Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Getting ready to cruise the Nile

The EVER AWESOME BLUE BUS Crew, Osman [in the black top], “Rambo” in a suit. Judi and I were “protecting “Rambo” HA HA! We met some really wonderful people!
Our floating Home the H.S. Radamis I Movenpick Mövenpick Radamis I offer a full sightseeing program in the company of an expert guide. The ancient city of Thebes offers the great temples of Luxor and Karnak on the East Bank of Luxor, while the West Bank is the site of the mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut, and the tombs of the Valleys of the Kings and Queen. After sailing through the Nile lock at Esna there is a visit to the Temple of Horus at Edfu, and then Kom Ombo Temple. Aswan, in the heart of Nubian is home to the beautiful island temple of Philae and in stark contrast, the High Dam, a modern engineering feat that offers a stunning view of Lake Nasser. The Unfinished Obelisk still lies in its quarry, but had it be completed it would have been the tallest ever produced. Enjoy this beautiful region of Egypt by sailing the Nile in a traditional felucca, the ideal way to observe the abundance of flora and fauna. Seeing our new home for the first time.
WOW, what a place. Egypt is so different and the allure of the history is ever present. We were very fortunate in having for an entire week a guide that made history come alive. Granted I am into history, the prior post is surely a testament to that. Osman [a native to Luxor, Egypt] gave us so much history that most of it leaked out…
Being able to remember snippets helped as I am still pouring over articles and sites here state side. Lilli commented upon my propensity for the history and I am truly guilty there, but I full well know she was being kind. I suppose researching for me helps to instill the knowledge further into my memory banks.
So speaking of BANKS, let’s begin to enjoy the NILE!
Views from the Sun Deck of the boat of the City of Luxor
Spring time in Egypt
While not our ship this will give you a look at what we saw. Luxor is a truly beautiful city. Even the airport was good-looking.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

As promised Giza PLUS cartouches

Click on the above link
In 1799 a French Officer at Fort Julien in el-Rashid in Egypt uncovered a granite rock carved with three scripts: hieroglyphs, popular Egyptian, and ancient Greek. The slab was the key to deciphering hieroglyphs - later it was called the Rosetta Stone after a local town. Scholars examining this stone called the oval enclosures "cartouches" from the French for the paper rolls or cartridges used to hold the powder for muskets, since the enclosures resembled these rolls.
A cartouche is an ancient Egyptian design, first known as a shen. The shen or cartouche, dating back some 5,000 years, is a hieroglyphic rope looped and tied at the bottom, forming a closed circle. The encircling rope symbolizes eternity with no beginning or end, often enclosing a sun, indicating the king’s rule over the cosmos. The shen is seen in many ancient Egyptian artifacts, often grasped in the talons of various avian gods, hovering protectively over a ruling king.

Around the close of the 3rd Dynasty, (circa 2575 BC) Huni used a cartouche to enclose his sovereign name. Over time the cartouche became vertically elongated to hold the cuneiform glyphs of longer royal names. A double-cartouche was sometimes used to display the royal name alongside the given, or birth name. Egyptians believed that writing down a name was important, or the soul risked being lost after death. This might explain why the cartouche appears on many royal sarcophagi.

The cartouche was such a powerful symbol that Tuthmosis III (1504 BC - 1450 BC) dictated his entire burial chamber, as discovered in the Valley of the Kings, be cartouche-shaped, along with his sarcophagus. Temple inscriptions from the Greco-Roman Period also show the cartouche holding names of gods, such as Osiris and Isis.

Today anyone can enjoy the royal blessing of a custom cartouche with his or her name in hieroglyphics. A cartouche can hang from a necklace, bracelet, or can be purchased as earrings. Custom cartouches come in many styles in both gold and silver.

Needless to say the females in our family now have one, although they have not received them YET!

Among the major tourist sites, there is only one considered to be “The major” and on top of any list - The Pyramids of Giza. Our Security Guard “Rambo” such a nice gentleman as well as our key through many security checkpoints!
There are three main Pyramids here, which were built in the 4th Dynasty (circa 4650 B.C). The Pyramids of Ancient Egypt were built as tombs for Kings (and Queens), and it was the exclusive privilege to have a Pyramid tomb. However, this tradition only applied in the Old and Middle Kingdoms. Today there are more than 93 Pyramids in Egypt; the most famous ones are those at Giza.
The outer covering of this pyramid was originally very pure white limestone which would have shone like gold in the sun. It was robbed away for use in building the modern city of Cairo in the Middle Ages. The white limestone coating is preserved only on the top of Chefren’s (Kafre's) pyramid.
Going into the inside
The Giza necropolis, situated in the immediate vicinity of the southwestern suburbs of modern Cairo is probably one of the most famous ancient sites in the world.
Yup we were REALLY there!
Many pictures of a really awesome place.
Giza after a sandstorm wow!
The Great Sphinx of Giza is a statue of a reclining lion with a human head that stands on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile, near modern-day Cairo, in Egypt. It is the largest monolith statue in the world, standing 73.5 m (241 ft) long, 6 m (20 ft) wide, and 20 m (65 ft) high. It is the oldest known monumental sculpture, and is commonly believed to have been built by ancient Egyptians in the third millennium BCE.[1] The Great Sphinx faces due east and houses a small temple between its paws.
Solar Boat In a pit by the Great Pyramid, archaeologists discovered a boat made of cedar wood, 142 feet long and 20 feet wide. After being built, the boat was dismantled into 1224 pieces and buried. The individual boards were not put together by nails or pegs, but holes in the boards allowed the boards to be sewn together with rope. This was a very effective method since wood expands when it is placed in water. In many cases, boats were buried on all four sides of the pyramids. They were probably intended for the pharaoh to be able to sail in any direction from the pyramid. You can see that museum in the next picture, the white building. Sadly there was no time to see this.
Khafra or Khafre (Greek Χεφρήν, Chephren) *ḫāʕaf-riʕu) was an Egyptian pharaoh of the Fourth dynasty, who had his capital at Memphis. According to some authors he was the son and successor of Khufu, but it is more commonly accepted that Djedefra was Khufu's successor and Khafra was Djedefra's. Khafra's two chief wives were Queen Meresankh III whose mastaba tomb is located at Giza and Queen Khamaerernebty I who was the mother of his successor, Menkaura.
Related Websites
The Pyramids Survey at Giza (Waseda University) Investigation of the pyramids and Sphinx using scientific technology to avoid any destruction to the site.
Excavations at Giza (University of Chicago, Oriental Institute) A report on Mark Lehner's excavations in Areas A, B and C, with site diagrams and pictures.
History of Giza (NOVA Online) A concise description of the history and construction of the pyramids.
Pyramids of Ancient Egypt (Tour Egypt) A good general description and chronology of the pyramids, with nice pictures and diagrams, as well as links to specific information about the pyramids of Cheops (Khufu), Chephren (Khafre) and the pyramid complex of Menkaure.
Giza Introduction (Egyptian Monuments) Good overview of Giza with links to more information regarding the pyramids, tombs, Sphinx and solar boat museum, illustrated with great pictures.
The Pyramids and Temples of Gizeh (Sir Flinders Petrie) An electronic version of this book recounting the most significant survey ever conducted of the Giza plateau.
Pyramids and Environs (Bluffton College) A collection of photos with descriptions with links to an Egypt index which includes photos of the Sphinx, the Valley Temple of Khafre and the funerary boat.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Cairo , Traffic, Lunch with Giza in the background

Egyptian Museum
Cairo (Arabic: القاهرة transliteration: al-Qāhira), which means "the triumphant", is the capital and largest city in Egypt and Africa. It is the most populous metropolitan area in Egypt and is also one of the most populous in the world. It is the Arab World's largest [3] and Africa's most populous city.[4] While Al-Qahirah is the official name of the city, in Egyptian Arabic it is called by the dialect's name for the country, Masr (Egypt's first Arab capital, Fustat, was known as Misr al-Fustat, "City of the Tents").

Cairo was founded by the Fatimid caliphs as a royal enclosure. It replaced Fustat as the seat of the government. It later came under the Mamluks, was ruled by the Ottomans 1517 to 1798, and briefly occupied by Napoleon. Muhammad Ali of Egypt made Cairo the capital of his independent empire from 1805 to 1882, after which the British took control of it until Egypt attained independence in 1922.


Transportation in Cairo comprises an extensive road network, rail system, subway system and maritime services. Cairo is the centre of almost the entire Egyptian transportation network

Smoked Fish was awesome

So was the Lamb, yummers my favorite

A No rules place to drive YIKES! Pita bread fresh was awesome with the amazing hummus
What glorious smells wafted through the air
Relaxing with friends
Cairo Streets
Before I take you to Giza and the Pyramids I felt it worthwhile to share the TRAFFIC experience of the largest city in Africa, it is home to at least 18million people. Red lights did not necessarily mean "stop" or even "slow". Cars flooded through red lights with horns blaring to warn anyone who might consider getting in the way. Some of the horns must be equipped with on-off switches that were locked in the "on" position.

Friday, March 27, 2009

New Toy for the trip ~ Or How to TRACK from anywhere…

First Stop Myrtle Beach, a brief PRE Vacation, HA HA
Hello out there!
Now for some TRACKS… tee hee
See Spot, see Spot RUN SPOT Satellite Messenger and Personal Tracker… Hubby wanted this for his trips for Bear hunting and Fishing in areas that satellite Phones do not work. So I was the Official TESTER. IT WORKS whoooooooooooooooo hooooooooooooooooooo With Spot Satellite Messenger you can send a message for help or tell family members, friends or the emergency responders where to find you using GPS accuracy regardless of cellular coverage. Help is just a push button away! SPOT’s message and tracking functions enable users to send messages to friends, family or emergency responders, based upon varying levels of need and to visually track the location of the SPOT Satellite Messenger: "Alert 911" button dispatches emergency responders to an exact location Ask for "Help" button sends a request for help to friends and family "Check In" button lets your contacts know where you are and that you are okay So this is the Image from the Hotel from Cairo… Enjoy Google Earth Totally awesome

Thursday, March 26, 2009

What a trip

Where to begin?
Gosh that is difficult, but bare with me!
I ONLY took 972 pictures…
I suppose recounting the trip is almost as exciting as having been there.
First stop Cairo, Egypt, Pyramids Park Intercontinental hotel Cairo. The Hotel
We were all so very tired from the flight.
Sleep was not difficult and the body so enjoyed being able to stretch out full
We left from Myrtle Beach, S.C. at 7:15 a.m. arrived in Cairo at 9:10 the next day
Egypt Time!
Next post Mondy Bazaar and Giza and the horrendous traffic…
Mondy Bazaar was the first bazaar opened in the pyramid area, it has been open
since 1982 but the history of this bazaar doesn't start at that time. The history of
this bazaar started in the twenties when the grandfather of Mr. Mondy opened his
first bazaar in the center of Cairo and started to contact with tourists and learned
how to give the best quality and the best work. Then came Mr. Mondy's father who
opened his own shop near the Islamic monuments, which was the most popular
place for tourists at that time and he took his father's experience and developed
his own goods and shop. Then came Mr. Mondy who learned from his grandfather
and his father the secrets of how to make the customer comfortable and how to
make the best work and quality. After quite some time he saw that there were no
bazaars near the pyramid area, so he started to open the biggest bazaar in this
area and called it by his name so no one forgets it "Mondy Bazaar". And he started
to use the 60 years of experience from his father and grandfather, till he became
the most famous salesman in Egypt, and his shop went to be the first shop to make
a good Cartouche.