Egypt Holiday page.
This was a fantastic holiday. I have always been interested in Egyptain history so Natalie decided that a perfect 50th birthday treat would be to visit Egypt and see it for real. The holiday consisted of three days in Cairo, three in Luxor and a week in Sharm El Sheik.
The tour company, Hayes and Jarvis, are a world class outfit and the accommodation, rep's and excursions were first class. 'Nash' showed us the sites in and around Cairo, starting at Memphis, the old capital. But there is little left of the City today, at least that can be seen. Originally, the city had many fine temples, palaces and gardens. But today, other than the scattered ruins, most of the city is gone, or lies beneath cultivated fields, Nile silt and the local village of Mit Rahina.This photo is of the Alabaster Sphinx in Memphis.
And then on to Djoser's step pyramid (ca. 2800 BC) at Sakkara.
Below is a schematic drawing of successive pyramid construction stages of Djoser's Step Pyramid which is generally considered to be the first tomb in Egypt to be built entirely of stone.
This Picture is looking up to the top of the Second pyramid, and shows its great height, The Second Pyramid is almost as high as the Great Pyramid, but because it was built on higher ground it appears higher. Khafre (2576-2551 BCE), is best known as the owner of the second pyramid at Giza. His eldest son, Menkaure, builder of the third pyramid at Giza, succeeded him. We went into this pyramid, down a narrow low shaft into the middle of the structure, it was very hot inside, with only the sarcophagus inside. Khafre built his pyramid at Giza next to that of his father.
An Arab proverb states 'Man fears Time, yet Time fears the Pyramids' It is the one and only Wonder which does not require a description by early historians and poets. It is the one and only Wonder that does not need speculations concerning its appearance, size, and shape. It is the oldest, yet it is the only surviving of the Seven Ancient Wonders. It is the Great Pyramid of Giza.
The Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops). When it was built, the Great pyramid was 145.75 m (481 ft) high. The great pyramid is believed to have been built over a 20 year period. The site was first prepared, and blocks of stone were transported and placed. An outer casing (which disappeared over the years) was then used to smooth the surface.
The Sphinx of Giza is a symbol that has represented the essence of Egypt for thousands of years. Even with all of the pictures that we see of the Sphinx, nothing can really prepare you for the time that you finally see the Sphinx with your own eyes. Carved from the bedrock of the Giza plateau, the Sphinx is truly a mysterious marvel from the days of ancient Egypt.
Pyramids Sound and Light Show was amazing, lots of special effects, and the part where they light up the Sphinx so it has eyes, nose and a mouth is so cool.
Me and my old mate the Sphinx. The Great Sphinx at Giza (left) was part of the funerary complex of Pharaoh Kahfre and lies halfway between the mortuary complex (located at the base of the pyramid) and the Valley Temple. The Sphinx, which embodies the body of a lion and the head of a man (believed to be Khafre), acts as a guardian spirit for the entire complex. The Sphinx was carved from the Giza limestone and measures 157 feet long, 20 feet wide and 66 feet high. Unlike the pyramids there are no chambers inside. Over the years the Sphinx has suffered terrible erosion and man's mistreatment and indignity. It was once used as a target for cannon fire by the Mamelukes. A recent restoration has just been completed.
The greatest collection of Egyptian antiquities is, without doubt, that of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Of course, everybody wants to see the treasures from Tutankhamun's tomb, we could have spent days just looking around.
khan el Khalili bazaar had very narrow and intimidating streets with traders constantly trying to get you into their dusty dark shops. Not a place we stayed long at, but very interesting and we did stop at a café for some local food and drink. We also visited a Carpet factory, where we bought a 'hand made' carpet, then an alabaster factory, where we bought some alabaster figurines, and a papyrus shop, where we bought a 'genuine' papyrus print.
One of Cairo's most popular tourist attractions is the Citadel which houses a number of museums, ancient mosques and other sites, located on a spur of limestone that had been detached from its parent Moqattam Hills by quarrying. The Citadel is one of the world's greatest monuments to medieval warfare, as well as a highly visible landmark on Cairo's eastern skyline. Particularly when viewed from the back side (from the north), the Citadel reveals a very medieval character. An-Nasir Muhammad, an interesting Sultan of this era who ruled during three separate periods tore down most of the earlier buildings in the Southern Enclosure and replaced them with considerably grander structures. Unfortunately, the only remaining facility built by him is the An-Nasir Mohammed Mosque.
View for the Citadel, a highly visible landmark on Cairo's eastern skyline, looking toward Cairo.
Now we are staying in the Sonesta St. George, Luxor, one of the best hotels I've ever stayed in. This is in the valley of the kings on the West Bank, we also went to the Valley of the Queens and then to Colossi of Memnon.
Hatshepsut was an 18th-dynasty pharaoh who was one of the handful of female rulers in Ancient Egypt. Her reign was the longest of all the female pharaohs, and her funerary temple still stands as a tribute to her incredible rise to power.
At Deir al-Madina, Valley of the Workers.
Dont look at the camera - look where you're going!! Me skippering a Felluca.
This was a lovely evening, sunset over the Nile.
The St. George, our smashing Hotel.
In ancient Egypt, the power of the god Amun of Thebes gradually increased during the early New Kingdom, and after the short persecution led by Akhenaten, it rose to its apex. In the reign of Ramesses III, more than two thirds of the property owned by the temples belonged to Amun, evidenced by the stupendous buildings at Karnak. Although badly ruined, no site in Egypt is more impressive than Karnak. It is the largest temple complex ever built by man, and represents the combined achievement of many generations of ancient builders. The Temple of Karnak is actually three main temples, smaller enclosed temples, and several outer temples located about three kilometers north of Luxor, Egypt situated on 100 ha (247 acres) of land. Karnak is actually the sites modern name. Its ancient name was Ipet-isut, meaning "The Most Select (or Sacred) of Places".
We also visited the Valley of the Nobles, Workers, Medinet Habu and Ramesseum.
We took a ride on this Horse Carriage around Luxor, some of the back streets were quite an eye opener, behind the tourist centre, it was after all, a third world country.
We went in a 'Submarine' boat - this has thick glass sides which you can look out and see the fish and corals without getting wet.
It was very cramp and sweaty in the boat - but well worth the effort to see the marine life.
Five days of glorious sun followed, it took some time to relax and chill out, but some how we managed it!!
Created Wed Oct 29 19:11:58 2003