We went to Sakkara to see the unique Step pyramid of Pharoah Djoser/ Zoser. This pyramid is the unique prototype for Old Kingdom Pyramids built by Imhotep. It was my first time visiting this magnificent structure. The day was so hot, about 40 degrees which was amazing as I love the heat but had to make sure I was hydrated so water and I was best friends during this trip.
We went to see the Great Pyramids of Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure and then Hor-em-Akhet (the Sphinx) in Giza. Tourism in Egypt has been affected by the Arab spring and the hustlers were quite aggressive and annoying at the Pyramids.
We took the interesting overnight sleeper train to Aswan which was an experience I would not repeat. I did not sleep at all as the train felt like it was going to derail at any moment and was very noisy. We asked for a vegetarian meal and were given chicken and beef.
On arrival in Aswan, we visited the High Dam of Aswan. The High Dam was completed in 1971 and created Lake Nasser. We took a trip to the romantic Temple of Philae. The Philae Temple is a majestic Greco-Roman Egyptian temple dedicated to the goddess Isis, the goddess of love. I was amazed how quiet the Temple was with not many tourists but this was beneficial to me as I could take some good photographs and could explore the temple easily.
We visited the Unfinished Obelisk which is 42m in length and was abandoned when some cracks appeared in the rock, during its construction. Had this obelisk been completed, it would have been the heaviest obelisk ever cut in Ancient Egypt, weighing nearly 1100 tons! It is believed that it was constructed and abandoned during the reign of Queen Hatshepsut (18th Dynasty).
While in Aswan, we took a boat over to the Nubian Village to have a traditional dinner which was lovely. We went with two ladies from New Zealand who were proud of their indigenous roots to New Zealand and we spoke about everything from travel to politics.
Our tour included a Nile Cruise which was excellent as it gave us an opportunity to relax which we hardly do. We visited the Kom-Ombo and Edfu Temples. Kom Ombo is a Dual Greco-Roman Egyptian Temple dedicated to the Evil Crocodile god Sobek and the Good Falcon god Haroeris, which stands overseeing the Nile and had sacred crocodiles kept as pets. The city of Edfu contains the famous Temple of Horus. The 2000 year old Temple was dedicated to the Son of Osiris, Horus the Falcon Headed God, and is the best preserved and most complete temple in Egypt.
In Luxor, we toured the East Bank of Luxor and visited the massive Karnak temple and historic Luxor temple. Karnak temple is actually a gigantic temple complex which is over 3500 years old. Luxor temple is an important temple in that it was dedicated to 3 gods; Amun, his wife Mut and his son Khons.
We toured the West Bank of Luxor and went to the Valley of the Kings. We went inside some of the incredible tombs of the Pharaohs and witnessed the ‘restoration work’ inside these monuments. A lot of the scenes have been plastered over so I would encourage people to visit to see for themselves as they will not be there un-tampered with forever.
We went to visit one of my favourite monuments which was built by a sista! We went to the mortuary temple of Hatshepsut (Deir al-Bahri). At this monument I also noticed the lack of tourists but did not complain as I could take loads of pictures without interruption. On the day we visited the temple it was ridiculously hot and even I was hiding in the shade as my skin tingled.
We battled through the traffic of downtown Cairo and visited the Egyptian Museum which has changed since the last time we came. The bookshop has disappeared from inside the museum which I wanted to visit and there was a thick layer of dust on the monuments which was not there before.
Overall, we had a brilliant time in Kemet and would like to thank our guide Michael and the tour organiser George Nassim for making this a memorable trip.