Egypt has been on my bucket list since I was 8 years old when I read a pop up book; a story of an archaeologist working in ancient Egypt. So when I booked my flight from London, I had butterflies in my stomach and I was looking forward to being able to walk like an Egyptian finally!
The ancient wonders definitely have that wow effect with your jaw dropping at the amazing carvings in the many temples, the colour that is still present in the paintings in the valley of the kings and the size of the Giza pyramids.
Flying into Cairo you are greeted by lots and lots of sand. The only greenery you can see is along the fertile lands of the river Nile. After, you are affronted by the madness of the traffic, and I thought Vietnam was nuts with its traffic, however Cairo takes it to a whole other level. Road Rules; no such thing!
Great Pyramids of Giza
Now to visit one of the ancient wonders of the world! First stop, the pyramids of Giza. The size of these is impressive and the capped pyramid shows what it was originally like on the outside before the stone was taken and used for other constructions. I had always imagined that these pyramid would of been filled with many, many rooms. However, once making my way into the great pyramid, it’s actually only one main room where the sarcofegus goes, no carving or decoration either! It wouldn’t truly be a visit to the pyramids if you did not go for a camel ride whilst staring at these great wonders!
This lovely temple can be found on a little island off of Aswan. Taking a boat ride with a local across to the temple with a nice cool breeze, definitely put you in the mood for exploration before it becomes too hot! This temples carvings are intricate and detailed. As the first temple I visited, I was impressed. The colour of the water surrounding it just makes it all the more magical!
Abu Simbel…. Just WOW! This would have to be a trip highlight, as the large statues of King Ramses II grace you as you turn the bend to view this great temple! If the enormity of this temple wasn’t enough, wait until you enter it…. With many small rooms, loads of carvings including the story of travel to the underworld to the after life, you could spend hours in here just admiring the craftsmanship. As you enter the temple, the large statues of King Ramses II doesn’t stop there. I must say, I think he quite fancied himself.
Kom Ombo Temple
The temple of the crocodile!!! or Lord Subak as he is commonly known to the Egyptian locals. This temple was built not long before Christ was born and has a lot of Roman influence with the top of its pillars, but also a main port and entry way for trade into Luxor. On parts of this temple, you can still see some of the painted decoration on the carvings in how they used to originally be. Can you picture this temple so colourful? It must of truly been a sight to see as you came up the river Nile!
Another temple to behold! This is one of the oldest temples in all of ancient Egypt and was one of the main temples to the King of the double crown as well as upper Egypt. It is a fantastic night option to do as you see all the other temples during the day time. The light works and spotlights pronounce the enormity of the statues and give an atmospheric feeling to the temple. This temple also just proves how advanced the ancient Egyptians were. If you don’t believe me, they even had a carving of the story of the sperm, with an erectile penis on a man. Theo’s carving is the sperm is aperfect and what science has proven a sperm to look like. How did they even figure this out with no such thing as technology?
The other main home to the Priests and the Pharaohs of Egypt! Every pharaoh has added his own section to this temple over the many thousands of years. Even the pharaoh who was a woman, of which later one the male pharaohs tried to hide her additions to the temple. But as karma would have it, ended up being protected against the great floods and earthquakes and is now the best kept in tact section of the temple. So much for them trying to make sure she was not remembered… the great hallway with some paint work still in tact gives you the bright airy feeling of the temple and all the wonder it presented back in its day. It was even originally enclosed with windows! No feat was too great for the Egyptians!
Valley of the Kings
With the original painting and colours still intact, the valley of the kings is truly something to behold! And to think that all the temples were this elaborately painted before all the paint faded over the thousands of years. When you visit the valley of the kings, your entrance includes visits to three temples. The temples I went into included King Ramses II, his parents and King Ramses IV. You can buy additional entry tickets to other temples as well which are more pricey and I decided to visit the boy king, King Tut! His mummified body is still there and you can tell that he was club footed! It gets very hot so I do suggest cool clothing! Also watch out for the workers trying to get extra tips off you for offering to give you more information inside the temples!
Temple of Hatshepsut
The temple of a Pharaoh who was actually a Queen!!! In the law of ancient Egypt, a male must always sit on the thrown, not a female. However, in this case a woman did and masked herself as a man! A classic heroine in ancient times. Many of the carvings around the temple do suggest some woman features on the mans body by having a plumper stomach etc, but as an outsider you wouldn’t recognise this automatically!
The original story goes that she married her brother, and had a son. However the father died whilst the son was very young so the Queen would rule until the son came of age and was educated else where. Little did the queen know that her son would build a hatred towards her and dethrone and execute her at his first chance of the throne!