Island, and seeing the Falucca's (sp?) crossing the Nile. The river is quite a plunging, white-capped force there! Not at all like the peaceful, placid river in Cairo.
The next morning we flew to Abu Simbel. Again, hot!! I must say, though, Abu Simbel was kind of disappointing. The front, showing the old temples, is very impressive. But walking to the rear a man-made mountain now houses the temples. (they were moved to avoid the rising waters of Nasser Lake) It kind of spoiled the image for me! Back to Aswan, we took a boat out to see Philae. It, also, was moved. Actually, the temple is no longer on Philae, but the new island has accepted being called the old name! Beautiful temple! Cleopatra VII is in the carvings, although it was used as a Coptic church, and her image has been chiseled out. The lake is so very blue and deep right there. It's so very pretty!
We were lucky enough to be able to avoid most of the crowds of tourists. Mainly by just getting up early!
After we got back to Aswan, we decided to take a cruise down river, It went from Aswan to Kom Ombo to Luxor. What a way to sight-see! It stopped at all the main sites along the way. I remember Edfu in articular. There's a wall at the back of the temple that has a carving of many ears. So the god would be sure to hear the prayer's of the people!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:41 am 
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You've had quite a jolly good time in Egypt Osiris II :D
Boy! I can only dream of visiting those places. I never knew that Tut's tomb was small when compared to the others. Yes, I do know about Ay's representation on the walls of the tomb though. Guess he was making a political statement and a religious one, in appearing at the Opening of the Mouth ceremony.

I think it was the fallen statue of Ramesses that inspired the Poet Shelley to write his famous "Ozymandias". True, it's amazing that the level of craft reached so high with the implements that the ancients had.

I've never heard or seen a picture of the Temple of Edfu with a wall full of carved ears! Must be something to behold!

Thank you for taking us along on your journey of remembrance Osiris II :D


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:03 pm 
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As I said, a Nile Cruise is the Great Way to go down the river! We were fed constantly! Lavish breakfasts, a "snack" at mid-morning, lunch, tea at 4:00 P.M. and a dinner that knocked your socks off! I don't think I've ever had wine that was so very good. A lot of it came from vineyards that had been established by Royalty in ancient Egypt!
One of our first stops was at Kom Ombo. That's quite a different temple--it's to two gods! Sobek and Horus the Elder. It's in great condition. Some of the original paint on the carvings and above the doorways is still to be seen. There's a relief of Cleopatra VII there, too, and a carving showing various medical instruments that were used then.
Abydos was different, too. The temple of Seti--completed by his son, Rameses II--is, actually, a very squat, squarish building. There are shrines to (I think) 7 gods/goddesses. It, too, still has a lot of the original colors. We met, and spent a bit of time with Omm Seti, a fascinating woman who was convinced she had been the mistress of Seti. She walked us through the temple, describing several parties she had go to there. (in her previous life) Some of the things she said gave pause to modern-day thinking on our part. I understand she's dedicated her life to restoring the temple. She died shortly after we met her, and I understand is buried in a small tomb behind the temple. A strange woman--and a delight to talk with!
We had a small adventure on the cruise ship. As it was going down the Nile the river was quite low. The ship bottomed out on a sand-bar, and the capitan spent a couple of hours maneuvering to get us off!
When the ship got back to Luxor, we spent 10 more days there--just roaming around and sight-seeing. We would get up early (4:30-5:00) and cross the river, then just wander around the West Bank, and take donkey rides out to various sites. I saw a lot of ruins that I have no idea what they were--just really beautiful and interesting to see and explore.
One evening, we went up to Karnak (only a few miles North) to a sound and light show at the temple. Impressive! Karnak, for those who don't know, is the largest temple to Egyptian gods ever built! It's easy to spend all day just wandering though! The Hypostyle Hall, with it's massive columns, makes you feel so very small and unimportant! There is so very much to see there. I made up my mind that when I retire it will be to Luxor. It's really quite a place!!


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:26 am 
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The open air museum at Karnak is very impressive - it is made of structures that were demolished & used as fillings of pylons so they are in marvellous condition.
Sometime you are allowed to do things that are not officialy allowed. Our party got into the Alabaster Chapel of Amenhotep I - marvellous.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:52 am 
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I find it very ironic that, in an effort to wipe out all traces of Akhenaten, his temple at Karnak was torn down, and the blocks used as fill in the pylons--thus preserving them almost pristine for us to see!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:27 am 
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I've heard and read about the mistress of Seti. Very intriguing isn't it?
By the way, could you please share with us the mysterious things she told you?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:11 pm 
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She was very nice to talk with, not at all like a person recalling a past life of thousands of years ago, but telling us stories of her association with Seti as if it were something that had just happened!
Most of what she said was just in casual conversation. We helped celebrate her birthday with a party, and several of her old friends were there. We all just sat around a table, sharing a glass of wine, toasting Omm Seti, and chatting! I can't really say that she imparted any great mysteries to us. Just that she was a very fascinating woman, who told us wonderful stories about her previous life, her life when she was younger, and what she expected to happen to her when she died--or, as she put it, "joined Seti, who is waiting as he promised". She told us of when she first started "remembering". When she was a small child, she had a serious accident, and was at home, in a coma. She wasn't really expected to live. She said, while she "was asleep", Seti came to her and told her she was to get better so that she could go to Egypt and restore his temple. When she did recover and told her parents about the dream, they laughed at her, told her how impossible that would be, a mere child going to Egypt. But, as she grew older, she accepted a job as a secretary for an historian, and it was her job to type up his observations for publication. It was he that took her to Egypt, to help him get a draft for a book prepared. There, she met and fell in love with an Egyptian man, married him, and had a son (whom she named Seti). The marriage didn't last, she divorced and supported herself and her son working as a restorer in the Cairo Museum. He son, when he was grown, moved to England. Left alone, she went to Abydos, which at that time was in ruins. She pressured the Egyptian government for funds to help restore the temple. It was spooky, how she would tell the restorers that such and such wasn't correct--it had to be so and so. With further investigation, she was always found to be correct!
It was really a great pleasure to met her. Shortly after her birthday party, she died.
I cannot express myself as to any great mysteries she imparted. She, and her story, was something that would be absolutely believed, or a huge hoax.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 5:52 am 
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That's a positively stunning experience you've had, with a soul from thousands of years ago! I envy you!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:51 am 
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Meresankh wrote:
Here's some more...


Image


Image

Image


Image

Image


Well, I like them ^^
So kool and different.
I love Egypt.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 10:26 pm 
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i've been live here for the past 1 year as a contract worker


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