BigWorldAndSmallWorld Blog

Egypt a Place Full of Mystery and Fascinating Ancient Culture

Posted in Egypt,Travel and Adventure,Vacation by Administrator on the April 24th, 2023

Finally our wish to visit Egypt came true in March 2023 where we took an 8-day Globus Egypt tour with Nile River cruise.  Before I went, I was fascinated with pyramids and the story of Death on the Nile River.  After I went, I was fascinated with Egypt ancient culture which was so advanced in the world more than three thousand years ago.

We began our amazing trip with the pyramids at Giza and the Sphinx as the first sites to see after our long flights to Cairo.  We rode on camels and it walked us in between Giza pyramids, that was a fun ride.  We also went through some long and narrow pathways to a king’s burial chamber in the middle of a pyramid.  It was worth paying the extra for this visit.  Even after we saw the pyramids structure and touched the big block of large stones, how they were built still remains somewhat mysterious to me.  We were told there are over one hundred pyramids in Egypt, so amazing!

Cairo Museum is a must see. We saw a lot of precious artifacts including a replica of Rosetta Stone.

We flew to Luxor to start our 5-day Nile River cruise. At Luxor we visited Karnak and Luxor Temples. The 1997 007 movie the Spy Who Loved Me was shot at Karnak Temple where the beautiful and colorful carved pillars were impressively tall.

Papyrus paper was made from a plant called Papyrus. You peel the stem piece by piece and you sock them in water for a few days, then you layer them horizontally and vertically and you press them with heavy stone. The plant has a natural gluten material which serves as a binding agent. Once the paper is dried, it is quiet durable. Artists painted all kinds of images on papyrus paper, they are beautiful.

The cruise took us from Luxor to Edfu to Kom Ombo to Aswan. My favorite was Valley of Kings and Queens and Queen Hatshepsut’s monumental rock temple on the west bank of the Nile. We were told there are over one hundred kings and queens buried in the Valley, 62 burial sites were excavated. They are still working to excavate more. The Valley’s tombs’ paintings and carvings are best preserved compared to the pyramids. Pyramids were built about a thousand years earlier than the Valley of Kings and Queens.

Who would not like cruise, especially on the Nile? Nice scenery, good food and along the way many attractions to see. I found it most unusual the little boat vendors sell their merchant to the big cruise ships. The vendor showed you what they sell and then they threw their stuff in a bag a few stories high onto the ship to the interested party, the two sides negotiated a price, if the price was acceptable, the purchaser threw money back in the bag to the little boat. If the deal did not carry through, the party simply threw the merchant down in the bag as it came. We asked what if the bag did not hit the little boat? The vendor just swam to catch the bag.

In Edfu, we had a scary experience ridding on a horse carriage from the harbor to the Temple of Horus. Many carriages ran among cars and people, there are no traffic lights or lanes, it was chaotic. However, because of the carriage ride, we were able to see first-hand what the streets look like in Egypt.

Temple of Horus (the god of war and the sky) is a best preserved historical Greek style site. At KOM OMBO the temple dedicated to the crocodile and falcon gods, I saw many crocodile mummies for the first time. At this temple, there is a well which was used to measure the depth of Nile River so that to predict if a flood will be coming.

There are 11 Ramses who reigned Egypt for four hundred years. Among them, Ramses II was the most loved. An excursion to Abu Simbel is a must. Two temples built in rock hills, one for Ramses II and one for his wife. It’s an impressive sight.

In Aswan we stayed in a hotel on a man-made island and visited the Temple of Isis. While sailing on a Felucca to our hotel, we passed the famous The Cataract Hotel where Agatha Christy stayed for 11 months to write the well-known novel Death on the Nile River.

From Aswan we flew back to Cairo and spent our last day in Egypt visiting the step pyramid which was the very first pyramid built. As we say goodbye, we had a wonderful trip, it was truly once in a life time experience.