Writer’s List of Foreign Countries Visited

April 9, 2018 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Uncategorized 

Writer’s list of foreign countries that he has visited

The map below shows the foreign countries I, Choo Chaw(a Malaysian), have visited from 2003 until 2017.

Writer's list of foreign countries visited from 2003 until 2017

Writer’s list of foreign countries visited from 2003 until 2017

Click on a country below to read about my travel there:

1.  AFRICA

a. Egypt Travel

      Egypt Travel Part I :Salah el Din Citadel, Muhammad Ali Mosque, Tahrir Square and Egyptian Museum

      Egypt Travel Part II :Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut Temple and Colossi of Memnon

     Egypt Travel Part III :Hot Air Balloons and Karnak Temple Complex

     Egypt Travel Part IV :Papyrus Paper-Making, Luxor Temple and Esna Lock

     Egypt Travel Part V :Edfu Temple, Kom Ombo Temple and Galabia Party

     Egypt Travel Part VI :Abu Simbel Temples and Nubian Village(Elephantine Island)

      Egypt Travel Part VII :Unfinished Obelisk, Aswan High Dam and Philae Temple

      Egypt Travel Part VIII:Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel, Moon Beach(Ras Sudr), and St. Catherine

      Egypt Travel Part IX :Mount Sinai, Catherine’s Monastery and Sharm el Sheikh

     Egypt Travel Part X  :Sharm el Sheikh

     Egypt Travel Part XI :Cairo Food, Saqqara Step Pyramid Complex and Memphis

     Egypt Travel Part XII :Great Giza Pyramid Complex and Khan el Khalil Bazaar

b. South Africa Travel

      South Africa Travel Part I:       Air Flight from KLIA to Cape Town, Cape Town Shantytowns

      South Africa Travel Part II:      Table Mountain, Malay Quarter, Castle of Good Hope. A & V Waterfront

      South Africa Travel Part III:     Hermanus, Cheetah Outreach, Stellenbosch, Jewel Africa

      South Africa Travel Part IV:     Duiker Island of Seals, Cape Point, Boulders

      South Africa Travel Part V:       Cape Town to Johannesburg, Pilanesberg National Park(Game Drives)

      South Africa Travel Part VI:      Sun City, Union Buildings, Vootrekker Monument

      South Africa Travel Part VII:    Kruger Museum, Church Square, Melrose Museum, Carnivore Restaurant

       South Africa Travel  Final Part:  Gold Reef City: Gold Mine Museum 

2. AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

a.  Australia Travel 

         Part I: Melbourne/Mornington Peninsula/Phillip Island),

         Part II: Sydney 

b.  New Zealand Travel

          New Zealand Travel 

3. ASIA

a.  China Travels

      i. Beijing, Tianjin, Chengde Travel

           Part I: Beijing, Badaling

           Part II: Beijing, Tianjin, Chengde

      ii. China Relatives & Ancestral Places(Fujian Province)

            Part I: Parents’ China Relatives

            Part II: Hanjiang, Meizhou Island

            Part III: Putian

      iii. Hong Kong Travel

             Part I:  Hong Kong City Tour

             Part II:  Hong Kong City Tour

      iv. Macau Travel

             Macau City Tour

       v. Shanghai Travel

            Part I:  Hangzhou, Suzhou, Wuxi, Nanjing

            Part II: Nanjing Bridge, Shanghai City, Shanghai Expo, Hangzhou

      vi.  Shenzhou, Hezhou, Quilin, Zhaoqing Travel

             Part I: Shenzhen, Hezhou

             Part II: Quilin, Yangshuo, Zhaoqing, Shenzhen

      vii. Taiwan Travel

              Part I: Taipei

              Part II:  Checheng, Kaohsiung, Taichung, Sanyi, Yehliu, Jioufen

     viii.  Yunnan Travel

              Part I: Kunming, Jiu Xiang, Shilin, Dali

              Part II: Dali, Lijiang

       ix. Zhangjiajie Travel

              Part I: Tianmen, Zhangjia jie, Wulingyuan, Tianzi, Yuangjiajie

              Part II: Dragon King Cave, Shaoshan, Changsha, Macau

        x.  China Expedition 2013

              Part I: Thailand

              Part II: Yunnan

              Part III: Tibet

              Part IV: Qinhai

              Part V: Xinjiang

              Part VI: Gansu

              Part VII: Ningxia

              Part VIII: Inner Mongolia

              Part IX: Beijing 

b.  Indonesia Travels

           i.  Bali Travel       

           ii.  Batam Island Travel  

c.  Japan Travel 

            Part I: Osaka, Kyoto, Hamamatsu

            Part II: Owakudani Valley, Mt. Fuji, Tokyo

d.  Myanmar Travel

            Part I: Yangon, Bagan, Mount Popa

            Part II: Yangon, Kyauktan 

e.  Singapore Heritage Trails

            Part I: Chinatown, Little India

            Part II: Malay Heritage, Civic District

f.  South Korea Travel

             Part I:  Seoul, Jeju Island

             Part II:  Sokcho, Everland, Dongdaemum, DMZ, Seoul

g.  Thailand Travel: 

       i. Bangkok, Ayuthaya Travel

               Part I: Bangkok, Ayuthaya

               Part II: Bangkok

      ii. Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, The Golden Triangle Travel

                Part I: Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, The Golden Triangle

                Part II: Maesa, Chiang Mai

      iii. Phuket Travel 

      iv. Part I: Thailand (from China Ezpedition 2013) 

h.   Vietnam

            Hanoi Travel

                   Part I: Hanoi, Halong Bay

                   Part II: Hoa Lo, Tam Coc, Hanoi

4.  Europe:

              a.  Western Europe Travel

                     Part I: Germany, Switzerland, France

                     Part II: France, Belgium, Holland, England

              b.  Eastern Europe Travel

                   Part I: Budapest(Hungary)

                   Part II:  Bratislava(Slovakia)

                   Part III: Vienna(Austria)

                   Part IV: Vienna II(Austria)

                   Part V: Brno(Czech Republic)

                   Part VI: Prague(Czech Republic)

             c. Italy Travel

                  Italy Travel Part I: Rome and Vatican City

                 Italy Travel Part II : Rome(continued)

                 Italy Travel Part III: Pisa and Florence

                 Italy Travel Part IV: Venice

                 Italy Travel Part V(Final): Verona and Milan

5.  U.S.A. & Canada

           a.   East Coast: USA & Canada

                  Part I: Philadeiphia, Washington D.C.

                  Part II: Niagara Falls, Toronto

                  Part III: Colborne, 1000 Islands, Ottawa

                  Part IV: Montreal, Quebec

                  Part V: Boston

                  Part VI: New York

                  Part VII: Woodbury Common Premium Outlets

            b.   West Coast: USA

                    Part I: San Francisco

                    Part II: San Francisco, Monterey Bay, Las Vegas

                    Part III: Grand Canyon

                    Part IV: Las Vegas

                    Part V: Premium Outlets(S. California)

                    Part VI: Disneyland(Anaheim)

                    Part VII: Hollywood Walk of Fame(Los Angeles)

                    Part VIII: Universal Studios Hollywood

                    Part IX: Universal Studios Hollywood Theme Park

THE END  (Home)

Egypt Travel Part I: Salah el Din Citadel, Muhammad Ali Mosque, Tahrir Square and Egyptian Museum

April 1, 2018 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Egypt 

Egypt Travel Part I: Salah el Din Citadel, Muhammad Ali Mosque, Tahrir Square and Egyptian Museum

Egypt

Egypt is the second country after South Africa in the continent of Africa that I visited on 13 Dec 2017. It is a country that has an interesting history dating back over 4000 years ago and it was recorded in hieroglyphic writing on tombs and walls of ruined temples.

Long Air Flight in distance and time

Long Air Flight in distance and time

Day 1  Wednesday 13 Dec 2017

Flying to Cairo from Singapore via Dubai

On 13 Dec 2017, my wife, brother, sister-in-law and I joined a group of 30 Singaporeans and flew on an Emirates airplane from Changi International Airport, Singapore, to Dubai and then another Emirates plane from Dubai to Cairo. The total distance was 9263 km and the flight-time taken was about 11 hours.

Writer and family joining the Egypt tour

Writer and family joining the Egypt tour

Egypt Tour Group of Singaporeans and Malaysians

Egypt Tour Group of Singaporeans and Malaysians

Arrival at Cairo International Airport, Egypt

On arrival at Cairo Airport, the tour group led by a tour manager, Yong Zheng, from Chan Brothers Travel Agency(Singapore) was welcomed by a young handsome Egyptian tour-guide, Khaled. We all boarded a coach and went straight to a famous fortress on a hill overlooking the City of Cairo. It is known as Salah el Din Citadel.

Tour Manager and Tour Guide

Tour Manager, Yong Zheng,  and Tour Guide, Khaled

Emirates Boeing 777-300ER Airplane

Emirates Boeing 777-300ER Airplane

Salah el Din Citadel

Located on a low Mokattam Hill, Salah el Din Citadel was built in the period between 1176 and 1183 by Salah el Din to prevent the European crusade armies invading Cairo.

Salah el Din Citadel on Mokattam Hill in Cairo

Salah el Din Citadel on Mokattam Hill in Cairo

Watch-Tower of Salah el Din Citadel

Watch-Tower of Salah el Din Citadel

Pathway to the Fortress

To go to the fortress on the Mokattam Hill, we walked up a pathway. On the hill there are two large old mosques within the fortress, namely Al-Nasir Muhammad Mosque and Muhammad Ali Mosque or Alabaster Mosque.

A pathway outside Salah el Din Citadel to Muhammad Ali Mosque

A pathway outside Salah el Din Citadel to  Al-Nasir Muhammad Mosque and Muhammad Ali Mosque

Al-Nasir Muhammad Mosque

Sultan Al-Nasir, a Mamluk sultan, built a royal mosque within the fortress in 1318 and it was named after him. The sultans of Cairo performed their Friday prayers at the mosque.

Al-Nasir Muhammad Mosque in Salah el Din Citadel, Cairo

Al-Nasir Muhammad Mosque in Salah el Din Citadel, Cairo

Muhammad Ali Mosque or Alabaster Mosque

Within the fortress there is a larger mosque known as Muhammad Ali Mosque or Alabaster Mosque. It was built in Ottoman architectural style between 1830 and 1848 by Muhammad Ali when he came to power. He built it in memory of his deceased son.

Muhammad Ali Mosque. a large mosque

Muhammad Ali Mosque. a large mosque

Domes

The mosque looks impressive as it has two tall minarets, a dome in the centre surrounded by four semi-circular ones and four smaller ones in the corners. Colourful motifs can be seen in the interior of these domes.

Interior Domes of Muhammad Ali Mosque

Interior Domes of Muhammad Ali Mosque

10 000 Worshippers

Besides, the interior of the mosque is beautifully and richly decorated. Its walls and pillars are covered with alabaster, hence it is also known as Alabaster Mosque.

The mosque can accommodate about 10 000 worshippers. It has become an attraction for visitors and school-children too.

Muhammad Ali Mosque can accommodate 10 000 worshippers

Muhammad Ali Mosque can accommodate 10 000 worshippers.

Tour guide, Khaled, talking about Muhammad Ali Mosque

Tour guide, Khaled, talking about Muhammad Ali Mosque

Muhammad Ali attracting schoolchildren

Muhammad Ali Mosque attracting schoolchildren

Panoramic View of Cairo City

At the back of this mosque, a visitor can see a panoramic view of the city of Cairo. On the day of our visit, we saw the city shrouded in haze due to air-pollution caused by vehicles, open-air burning and fine particles blown from Sahara Desert in the west.

Cairo City shrouded in haze

Cairo City shrouded in haze

Soiree Restaurant

Soon we left the fortress and went to a restaurant, Soiree, in the city for a buffet lunch. Inside the restaurant two pieces of colourful mosaic art on a wall attracted my attention. One showed a few Egyptian merchants in their traditional costumes talking among themselves and another a milkman.

Tour team having lunch at Soiree Restaurant

Tour team having lunch at Soiree Restaurant

A colouful mosaic art

A colouful mosaic art of Egyptian merchants

Another colourful mosaic art

Another colourful mosaic art of a milkman

Tahrir Square

After lunch we went to the Egyptian Museum. On the way we saw a public square known as Tahrir Square and was told by Khaled, the local tour-guide, that it was very important to the Egyptian people as it was a place where political demonstrations were often held.

2011 Egypt Revolution

During the 2011 Egypt Revolution, over 200 000 protesters demonstrated in Tahrir Square for 18 days resulting in the resignation of the President of Egypt, Hosni Mubarack. Mubarack who was the 4th. President of Egypt(1981-2011) was alleged to have abused his power and committed corruption. He was arrested and put on trail a few times but he was acquitted in March 2017.

Tahrir Square, a famous place for political demonstrations

Tahrir Square, a famous place for political demonstrations

Egyptian Museum

Finally, we arrived at the Egyptian Museum which was heavily guarded by soldiers. We had to go through strict security check before entering the museum. Inside the building we learned about the ancient Egyptian history dating back over 4000 years ago.

About 120 000 Exhibits

Egyptian Museum has a large collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities. About 120 000 of them are displayed on the ground floor and first floor.

The largest museum in Cairo that has about 120 000 ancient antiquities

The largest museum in Cairo that has about 120 000 ancient antiquities

Ground Floor

The ground floor has exhibits from the Archaic Period(3000 B.C.- 2700 B.C.) until the Roman and Byzantine Period(32 B.C. – 640 A.D.). The exhibits include coins, jewellery, statues, tables and coffins for mummies(scorphaguses).

First Floor

Displayed on the first floor are the artifacts from the last two dynasties of Egypt, such as those from some tombs of pharaohs in the Valley of the Kings.  There are two rooms that have a few mummies of kings and other royal family members of the New Kingdom(1550 B.C. – 1077 B.C.).

Below are photos showing some of the ancient Egyptian exhibits in the museum:

Statuette of King Khufu, the builder of the largest pyramid at Giza

Statuette of King Khufu, the builder of the largest pyramid at Giza

Statue of King Khafra, the builder of the second pyramid at Giza

Statue of King Khafre, the builder of the second largest pyramid at Giza

 

Statuette of the Royal Acquaintance, father and son

Statuette of the Royal Acquaintance, father and son

Statues of King Khufu's brother and wife

Statues of King Khufu’s brother and wife

Statue of Sphinx, a mythical creature with a human head and a lion body

Statue of Sphinx, a mythical creature with a human head and a lion body

Statue of Ancient Egyptian King/ Pharaoh

Statue of Ancient Egyptian King/ Pharaoh Ramesses II

Ancient Egyptian scorphagus for a mummified dead body

Ancient Egyptian scorphagus for a mummified dead body

A mummy with a mask and wrapped in linen bandages

A mummy with a mask and wrapped in linen bandages

Anubis, a god associated with mummification and afterlife in ancient Egyptian religion

Anubis, a god associated with mummification and afterlife in ancient Egyptian religion

Figures with crosses and handles are a symbol of life in ancient Egyptian religion

Figures with crosses and handles known as Ankhs are a symbol of life and good health in ancient Egyptian religion

King Tutankhamun

King or Pharoah Tutankhamu is the best known ancient Egyptian king in the world. It is because when his tomb was discovered in 1922 in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, it was still intact and most of his items, over 5000 of them, were still in the tomb.

Special Room for King Tutankhamun’s Possessions

Some of the king’s objects are exhibited in a special room in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. Unfortunately, taking photographs of his items in the room is not allowed.

A special room for displaying King Tutankhamun;s possessions in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo

A special room for displaying King Tutankhamun;s possessions in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo

Replica of Tutankhamun’s golden mask in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo

A replica of King Tutankhamun's golden mask in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo

A replica of King Tutankhamun’s golden mask in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo

King Tutankhamun was born in 1341 B.C., became king at 9 years old in 1332, married his half-sister at 11 and passed away at 18 in 1323 B.C.. He ruled Egypt for about 10 years from 1332 B.C. until 1323 B.C..

Statue of King Tutankhamun(1341 B.C. - 1323 B.C.)

Statue of King Tutankhamun(1341 B.C. – 1323 B.C.)

Picture showing King Tutankhamun's tomb with his possessions in the Valley of Kings, Luxor

Picture showing King Tutankhamun’s tomb with his possessions in the Valley of Kings, Luxor

King Tutankhamun's chariot in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo

King Tutankhamun’s chariot in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo

Egyptian Deities

Ancient Egyptians worshipped many deities, as many as 114. Some of them are shown in the two pictures below.

Human and semihuman forms of some of the chief Egyptian deities

Human and semihuman forms of some of the chief Egyptian deities

Human and semihuman forms of some of the chief Egyptian deities

Human and semihuman forms of some of the chief Egyptian deities

They stopped worshipping them when Christianity and Islam spread to their homeland.

Ancient Egyptian Writing

The ancient Egyptians had a writing system that uses pictographic characters known as hieroglyphs. There are over 700 characters in the system. Some of them are shown in the picture below.

Hieroglyphs were used in ancient Egyptian writing.

Hieroglyphs were used in ancient Egyptian writing.

Jean Francois Champollion(1790 – 1832)

For many years no one knew how to read the hieroglyphic writing until 1822 when a Frenchman, Jean Francois Champollion(1790 – 1832 A.D.), was able to decipher it.

Francois Champollion, the first person to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphic writing in 1822

Francois Champollion, the first person to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphic writing in 1822

Rosetta Stone

There was a stone that was found near Rosetta Village(Rashid) by a French soldier in 1799. Known as Rosetta Stone, it has three kinds of writings , namely hieroglyphic at its top, demotic in the middle and Greek at the bottom. As Champollion knew the last two he deciphered the hieroglyphic writing in 1822, successfully. He found out that the hieroglyphs were phonetic representing the speech sound.

The Rosetta Stone was found in Egypt Delta in 1799 and Champollion was able to decipher the Egyptian hieroglyphic writing in 1822 inscribed on it.

The Rosetta Stone was found in Egypt Delta in 1799 and Champollion was able to decipher the Egyptian hieroglyphic writing in 1822 inscribed on it.

Le Meridien Pyramids Hotel, Cairo

After a long day of visiting two important places in Cairo, viz. Salah el Din Citadel and Egyptian Museum, we checked in at a hotel, Le Meridien Pyramids Hotel, in the city and stayed for a night. We would be flying to Luxor for more visits on the following morning.

Tour group spending a night at Le Meridien Pyramids Hotel after a busy day visiting some tourists' places in Cairo

Tour group spending a night at Le Meridien Pyramids Hotel after a busy day visiting some tourists’ places in Cairo

 

Home / Next

Egypt Travel Parts I to XII:

Egypt Travel Part I :Salah el Din Citadel, Muhammad Ali Mosque, Tahrir Square and Egyptian Museum

Egypt Travel Part II :Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut Temple and Colossi of Memnon

Egypt Travel Part III :Hot Air Balloons and Karnak Temple Complex

Egypt Travel Part IV :Papyrus Paper-Making, Luxor Temple and Esna Lock

Egypt Travel Part V :Edfu Temple, Kom Ombo Temple and Galabia Party

Egypt Travel Part VI :Abu Simbel Temples and Nubian Village(Elephantine Island)

Egypt Travel Part VII :Unfinished Obelisk, Aswan High Dam and Philae Temple

Egypt Travel Part VIII:Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel, Moon Beach(Ras Sudr), and St. Catherine

Egypt Travel Part IX :Mount Sinai, Catherine’s Monastery and Sharm el Sheikh

Egypt Travel Part X  :Sharm el Sheikh

Egypt Travel Part XI :Cairo Food, Saqqara Step Pyramid Complex and Memphis

Egypt Travel Part XII :Great Giza Pyramid Complex and Khan el Khalil Bazaar

Egypt Travel Part II: Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut Temple and Colossi of Memnon

April 1, 2018 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Egypt 

Egypt Travel II: Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut Temple and Colossi of Memnon

Day 2  Thursday, 14 Dec 2017

Flying from Cairo to Luxor by Egypt Air

Early in the morning we left Le Meridien Pyramids Hotel in Cairo and went to the airport nearby. At the airport we took an Egypt Air plane and flew to Luxor which is about 500 km in the south.

Map showing the location of Luxor, Egypt

Tour group flying from Cairo to Luxor

Tour group flying from Cairo to Luxor

Tour group boarding an Egypt Air plane at Cairo Airport

Tour group boarding EgyptAir plane that flies them to Luxor from Cairo

Tour group boarding EgyptAir plane that flies them to Luxor from Cairo

Luxor Airport

After flying for about an hour and 10 minutes , we arrived at the Luxor International Airport.

Luxor Airport is 504 km south of Cairo

Luxor Airport is 504 km south of Cairo

We were going to spend two days in Luxor making a few visits and doing some activities.

The first place we visited in Luxor was the Valley of the Kings.

Valley of the Kings

Located on the west bank of River Nile near Luxor city, Valley of the Kings is a necropolis or cemetery for the kings, powerful noblemen and their family members of the New Kingdom(18 – 20th. Dynasties of Ancient Egypt). From 1539 until 1075 B.C., a period of about 500 years, those deceased were buried there. So far about 63 tombs have been discovered but most of the treasures belonging to them were looted.

Diagram showing the location of tombs in the Valley of the Kings

Diagram showing the location of tombs in the Valley of the Kings

The first king to be buried there was Thutmose I(1504 – 1492 B.C.) and the last one was Ramesses XI who died in 1077 B.C.

Photos of the Valley of the Kings

Entry Ticket to the Valley of the Kings

Visitors have to buy a ticket to visit the Valley of the Kings and it looks like the one below.

Tickets needed for entering the Valley of the Kings

Tickets needed for entering the Valley of the Kings

Shuttles

Shuttles will bring visitors to the valley which is several hundred metres away from the entrance.

Shuttles to the Valley of the Kings

Shuttles to the Valley of the Kings

Writer and Family

Writer, wife, brother and sister-in-law went to the valley together to see the tombs of well-known ancient Egyptian kings and nobles.

Writer and family in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor, Egypt

Writer and family in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor, EgyptA Happy Family

A Happy Family 

A happy family together with the rest of the tour group went to the Valley of the Kings.

A happy family taking a shuttle to the Valley of the Kings

A happy family taking a shuttle to the Valley of the Kings

Paths to the Tombs

There are paths leading to all the known tombs in the valley.

Paths leading to tombs in the Valley of the Kings

Paths leading to tombs in the Valley of the Kings

Tutankhamun Tomb

The most famous tomb was that of King Tutankhamun. Tutankhamun became king at the age of 9 in 1332 B.C. and ruled Egypt for 10 years before he died at the age of 18 in 1323 B.C. Nobody knows the exact  cause of his death. Many scientists thought he died of a disease.

Howard Carter

Tutankhamun tomb was discovered by an English archaeologist, Howard Carter, in 1922 and found to be almost intact. Most of his possessions were still in the tomb, including his golden mask that is now in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

A replica of Pharaoh Tutankhamun's golden mask

A replica of Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s golden mask

“Curse of the Pharaoh”

8 of the 58 people who were present when Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s tomb(sarcophagus) was opened died a few years later. Rumours of a “curse of the pharaoh” were spread by newspapers to boost their sales. Many of them lived a long life including Howard Carter who died in 1939 at the age of 64, 13 years after he and others discovered the Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

Entrance to the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings

Tutankhamun Tomb in the Valley of the Kings

Entrance to the Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s Tomb in the Valley of the Kings

Tutankhamun Burial Chamber

The diagram below shows the burial chamber of Tutankhamun deep in the ground in the Valley of the Kings.

Diagram showing the burial chamber in Tutankhamun's tomb

Diagram showing the burial chamber in Tutankhamun’s tomb

Tomb of Ramesses II’s Sons

This tomb for Ramesses II’s sons is the largest in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor. The pharaoh ruled Egypt from 173 B.C. until 1213 B.C. and had more than 160 children.

Tomb of Ramesses II's sons, the largest in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor

Tomb of Ramesses II’s sons, the largest in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor

j. Tomb of Ramesses IX

Ramesses IX ruled Egypt from 1129 B.C. until he died in 1111 B.C.. His tomb is in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor.

 

Tomb of Ramesses IX in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor

Tomb of Ramesses IX in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor

k. Ramesses VII’s Tomb

Ramesses VII ruled Egypt from 1136 B.C. until he died in 1129 B.C.. He was succeeded by Ramesses III’s son, Ramesses VIII, who ruled Egypt for a year(1129 – 1130 B.C.).

Path to the Ramesses VII's tomb in the Valley of the Kings

Path to the Ramesses VII’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings

l. Merenptah’s Tomb

Merenptah was the 13th. son of Ramesses II and ruled Egypt for 10 years from 1213 B.C. until he died in 1203 B.C..

 

Path to Merenptah's Tomb in the Valley of the Kings

Path to Merenptah’s Tomb in the Valley of the Kings

Visit to the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, Deir el Bahari

In the afternoon we left the hot and dry Valley of the Kings and went to the other side of the mountain where a mortuary known as Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut was located.

Entry Ticket to the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, Deir el Bahari

Ticket to visit the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, Deir el Bahari, West Luxor

Ticket to visit the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, Deir el Bahari, West Luxor

Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut

Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut was built at the bottom of the cliffs of Deir el Bahari close to the Valley of the Kings and on the west bank of River Nile in Luxor. It was built for Queen Hatshepsut, the Pharaoh of the 18th. Dyanasty who ruled Egypt from 1478 B.C. until 1458 B.C., and dedicated to the Sun God, Amun-Ra.

Queen Hatshepsut’s tomb is believed to be in the Valley of the Kings.

Photos at the Temple

Here are some photos taken at the temple site.

Panoramic View of the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut in Deir el Bahari, West Luxor

Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut was built for Queen Hatshepsut and dedicated to the Sun God, Amun.

Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut was built for Queen Hatshepsut and dedicated to the Sun God, Amun-Ra.

Tour Group at the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut

Tour group visiting the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut on 14 Dec 2017

Tour group visiting the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut on 14 Dec 2017

A Restored Sphinx at the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut

A ruined statue of Sphinx outside the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut

A ruined statue of Sphinx outside the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut

Statues of Osiris at the entrance of the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut

Ancient Egyptians believed that Osiris was the god of transition, resurrection and regeneration. Many large statues of that god can be seen in front of the temple.

Statue of Osiris at the entrance of Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, Deir el Bahari, West Luxor

A statue of Osiris at the entrance of Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, Deir el Bahari, West Luxor

Bark Hall Entrance of the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut

Entrance to the Bark Hall of the Sanctuary of the Sun Deity, Amun-Ra, in the Mortuary Temple of  Hatshepsut

Entrance to the Bark Hall of the Sanctuary of the Sun Deity, Amun, in the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut

Entrance to the Bark Hall of the Sanctuary of the Sun Deity, Amun-Ra, in the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut

Bark Hall of the Sanctuary of the Sun God, Amun

The Bark Hall of the Sanctuary of the Sun Deity, Amun

The Bark Hall of the Sanctuary of the Sun Deity, Amun

The innermost Sanctuary of the Sun Deity, Amun

The innermost Sanctuary of the Sun Deity, Amun

The innermost Sanctuary of the Sun Deity, Amun

Panoramic view outside the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut

View from the temple to River Nile in the background

Outside View of the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, Deira el Bahari

Outside View of the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, Deira el Bahari

Visit to Abd Shanab Alabaster Shop

After the visit to the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, we went to a shop, Abd Shanab Alabaster, in Luxor town to learn about alabaster carving of ancient Egyptian objects.

Abd Shanab Alabaster

When we arrived at Abd Shanab Alabaster shop its workers showed us the method of sculpturing alabaster stones into ancient Egyptian objects and figures.

Tour group visiting Abd Shanab Alabaster Shop in Luxor

Tour group visiting Abd Shanab Alabaster Shop in Luxor

Sculptors carving alabaster stones into objects and figures

Sculptors carving alabaster stones into Egyptian ancient objects and figures

Then we entered the shop and were introduced to many ready-made products which were for sale. They were beautifully made with details. The photos below show some of them displayed in the shop.

Alabaster objects and figures for sale

Alabaster objects and figures for sale

Painted alabaster containers for sale

Painted alabaster containers for sale

Alabaster figures for sale

Alabaster Egyptian figures for sale

Black alabaster figures for sale

Black alabaster figures for sale

Colossi of Memnon

Soon we left the shop and went to a bank of River Nile in town to board a cruise boat called Jamina. On the way we saw two giant statues, Colossi of Memnon. They were both statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III, the 9th. Pharaoh of the XVIIIth. Dynasty(1550-1292 B.C.). They were found buried in the ground many years ago and restored with many missing parts.

Colossi of Memnon: Two statues of Amenhotep III

Colossi of Memnon: Two statues of Amenhotep III

Cruise Boats on River Nile

When we arrived at the bank of River Nile, we saw many cruise boats and we boarded one of them known as Jamina. We would cruise on that boat from Luxor to Aswan in the south for four days stopping at some cities to visit their historical sites.

Cruise boats on River Nile waiting for tourists

Cruise boats on River Nile waiting for tourists

River Nile cruise boat, Jamina, that brings the tour group from Luxor to Aswan

River Nile cruise boat, Jamina, that brings the tour group from Luxor to Aswan

(Continue in Part III)

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Egypt Travel Parts I to XII

Egypt Travel Part I :Salah el Din Citadel, Muhammad Ali Mosque, Tahrir Square and Egyptian Museum

Egypt Travel Part II :Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut Temple and Colossi of Memnon

Egypt Travel Part III :Hot Air Balloons and Karnak Temple Complex

Egypt Travel Part IV :Papyrus Paper-Making, Luxor Temple and Esna Lock

Egypt Travel Part V :Edfu Temple, Kom Ombo Temple and Galabia Party

Egypt Travel Part VI :Abu Simbel Temples and Nubian Village(Elephantine Island)

Egypt Travel Part VII :Unfinished Obelisk, Aswan High Dam and Philae Temple

Egypt Travel Part VIII:Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel, Moon Beach(Ras Sudr), and St. Catherine

Egypt Travel Part IX :Mount Sinai, Catherine’s Monastery and Sharm el Sheikh

Egypt Travel Part X  :Sharm el Sheikh

Egypt Travel Part XI :Cairo Food, Saqqara Step Pyramid Complex and Memphis

Egypt Travel Part XII :Great Giza Pyramid Complex and Khan el Khalil Bazaar

Egypt Travel Part III: Hot Air Balloon and Karnak Temple Complex

April 1, 2018 by · Leave a Comment
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Egypt Travel Part III: Hot Air Balloon and Karnak Temple Complex

Day 3    Friday, 15 Dec 2017

Early in the morning, we left our cruise boat at Luxor City and went to a place near Del el Bahari where Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut is located and oh the west bank of River Nile.

Tour group going off for hot air balloon ride at sunrise

Tour group going off for hot air balloon at sunset

Tour group going off for hot air balloon ride at sunrise

Hot Air Balloons in the Sky

On arrival at the site, we saw several hot air balloons that were already flying in the sky.

Several hot air-balloons are already in the sky at sunrise in Luxor

Several hot air-balloons were already in the sky at sunrise in Luxor

Warming-Up

Before we got into a balloon basket, we warmed up first.

Tour group getting ready for hot air balloon ride in Luxor

Tour group warming up and getting ready for a hot air balloon ride in Luxor

Gas-Burners

The balloon was filled with air and then heated by gas-burners to get the balloon upright.

Balloon is filled with air which is then heated

Balloon is filled with air which is then heated

Hot Air is Light

Gas-burners are used for heating the air in balloons to make them light.

Gas-burners heat the air in the balloon which then rises.

Gas-burners heat the air in the balloon which then rises.

Three Cylinders of Gas

Three cylinders gas are used for heating the balloon.

Three cylinders of gas for heating hot air-balloon

Three cylinders of gas for heating hot air-balloone, 24 of us, got into a large basket and soon we were flying in the sky.

Large Basket

24 of us got into a large basket of the hot air balloon and soon we were going up in the sky, slowly.

24 tour-members going up in a hot air-balloon

24 tour-members going up in a hot air-balloon

Bakr, the Pilot of the Hot Air Balloon

The pilot of the balloon was Bakr from Hod Hod Soliman Company, Luxor. As we were flying over the fertile flood plain of River Nile and the historical Thebes Necropolis where graves of ancient Egyptian royal members and powerful nobles are sited, Bakr would point at the important sites below and beyond and tell the tour-members about them.

Bakr, the pilot of the hot air balloon

Bakr piloting the hot air-balloon

Bakr piloting the hot air-balloon

Hot air in the balloon makes the balloon rise

Hot air in the balloon makes the balloon rise

Hot air in the balloon making the balloon rise

Panoramic View of the Thebes Necropolis, Luxor

The panoramic view of the Thebes Necropolis and fertile flood plain of River Nile was breathtaking.

Panoramic view of the Thebes Necropolis from the hot air-balloon

Panoramic view of the Thebes Necropolis from the hot air-balloon is breathtaking.

Aerial View of Thebes Necropolis and Fertile Flood Plain of River Nile

Aerial view of Thebes Necropolis and fertile flood plain of River Nile

Aerial view of Thebes Necropolis and fertile flood plain of River Nile

Ruined Temples

There were a few temples which were already in ruin in the Thebes Necropolis. Among them was the ruined Temple of Ramesses III which we sighted.

Area view of the ruined Temple of Ramesses III in Thebes Necropolis, Luxor

Area view of the ruined Temple of Ramesses III in Thebes Necropolis, Luxor

Valley of the Queens

Looking further away we saw the Valley of the Queens where pharaohs’ wives were buried.

Valley of the Queens where Pharaohs' wives were buried in Thebes Necropolis, Luxor

Valley of the Queens where Pharaohs’ wives were buried in Thebes Necropolis, Luxor

Fertile Flood Plain

The aerial view of the fertile flood plain adjacent to the Thebes Necropolis was spectacular. It was richly cultivated and inhabited by farmers.

Aerial view of fertile flood plain of River Nile adjacent to Thebes Necropolis, Luxor

Aerial view of fertile flood plain of River Nile adjacent to Thebes Necropolis, Luxor

Landing

After flying for more than an hour in the sky and enjoying the awesome sights of the place, we finally landed, safely, on an empty land which was a couple of km away from the site where we lifted off. Then we were each given a certificate from Hod Hod Soliman Company that stated that we had flown in a hot air balloon.

Exhilarating Feeling

While I was on the ground, my exhilarating feeling of flying in the hot air balloon lingered on for awhile.

Tour Members receiving certificates of successful hot air balloon ride

Happy tour group receiving certificates of successful hot air-balloon flight in Luxor

Happy tour group receiving certificates of successful hot air-balloon flight in Luxor

Visiting Karnak Temple Complex

After the unforgettable hot air balloon experience, we went to an ancient temple complex located about 2 km north of Luxor town.

Karnak Temple Complex

Karnak Temple Complex consists of some temples that were built several thousand years ago. The temples are already in ruin but restoration works have been on-going.

Temple of Ramun-Ra, the Sun-God

There is one, Temple of Ramun-Ra, that has been partially restored and opened to public. It was dedicated to the Sun God, Ramun-Ra.

Model of the Temple of Ramun-Ra in the Karnak Temple Complex

A picture showing the model of the Temple of Ramun-Ra in the Karnak Temple Complex

A picture showing the model of the Temple of Ramun-Ra in the Karnak Temple Complex

Old Photo of the Aerial View of Temple of Ramun-Ra

An old photo showing an aerial view of the Temple of Amun-Ra in the Karnak Temple Complex, Luxor

An old photo showing an aerial view of the Temple of Amun-Ra in the Karnak Temple Complex, Luxor

The Front of the Temple of Ramun-Ra

The front of the Temple of Amun-Ra in the Karnak Temple Complex, Luxor and the Sphinx Avenue

The front of the Temple of Amun-Ra in the Karnak Temple Complex, Luxor and the Sphinx Avenue

Entrance to the Great Hypostyle Hall of the Temple of Ramun-Ra

Entrance to the Great Hypostyle Hall of the Temple of Amun-Ra

Entrance to the Great Hypostyle Hall of the Temple of Amun-Ra

Statues of Ramun-Ra and his daughter, Meri-Amun, at the entrance of the Great Hypostyle Hall of the Temple of Ramun-Ra

Statues of Amun-Ra and his daughter, Meri-Amun, at the entrance of the Great Hypostyle Hall of the Temple of Amun-Ra

Statues of Amun-Ra and his daughter, Meri-Amun, at the entrance of the Great Hypostyle Hall of the Temple of Amun-Ra

134 Columns in the Great Hypostyle Hall of the Temple of Ramun-Ra

134 tall columns in the Great Hypostyle Hall were built to support a stone roof of the Temple of Amun-Ra

134 tall columns in the Great Hypostyle Hall were built to support a stone roof of the Temple of Amun-Ra

Obelisk of Queen Hatshepsut at the Temple of Ramun-Ra

Obelisk of Queen Hatshepsut sited in between the 4th. and 5th. Pylons

Obelisk of Queen Hatshepsut sited in between the 4th. and 5th. Pylons

Obelisks of King Tuthmosis I and Queen Hatshepsut at the Temple of Ramun-Ra

Obelisk of Tuthmosis I on the right and Obelisk of Hatshepsut on the left at the Temple of Ramun-Ra

Obelisk of Tuthmosis I on the right and Obelisk of Hatshepsut on the left at the Temple of Ramun-Ra

A Pylon of the Karnak Temple Complex is Under Restoration

A pylon in Karnak Temple Complex is under restoration

A pylon in Karnak Temple Complex is under restoration

A Ruined Temple at the Karnak Temple Complex

A ruined temple in the compound of Karnak Temple Complex that cannot be restored.

A ruined temple in the compound of Karnak Temple Complex that cannot be restored.

A Relief of the Temple of Amun-Ra

A relief on a wall of the Temple of Amun-Ra in the Karmak Temple Complex, Luxor

A relief on a wall of the Temple of Amun-Ra in the Karmak Temple Complex, Luxor

Egyptian Hieroglyphs in the Temple of Amun-Ra

Egyptian hieroglyphs on a wall of the Temple of Amun-Ra in the Karnak Temple Complex, Luxor

Egyptian hieroglyphs on a wall of the Temple of Amun-Ra in the Karnak Temple Complex, Luxor

Sondos Papyrus

After the visit to the Karnak Temple Complex, we went to a shop, Sondos Papyrus in Luxor City. It was selling arts on papyrus papers.

Sondos Papyrus, a shop in Luxor, selling arts on papyrus papers

Sondos Papyrus, a shop in Luxor, selling arts on papyrus papers

(Continue in Part IV)

Previous / Home / Next

Egypt Travel Parts I to XII

Egypt Travel Part I :Salah el Din Citadel, Muhammad Ali Mosque, Tahrir Square and Egyptian Museum

Egypt Travel Part II :Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut Temple and Colossi of Memnon

Egypt Travel Part III :Hot Air Balloons and Karnak Temple Complex

Egypt Travel Part IV :Papyrus Paper-Making, Luxor Temple and Esna Lock

Egypt Travel Part V :Edfu Temple, Kom Ombo Temple and Galabia Party

Egypt Travel Part VI :Abu Simbel Temples and Nubian Village(Elephantine Island)

Egypt Travel Part VII :Unfinished Obelisk, Aswan High Dam and Philae Temple

Egypt Travel Part VIII:Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel, Moon Beach(Ras Sudr), and St. Catherine

Egypt Travel Part IX :Mount Sinai, Catherine’s Monastery and Sharm el Sheikh

Egypt Travel Part X  :Sharm el Sheikh

Egypt Travel Part XI :Cairo Food, Saqqara Step Pyramid Complex and Memphis

Egypt Travel Part XII :Great Giza Pyramid Complex and Khan el Khalil Bazaar

Egypt Travel IV: Papyrus Paper Making, Luxor Temple Complex and Esna Lock

April 1, 2018 by · Leave a Comment
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Egypt Travel IV: Papyrus Paper Making, Luxor Temple Complex and Esna Lock

Map showing the location of Luxor City and Esna Lock in Egypt

Map showing the location of Luxor City and Esna Lock in Egypt

Papyrus Paper-Making Lesson at Sondos Papyrus Shop in Luxor

After seeing the Karnak Temple Complex we visited a shop in Luxor City that was selling paintings on papyrus papers. It was called Sondos Papyrus.

When we entered the shop we were given a lesson on papyrus paper making by the owner. He showed us the method of doing it using simple tools as shown in the photos below.

Simple Tools for Papyrus Paper-Making

Simple tools used for making papyrus paper

Simple tools used for making papyrus paper

First he showed us papyrus stems.

Owner of Sondos Papyrus introduces a papyrus stem.

Owner of Sondos Papyrus introduces a papyrus stem.

The stems were cut into short pieces and soaked in a bowl of a dark liquid.

Papyrus stems are cut into short pieces and soaked.

Papyrus stems are cut into short pieces and soaked.

Then he cut the stems into thin strips.

Stems are cut into thin strips.

Stems are cut into thin strips.

The strips were flattened by a mallet.

Strips are flattened by a mallet.

Strips are flattened by a mallet.

He used a pin-roller to squeeze out the water in the flattened strips.

Water in strips are squeezed out by a pin roll.

Water in the strips is squeezed out by a pin roller.

Next, he said that the strips had to be soaked in water for six days to make them soft.

Strips are soaked in water for six days.

Strips are soaked in water for six days.

Arrangement of Papyrus Strips

He took out some papyrus strips that had already soaked for six days and arranged them vertically and horizontally on a flat sheet of rubber until they looked like a piece of paper.

Arranging strips vertically and horizontally on a flat board

Arranging strips vertically and horizontally on a flat board

Pressing Machine

He put the arranged strips in a machine and pressed out the water. He said that they would be left inside for six days when they would become a piece of paper.

Pressing the strips by a machine for six days

Pressing the water out of the strips by a machine and left inside for six days

Papyrus Paper

The gentleman took out a readily made papyrus paper and said that the strips would look like that piece of paper after six days

Six days later, the strips stick to each other and become a piece of paper.

Six days later, the strips stick together and become a piece of paper.

Writing and Painting

The papyrus paper can be used for writing and painting. It was used by ancient Egyptian rulers.

Below are some of the paintings drawn on papyrus papers which were displayed in the shop and for sale.

“Sphinx”

Painting of a mythical creature, "Sphinx"

Painting of a mythical creature, “Sphinx”

“Pharaoh”

Painting of a pharaoh

Painting of a pharaoh

“Tree of Life”

Painting of "Tree of Life"

Painting of “Tree of Life”

“Goddesses”

Painting of "Goddesses"

Painting of “Goddesses”

“Chariot”

Painting of "Chariot"

Painting of “Chariot”

“Ancient Egyptian Deities”

Painting of "Ancient Egyptian Deities"

Painting of “Ancient Egyptian Deities”

“Hunting”

Painting of "Hunting"

Painting of “Hunting”

“Abu-Simbel Temples”

Painting of "Abu-Simbel Temples"

Painting of “Abu-Simbel Temples”

Visiting Luxor Temple Complex

Having spent an hour at Sondos Papyrus shop, we went to a historical site near Luxor City and it is known as Luxor Temple Complex.

Luxor Temple Complex

Luxor Temple Complex was built by two kings, Ramessess II(1290-1224 B.C.) and Amenhotep III(1391-1353 B.C.). Later, the Roman Emperor, Diocletlan(244-312 A.D.), built a fortress round it in the late 3rd. Century A.D.. Then churches were built at the Luxor Temple Complex.

Ticket to enter the Luxor Temple Complex

Ticket to visit the Luxor Temple,Luxor

Ticket to visit the Luxor Temple,Luxor

Temple of Ramesses II

The Temple of Ramesses II was one of the temple we visited at the Luxor Temple Complex.

Below are some photos showing parts of the Temple of Ramesses II

Facade or Pylon of the Temple of Ramesses II(1279-1213 B.C.)

Facade of the Temple of Ramesses II(1279-1213 B.C.) in the Luxor Temple Complex

Facade of the Temple of Ramesses II(1279-1213 B.C.) at the Luxor Temple Complex

Entrance to the Temple of Ramesses II flanked by the statues of Ramesses II at the Lixor Temple Complex

Entrance to the Temple of Ramesses II flanked by the statues of Ramesses II in Luxor Temple Complex

Entrance to the Temple of Ramesses II flanked by the statues of Ramesses II at Luxor Temple Complex

Obelisk of King Ramesses II(1279-1213)

There were actually two obelisks of King Ramesses II at the temple entrance. But only one is left and the other is kept in Paris, France.

The Obelisk of Ramesses II on the left and the missing Obelisk of Luxor on the right(now in Paris, France) at the entrance of the Temple of Ramesses II

The Obelisk of Ramesses II on the left and the missing one on the right(now in Paris, France) at the entrance of the Temple of Ramesses II

Courtyard in the foreground and Tripartite Shrine in the background of the Temple of Ramesses II

Courtyard of Ramesses II in the foreground and the Tripartite Shrine in the background in the Temple of Ramesses II

Courtyard of Ramesses II in the foreground and the Tripartite Shrine in the background in the Temple of Ramesses II

Colonnade Hall of Amenhotep III(Reign:1391-1353 B.C.) and Tutankhamun(Reign:1332-1323 B.C.)

Courtyard of Ramesses II in the foreground and Colonnade Hall of Amenhotep III and Tutankhamun in the background

Courtyard of Ramesses II in the foreground and Colonnade Hall of Amenhotep III and Tutankhamun in the background

Columns and Statues in the Courtyard of Amenhotep III, LuxorTemple Complex

Columns and statues in the Courtyard of Amenhotep III, Luxor Temple Complex

Columns and statues in the Courtyard of Amenhotep III, Luxor Temple Complex

Stone Head of Ramesses II in the Temple of Ramesses II, Luxor Temple Complex

A stone head of King Ramesses II in the Temple of Ramesses II, Luxor

A stone head of King Ramesses II in the Temple of Ramesses II, Luxor

Statues of King Amenhotep and his wife, Tiye

Statues of King Amenhotep III and his wife, Tiye, in the Courtyard of Amenhotep III, Luxor

Statues of King Amenhotep III and his wife, Tiye, in the Courtyard of Amenhotep III, Luxor

Entrance to the Amenhotep III Sanctuary

Entrance to the Amenhotep III Sanctuary

Entrance to the Amenhotep III Sanctuary

Amun’s or Sun God’s Boat

Entrance to a chamber that houses a boat of Amun

Entrance to a chamber that houses a boat of Amun

Mosque of Abu el-Haggag

There is a mosque in the compound of Ramesses II Temple at the Luxor Temple Complex. Known as Abu el-Haggag, it was built on a ruined Coptic church of the 6th. Century A.D..

Mosque of Abu el-Haggag built on a demolished Coptic church in the Luxor Temple Complex

Mosque of Abu el-Haggag built on a demolished Coptic church in the Luxor Temple Complex

50000 Stone Blocks 

There are over 500 000 stone blocks outside the temple of Ramesses II which are from the walls of the ruined Temple of Ramesses II and other temples too.

Blockyard of Luxor Temple Complex has a collection of over 50000 syones that were used for the walls of the temples in the temple complex

Blockyard of Luxor Temple Complex has a collection of over 50000 stones that are from the walls of the ruined temples at the Luxor Temple Complex

Sailing to Edfu

In the evening we left Luxor City and went back to our cruise boat on River Nile. Soon our boat set sail for Edfu which is 60 km south of Luxor.

River Nile Pedlars

On the way, we saw some pedlars on their small boats tied to our moving large boat trying to sell their textile products to the passengers.

A pedlar trying to sell a table-cloth to a passenger on a cruise boat

A pedlar trying to sell a table-cloth to a passenger on a cruise boat

I was fascinated by the way those pedlars doing their sales.

Pedlar’s Sale-Method

A pedlar will call passengers on a cruise boat, loudly. If he spots one looking down at him, he will strike a friendly conversation with him/her and then show his product. Before the passenger can give him a positive or negative answer, the latter throws his product in a waterproof plastic bag to him/her with accuracy. He will ask the person to have a look at the product, put the money in the same bag and throw it back to him if the price is acceptable to the passenger. Otherwise, he has to throw the product back to the pedlar.

Cruise boats sailing on River Nile from Luxor to Aswan 

Cruise boats on River Nile heading for Aswan from Luxor in Egypt

Cruise boats on River Nile heading for Aswan from Luxor in Egypt

Esna Lock

To go to Edfu from Luxor our cruise boat had go through a lock at Esna in order to get to the higher water level of River Nile.

Esna Lock Pedlars

At the Esna Lock, pedlars in small boats tried to sell their goods to us. We were amazed that they could throw their goods to us while we were on the top deck of our boat which was about 13 metres above the water level!

Two Pedlars in Esna Lock with their goods

Two pedlars in a boat in Esnu lock

Two pedlars in a boat in Esna lock

A tour-member caught a pedlar’s product but she threw it back to him as she did not need it.

A tour-member caught a product thrown to her by a pedlar 10 metres below

A tour-member caught a product thrown to her by a pedlar 13 metres below

Lower and Upper Gates of Locks

The Esna Lock allows two cruise boats to enter at a time. The photos below show the working of the lock.

Opening of Lower Gate

The lower gate opens, slowly, and the water flows out.

The lower gate of the Esna Lock opens slowly to allow the cruise boat to enter.

The lower gate of the Esna Lock opens slowly to allow the cruise boat to enter.

Lower Gate Opening Wide

When the lower gate is wide, the boat enters the lock.

The lower gate opens wide for the cruise boat to enter.

The lower gate opens wide for the cruise boat to enter.

Cruise Boat entering the Esna Lock

The boat enters the lock, slowly.

Cruise boat entering the Esna Lock

Cruise boat entering the Esna Lock

Opening of Upper Gate

When the boat is inside the lock, the lower gate closes. Then the upper gate opens to allow water to flow into the lock raising the boat.

This upper gate opens when lower gate closes.

This upper gate opens when lower gate closes.

Boat Exiting Lock

When the water level inside the lock is the same as the outside, the boat sails out of the lock and continues its journey to the south.

When water levels inside and outside the lock are the same, the cruise boat exits.

When water levels inside and outside the lock are the same, the cruise boat exits.

Two boats are allowed to enter the lock at a time

Esna Lock allows two cruise boats to enter at a time.

Esna Lock allows two cruise boats to enter at the same time.

40 Minutes in the Lock

A cruise boat will take about 40 minutes to pass through the Esna Lock.

After passing through the lock, our boat continued the journey to Edfu in the south.

Before dawn broke, we reached Edfu.

(Continue in Egypt Travel Part V)

Previous / Home / Next

Egypt Travel Parts I to XII

Egypt Travel Part I :Salah el Din Citadel, Muhammad Ali Mosque, Tahrir Square and Egyptian Museum

Egypt Travel Part II :Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut Temple and Colossi of Memnon

Egypt Travel Part III :Hot Air Balloons and Karnak Temple Complex

Egypt Travel Part IV :Papyrus Paper-Making, Luxor Temple and Esna Lock

Egypt Travel Part V :Edfu Temple, Kom Ombo Temple and Galabia Party

Egypt Travel Part VI :Abu Simbel Temples and Nubian Village(Elephantine Island)

Egypt Travel Part VII :Unfinished Obelisk, Aswan High Dam and Philae Temple

Egypt Travel Part VIII:Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel, Moon Beach(Ras Sudr), and St. Catherine

Egypt Travel Part IX :Mount Sinai, Catherine’s Monastery and Sharm el Sheikh

Egypt Travel Part X  :Sharm el Sheikh

Egypt Travel Part XI :Cairo Food, Saqqara Step Pyramid Complex and Memphis

Egypt Travel Part XII :Great Giza Pyramid Complex and Khan el Khalil Bazaar

Egypt Travel Part V: Temple, Kom Ombo Temple and Galabia Party

April 1, 2018 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Egypt 

 Egypt Travel Part V: Temple, Kom Ombo Temple and Galabia Party

Map showing the location of Edfu and Kom Ombo

Map showing the location of Edfu and Kom Ombo

Map showing the location of Edfu and Kom Ombo

Day 4   Saturday, 16 December 2017

After breakfast on the cruise boat at Edfu, we took Egyptian horse-drawn carriages, kaleshes, passed through the town of Edfu and stopped at a temple known as Edfu Temple.

Tour group’s cruise on River Nile at Edfu, Egypt

Tour group cruise boat on River Nile, Edfu, Egypt

Tour group’s cruise boat on River Nile, Edfu, Egypt

Tour group riding horse-drawn carriages, “kalesha”, from their cruise boat to the Edfu Temple or Temple of Horus

Horse-drawn carriages bringing tourists from cruise boats to Edfu Temple

Tour group riding horse-drawn carriages from their cruise boat to the Edfu Temple or Temple of Horus

Ticket to enter Edfu Temple or Temple of Horus

Ticket to visit Edfu Temple, Edfu, Egypt

Ticket to visit the Edfu Temple, Edfu, Egypt

Edfu Temple or Temple of Horus

Edfu Temple was built in the Ptolemaic Period(305-30 B.C.) for a falcon god known as Horus. Hence, it is also known as Temple of Horus.

Below are some photos of the Edfu Temple or Temple of Horus:

Facade or Pylon of the Edfu Temple

Facade of the Temple of Horus, Edfu, Egypt

Facade of the Temple of Horus, Edfu, Egypt

Tour group at the Edfu Temple

Tour group visiting the Temple of Horus, Edfu, Egypt

Tour group visiting the Temple of Horus, Edfu, Egypt

Statue of Horus on the left entrance of the Edfu Temple

Statue of Horus on the left of the entrance to the Temple of Horus

Statue of Horus on the left of the entrance to the Temple of Horus

Statue of Horus on the entrance of the Edfu Temple

Statue of Horus on the right of the entrance to the Temple of Horus

Statue of Horus on the right of the entrance to the Temple of Horus

Tour group in the Peristyle Hall of the Edfu Temple or Temple of Horus

Tour group in Peristyle Hall facing the Hypostyle Hall of the Temple of Horus

Tour group in Peristyle Hall facing the Hypostyle Hall of the Temple of Horus

Peristyle Hall in the foreground and Pylon of the Edfu Temple in the background

Peristyle Hall in the foreground and Pylon in the background

Peristyle Hall in the foreground and Pylon in the background

Passage from Hall of Offerings to the Horus Sanctuary in the Edfu Temple

Passage from Hall of Offerings to Horus Sanctuary, Temple of Horus, Edfu

Passage from Hall of Offerings to Horus Sanctuary, Temple of Horus, Edfu

Horus Sanctuary in the Edfu Temple. It houses a sacred boat of Horus in the rear of the Edfu Temple.

Horus Sanctuary houses a sacred boat in the rear of the Temple of Horus

Horus Sanctuary houses a sacred boat in the rear of the Temple of Horus

Blackened ceiling caused by arson in the Hypostyle Hall in the middle of the Edfu Temple

Blackened ceiling in the Hypostyle Hall in the middle of Temple of Horus caused by arson

Blackened ceiling in the Hypostyle Hall in the middle of Temple of Horus caused by arson

Egyptian tour-guide, Khaled, explaining the relief on a wall of the Edfu Temple

Tour guide, Khaled, explaining the relief on a wall of Temple Horus, Edfu

Tour guide, Khaled, explaining the relief on a wall of Temple Horus, Edfu

A relief on the back of the pylon of the Edfu Temple

A relief on the back of the pylon of the Temple of Horus, Edfu

A relief on the back of the pylon of the Temple of Horus, Edfu

Another relief on a wall of the Edfu Temple

A relief on a wall of the Temple of Horus, Edfu

A relief on a wall of the Temple of Horus, Edfu

Hieroglyphs on a wall of the Edfu Temple

Heiroglyphs on a wall of Temple of Horus, Edfu

Hieiroglyphs on a wall of Temple of Horus, Edfu

Writer’ wife waiting in a “kalesha”(horse-drawn carriage) for other tour-members to return from the Temple of Horus

Writer's wife waiting near the Temple to go back to the cruise boat in Edfu

Writer’s wife on a “kalesha” waiting near the Temple of Horus for other members to go back to the cruise boat on River Nile at Edfu

Departure for Kom Ombo

After visiting the Edfu Temple for a couple of hours, we rode on “kaleshas” back to our cruise boat. Before noon our boat set sail again. It was sailing on River Nile further south to another historical place known as Kom Ombo.

Kom Ombo

On arrival at Kom Ombo in the afternoon, we disembarked the boat and walked a short distance to a temple which was on a low hill. It was known as Kom Ombo Temple.

Cruise Boat stopping at Kom Ombo

Cruise boats stopping at Kom Ombo for tourists to visit Kom Ombo Temple

Cruise boats stopping at Kom Ombo for tourists to visit Kom Ombo Temple

A ticket to enter Kom Ombo Temple and Crocodile Museum

Ticket to visit Kom Ombo Temple

Ticket to visit Kom Ombo Temple

Temple for Sobek and Horus

Known as Kom Ombo Temple, it was built in the Ptolemaic Dynasty(180-47 B.C.) for the Crocodile God, Sobek, and two more gods, and the Falcon God, Horus, and two more other gods.

Kom Ombo Temple built on a low hill near River Nile

Kom Ombo Temple on a low hill near River Nile

Kom Ombo Temple built on a low hill near River Nile

Kom Ombo Temple was built for two sets of Gods

Kom Ombo Temple was built for two sets of gods, Horus and others, and Sobek and others

Kom Ombo Temple was built for two sets of gods, Horus and others, and Sobek and different gods

Side view of Kom Ombo Temple

Side view of Kom Ombo Temple

Side view of Kom Ombo Temple

Passage through Kom Ombo Temple

Passage through Kom Ombo Temple

Passage through Kom Ombo Temple

A relief showing medical information in Kom Ombo Temple

A relief in Kom Ombo showing medical instruments and other information

A relief in Kom Ombo showing medical instruments and other information

A relief showing a priest communicating with Sobek, the crocodile god. in the Kom Ombo Temple

A wall-relief showing a priest communicating with the crocodile god, Sobek

A wall-relief showing a priest communicating with the crocodile god, Sobek

A large stone block of Horus and Sobek outside the Kom Ombo Temple

A large block of stone showing a relief of the falcon god, Horus, facing the crocodile god, Sobek

A large block of stone showing a relief of the falcon god, Horus, facing the crocodile god, Sobek

A large stone block with hieroglyphs outside the Kom Ombo Temple

Large stone block with information using heiroglyphs outside Kom Ombo Temple

Large stone block with information using hieroglyphs outside Kom Ombo Temple

Top columns lying outside the Kom Ombo Temple

Tops of columns lying on the ground outside Kom Ombo Temple

Tops of columns lying on the ground outside Kom Ombo Temple

Nilometer outside the Kom Ombo Temple

It was used for measuring the level and checking the clarity of the water from River Nile

Nilometer near Kom Ombo Temple was used for measuring the level and clarity of the water from River Nile

Nilometer near Kom Ombo Temple was used for measuring the level and checking the clarity of the water from River Nile

Crocodile Museum

At the foot of the hill there was a crocodile museum that housed some preserved crocodiles and live ones too.

A crocodile museum at the foot of the hill where Kom Ombo Temple is located

A crocodile museum at the foot of the hill where Kom Ombo Temple is located

Returning to the Cruise Boat

After visiting the Kom Ombo Temple and the crocodile museum, we walked back to our cruise boat.

“Galabia” Party Time on Cruise Boat

After dinner, it was fun and game time at a party for the tour group on the cruise boat. Some tour members dressed in Egyptian long clothes known as “galabia”. Koh, his wife and daughter were the most well-dressed in “galabia”.(see photo below)

The most well-dressed family in “galabia” was Koh family

Koh family members were the most well-dressed tour members for the "galabia" party in the evening

Koh family was the most well-dressed family for the “galabia” party in the evening

Dances and Games

Our Egyptian tour-guide, Khaled, encouraged us to dance. Then he conducted a few fun games.

A Hilarious Game

One of the games had us in stitches. In that hilarious game, four male members had a small ball each that was hung on a string tied around his waist. They had to hit another ball to the finishing line on the floor. The player who got the ball to the finishing line first would be the winner. The winner for that game was Koh.

Some photos below showing the enjoyable activities at the “galabia” party”

Hitting a ball with another ball to the finishing line

Hit the ball to the finishing line

Four male tour members trying to hit their balls to the finishing line first

Dancing

Tour members enjoying dancing

Tour members enjoying dancing

“Spoon Game”

Tour members playing a spoon game

Tour members playing a spoon game

After the party, we all retirned to our rooms on the cruise boat. The boat was sailing south to Aswan from Kom Ombo at night. The distance between them is 48 km.

Arrival at Aswan and Departure to Abu Simbel

In the early morning, our boat reached Aswan. After breakfast, we left the boat and travelled by coach through Sahara Desert to a place in the south known as Abu Simbel, another historical place.

(Continue in Egypt Travel Part VI)

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Egypt Travel Parts I to XII

Egypt Travel Part I :Salah el Din Citadel, Muhammad Ali Mosque, Tahrir Square and Egyptian Museum

Egypt Travel Part II :Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut Temple and Colossi of Memnon

Egypt Travel Part III :Hot Air Balloons and Karnak Temple Complex

Egypt Travel Part IV :Papyrus Paper-Making, Luxor Temple and Esna Lock

Egypt Travel Part V :Edfu Temple, Kom Ombo Temple and Galabia Party

Egypt Travel Part VI :Abu Simbel Temples and Nubian Village(Elephantine Island)

Egypt Travel Part VII :Unfinished Obelisk, Aswan High Dam and Philae Temple

Egypt Travel Part VIII:Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel, Moon Beach(Ras Sudr), and St. Catherine

Egypt Travel Part IX :Mount Sinai, Catherine’s Monastery and Sharm el Sheikh

Egypt Travel Part X  :Sharm el Sheikh

Egypt Travel Part XI :Cairo Food, Saqqara Step Pyramid Complex and Memphis

Egypt Travel Part XII :Great Giza Pyramid Complex and Khan el Khalil Bazaar

Egypt Travel Part VI: Abu Simbel Temples and Nubian Village(Elephantine Island)

April 1, 2018 by · Leave a Comment
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Egypt Travel Part VI: Abu Simbel Temples and Nubian Village(Elephantine Island)

Day 5   Sunday, 17 Dec 2017

Aswan to Abu Simbel by Coach

Early in the morning, we left our cruise boat on River Nile in Aswan and travelled south to Abu Simbel by coach to visit a temple complex, Abu Simbel Temple Complex, that consisted of two temples, the Great Temple and Small Temple.

Ticket to visit the Abu Simbel Temple Complex

Ticket for visiting Abu Simbel Temples

Ticket for visiting Abu Simbel Temple Complex

Tour group posing a photo in front of the Great Temple on 17 Dec 2017

In front of the temple there are four large statues of King Ramesses II at different ages.

Tour group visiting Abu Simbel Temples on 17 Dec 2017

Tour group visiting Abu Simbel Temples on 17 Dec 2017

The Great Temple was built for three deitises, Ra-Harakhty, Ptah and Amun, and King Ramesses II(1303-1213 B.C.)

Writer and wife at Abu Simbel Temples

Writer and wife at Abu Simbel Temples

The Abu Simbel Temple Complex consists of the Great Temple and Small Temple.

They were built in the 1264-1244 B.C. period during the reign of King Ramesses II.

Two Abu Simbel Temples: Great Temple and Small Temple

Two Abu Simbel Temples: Great Temple and Small Temple

The Great Temple of the Abu Simbel Temple Complex was built for three deities and King Ramesses II

The Great Temple was built for three deities and King Ramesses II.

The Great Temple was built for three deities and King Ramesses II.

The Small Temple of the Abu Simbel Temple Complex was built for Goddess Hathor and King Ramesses II’s consort, Nefertari.

The Small Temple was built for Goddess Hathor and King Ramesses II's consort, Nefertari.

The Small Temple was built for Goddess Hathor and King Ramesses II’s consort, Nefertari.

Writer holding an “ankh”(a cross with a handle) that symbolises life at the entrance of the Great Temple

Writer holding "ankh" that symbolises life at the entrance of the Great Temple

Writer holding an “ankh” that symbolises life at the entrance of the Great Temple

Relocation of the Abu Simbel Temple Complex

Lake Nasser which is 200 metres from the Abu Simbel Temple Complex is a large artificial lake created by the construction of Aswan High Dam. It causes the relocation of the Abu Simbel Temple Complex to the present high ground in the period of 1964-1968 during which the dam was being built.

Lake Nasser. a large artificial lake, created by the construction of the Aswan High Dam

 

Lake Nasser, an artificial lake, created by the construction of the Aswan High Dam

Lake Nasser, an artificial lake, created by the construction of the Aswan High Dam

 

Returning to Aswan

Having seen the two temples of the Abu Simbel Temple Complex, we travelled back to our cruise boat at Aswan where we had lunch.

Tour group returned to boat to have lunch after a visit to Aswan High Dam

Tour group returned to boat to have lunch after a visit to Abu Simbel Temple Complex

Felucca Sailing Boat Ride on River Nile

In the afternoon we boarded a wooden sailing boat known as felucca. It has a triangular sail known as lateen.

Feluccas sailing on River Nile, Aswan

Feluccas sailing on River Nile, Aswan

Feluccas sailing on River Nile, Aswan

Tour group boarding a felucca to experience the small wooden boat ride

Tour group boarded a felucca to experience the ride

Tour group boarded a felucca to experience the small wooden boat ride.

Singing

As our felucca was sailing along River Nile, two crew men sang a few simple English songs and we joined them, too. After an hour on the felucca, we boarded a motor-boat that brought us to a Nubian village on Elephantine Island on River Nile and near Aswan City.

Two felucca crewmen were entertaining the tour group with simple English songs. The latter then joined them.

Two felucca men entertaining the tour group with simple English songs

Two felucca crewmen were entertaining the tour group with simple English songs. The latter then joined them.

Mausoleum of Aga Khan III

On the way to a Nubian Village, we saw a pink building on a high bank of River Nile. It was Mausoleum of Aga Khan III built in 1959.

Sir Aga Khan III or Sultan Muhammed Shah(1877-1957) was the 48h. Iman of the Nizari Ismaili Community in Egypt. He died in 1957 and two years later he was buried in the mausoleum there requested by one of his wives.

Mausoleum of Aga Khan III sitting on a high bank of River Nile, Aswan

Mausoleum of Aga Khan as seen from a motor-boat on River Nile

Mausoleum of Aga Khan on a high bank as seen from a motor-boat on River Nile

Nubian Village

Soon we reached the Nubian village. It was a small village with a few streets lined with stalls and shops. Most of them were selling souvenirs ranging from apparels to home-made jewellery.

A Nubian village on Elephantine Island

A Nubian village on Elephantine Island as seen from River Nile, Aswan

A Nubian village on Elephantine Island as seen from River Nile, Aswan

Tour group arriving at a Nubian village on Elephantine Island, Aswan

 

Tour group arriving at a Nubian village jetty

Tour group arriving at a Nubian village on Elephantine Island, Aswan

Figurines of Nubian people for sale at a stall in the village

A souvenir stall selling figurines of Nubian people

A souvenir stall selling figurines of Nubian people in a village

Home-made jewellery for sale

A stall selling colourful home-made jewellery

A stall selling colourful home-made jewellery

A grocery shop selling coloured spices in the village

A grocery shop selling coloured spices

A grocery shop selling coloured spices

A grocery selling a wide variety of daily necessities in the village

A grocery shop in the Nubian village

A grocery selling a wide variety of daily necessities in the Nubian village

A Small School

In the village, we entered a class-room in a small school and a Nubian teacher taught us some Arabic words.

A small Nubian village school on Elephantine Island, Aswan

A small Nubian village school on Elephantine Island, Aswan

A small Nubian village school on Elephantine Island, Aswan

Tour group learning some Arabic words at a Nubian small village school, on Elephantine Island, Aswan

A Nubian teacher teaching tour group some Arabic words at a village school

A Nubian teacher teaching tour group some Arabic words at a village school

Crocodiles

Then we visited a senior villager’s house where he treated us to some home-made bread and showed us his prized possessions which were crocodiles. He encouraged us to choose one for a camera-shot. A larger one could be seen in a locked cage.

Tour group tasting Nubian home-made bread at a senior villager’s house

Tour group tasting Nubian bread at a senior's house

Tour group tasting Nubian bread at a senior villager’s house

The senior villager encouraged the group tour to choose a crocodile on a table for a camera-shot.

Tour group were encouraged to choose a small or big crocodile for a camera shot

Tour group were encouraged to choose a crocodile for a camera shot

A brave tour-member holding a baby crocodile for a camera-shot while the senior villager was watching her

A brave tour member holding a baby crocodile for a camera shot while the owner was watching

A brave tour member holding a baby crocodile for a camera shot while the senior villager was watching her

A young, brave tour-member holding a baby crocodile for a camera-shot

A young, brave tour member holding a baby crocodile fot a camera shot

A young, brave tour member holding a baby crocodile for a camera shot

Tour group watching a large crocodile in a locked cage

Tour group watching a large crocodile in a locked cage

Tour group watching a large crocodile in a locked cage

Night scenes of Nubian village in the foreground and Aswan City in the background

Night scene of Nubian village in the foreground and Aswan city in the background

Night scenes of Nubian village in the foreground and Aswan city in the background

A brightly-lit business street in the Nubian village

A brightly-lit business street in the Nubian village

A brightly-lit business street in the Nubian village

Another brightly-lit business street in the Nubian village

Another brightly-lit business street in the Nubian village

Another brightly-lit business street in the Nubian village

Tour Group leaving the Nubian Village

In the evening we left the Nubian Village and went back by a motor boat to our cruise boat to rest.

Tour group leaving the Nubian village by a motor-boat

Tour group leaving the Nubian village in a motor-boat

Tour group leaving the Nubian village in a motor-boat

(Continue in Egypt Travel Part VII)

Previous / Home / Next

Egypt Travel Parts I to XII

Egypt Travel Part I :Salah el Din Citadel, Muhammad Ali Mosque, Tahrir Square and Egyptian Museum

Egypt Travel Part II :Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut Temple and Colossi of Memnon

Egypt Travel Part III :Hot Air Balloons and Karnak Temple Complex

Egypt Travel Part IV :Papyrus Paper-Making, Luxor Temple and Esna Lock

Egypt Travel Part V :Edfu Temple, Kom Ombo Temple and Galabia Party

Egypt Travel Part VI :Abu Simbel Temples and Nubian Village(Elephantine Island)

Egypt Travel Part VII :Unfinished Obelisk, Aswan High Dam and Philae Temple

Egypt Travel Part VIII:Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel, Moon Beach(Ras Sudr), and St. Catherine

Egypt Travel Part IX :Mount Sinai, Catherine’s Monastery and Sharm el Sheikh

Egypt Travel Part X  :Sharm el Sheikh

Egypt Travel Part XI :Cairo Food, Saqqara Step Pyramid Complex and Memphis

Egypt Travel Part XII :Great Giza Pyramid Complex and Khan el Khalil Bazaar

Egypt Travel Part VII: Unfinished Obelisk, Aswan High Dam and Philae Temple

April 1, 2018 by · Leave a Comment
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Egypt Travel Part VII: Unfinished Obelisk, Aswan High Dam and Philae Temple

Day 6  Monday, 18 Dec 2017

Unfinished Obelisk in Aswan

In the morning we left our cruise boat at Aswan and travelled to a place near the city to see an unfinished obelisk which was left attached to the bedrock in the quarries of granite over 3000 years ago. It was abandoned due to the formation of cracks in it. It was believed that the obelisk was ordered by Queen Hatshepsut(1508-1459 B.C.).

Ticket to see an unfinished obelisk in Aswan

Ticket to see unfinished obelisk in Aswan

Ticket to see an unfinished obelisk in Aswan

Office and entrance to see the unfinished obelisk in Aswan

Unfinished Obelisk office and entrance in Aswan, Egypt

Unfinished Obelisk office and entrance in Aswan, Egypt

A short video clip about the unfinished obelisk was presented in the Office

A room showing visitors a short video clip about the unfinished obelisk

A room showing visitors a short video clip about the unfinished obelisk

The unfinished obelisk is located on a low hill of granite near the office, Aswan

 

Location of the unfinished obelisk

Location of the unfinished obelisk

Tour group walking up a low hill to see the unfinished obelisk

Tour group walking up a low hill to see the unfinished obelisk

Tour group walking up a low hill to see the unfinished obelisk

Tour group looking at the unfinished obelisk which was already cracked

Tour group looking at the unfinished obelisk

Tour group looking at the unfinished obelisk which was already cracked

The unfinished obelisk that was abandoned over 3000 years ago due to the formation of cracks in it

The unfinished obelisk that was abandoned over 3000 years ago

The unfinished obelisk that was abandoned over 3000 years ago

The unfinished obelisk was abandoned by Queen Hatshepsut(1508-1458) because it had formed cracks

The unfinished obelisk ordered by Queen Hatshepsut(1508-1458 B.C.) was abandoned over 3000 years ago due to the formation of cracks in it.

The unfinished obelisk ordered by Queen Hatshepsut(1508-1458 B.C.) was abandoned over 3000 years ago due to the formation of cracks in it.

Writer, wife, brother and sister-in-law at the site of the unfinished obelisk

Writer, wife, brother and sister-in-law at the Unfinished Obelisk site

Writer, wife, brother and sister-in-law at the Unfinished Obelisk site

Tour members, Peter Lim, and family were at the site, too.

Peter Lim and his happy family at the Unfinished Obelisk site, Aswan, Egypt

Peter Lim and his happy family at the unfinished obelisk site, Aswan, Egypt

Visiting Aswan High Dam

After seeing  the unfinished but cracked obelisk, we travelled on the road to a large dam known as Aswan High Dam. We entered the dam area with a ticket. It was heavily guarded by soldiers.

Ticket to visit Aswan High Dam, Egypt

Ticket to visit Aswan High Dam

Ticket to visit Aswan High Dam

Purposes of Aswan High Dam

The dam was built across River Nile in Aswan in 1960-1970 period. It controls flooding, provides water for irrigation and generates hydro-electricity for industries.

Dam Dimensions

The dam is 111 metres high, 3830 metres long and 980 metres wide at its base.

2100 MW of Electricity

The large lake created by the dam is known as Lake Nasser on one side(south) and the water of the lake flows through the dam power stations into River Nile on the other side(north) generating 2100 MW of electricity.

Visitors at the Aswan High Dam

Visitors at the Aswan High Dam, Egypt

Visitors at the Aswan High Dam, Egypt

Lake Nasser, a large artificial lake, was created by the construction of the Aswan High Dam. It covers a surface area of 5250 sq. km.

Lake Nasser, an artificial lake created by the construction of the Aswan High Dam in Egypt

Lake Nasser, an artificial lake created by the construction of the Aswan High Dam in Egypt

Water from Lake Nasser flows through the dam and power stations into River Nile in the north

River Nile in the north of the Aswan High Dam

River Nile in the north of the Aswan High Dam

Diagram showing water flowing from Lake Nasser through the dam to the power stations and then to River Nile

Diagram showing water flowing from Lake Nasser to the power-stations

Diagram showing water flowing from Lake Nasser to the power-stations and then to River Nile

Diagram showing the power stations that can generate hydro-electricity of 2100 MW capacity

Diagram showing water flowing from Lake Nasser to the power stations generating hydro-electricity of capacity 2100 MW

Diagram showing water flowing from Lake Nasser to the power stations generating hydro-electricity of capacity of 2100 MW

Writer and wife at the Aswan High Dam, Egypt

Writer and wife at the Aswan High Dam in Egypt

Writer and wife at the Aswan High Dam in Egypt

Visiting Philae Temple or Temple of Isis on Agilkia Island

Then we left the Aswan High Dam and moved on to another place to see an ancient temple. We had to take a motor-boat to a tiny island, Agilkia Island, in the Lake of Nasser. That temple is called Philae Temple or Temple of Isis. It was relocated to that island before its original site nearby was submerged by Lake Nasser in the 1970s.

Ptolemy II(Reign:285-246 B.C.)

The temple was constructed by Ptolemy II when he ruled Ptolemaic Egypt from 285 until 246 B.C. It was dedicated to Goddess Isis who was the wife of Osiris and mother of Horus. More parts were added to the main temple later by other Ptolemaic kings. Traces of the work done by some Roman emperors were discovered at the temple.

The Philae Temple or Temple of Isis was abandoned in the 6th. Century due to the arrival of Christianity and Islam.

Tour Group taking a motorboat from the Marina Philae Temple Jetty to Agilkia Island

Tour group taking a motor-boat to Agilkia Island from the Marina Philae Temple jetty in Aswan

Tour group taking a motor-boat to Agilkia Island from the Marina Philae Temple jetty in Aswan

Philae Temple or Temple of Isis is now on Agilkia Island in Aswan

Philae Temple or Temple of Isis on Agilkia Island in Aswan

Philae Temple or Temple of Isis on Agilkia Island in Aswan

Pylon or Facade of Philae Temple or Temple of Isis

Pylon or facade of Philae Temple of Temple of Isis on Agilkia Island, Aswan

Pylon or facade of Philae Temple or Temple of Isis on Agilkia Island, Aswan

Left Colonnades of Philae Temple or Temple of Isis

A row of colonnades on the left of the Temple of Isis

A row of colonnades on the left of the Temple of Philae or Isis

Right Colonnades of Philae Temple or Temple of Isis

A row of colonnades on the right of the Temple of Isis

A row of colonnades on the right of the Temple of Philae or Isis

Entrance of Sanctuary of Goddess Isis

Entrance to the Sanctuary of Goddess Isis

Entrance of the Sanctuary of Goddess Isis

Sanctuary of Goddess Isis

The sanctuary of Goddess Isis

The sanctuary of Goddess Isis

Egyptian Tour Guide talking about the Philae Temple or Temple of Isis to the Tour Group

Egyptian tour guide, Khaled, telling the tour group about the Temple of Isis

Egyptian tour guide, Khaled, telling the tour group about the Temple of Isis

A relief on a temple wall showing the figures of Goddess Isis

A ruined relief at the Temple of Isis showing figures of Goddess Isis

A relief on a wall of the Temple of Isis showing figures of Goddess Isis

A defaced relief showing Goddess Isis watching a priest treating a sick person

A relief at the Temple of Isis showing Goddess Isis watching a priest treating a sick person

A relief at the Temple of Isis showing Goddess Isis watching a priest treating a sick person

A relief showing a priest offering food to Goddess Isis

A relief at the Temple of Isis showing a priest offering food to Goddess Isis

A relief at the Temple of Isis showing a priest offering food to Goddess Isis

A relief showing a priest worshipping Goddess Isis

A relief showing a priest worshipping Goddess Isis

A relief showing a priest worshipping Goddess Isis

Trajan’s Kiosk near the Temple of Isis was built by a Roman emperor, Trajan, who ruled his empire from 98 until 117 A.D..

Trajan's Kiosk was built near the Temple of Isis by a Roman emperor, Trajan who ruled his empire from 98 until 117 A.D.

Trajan’s Kiosk was built near the Temple of Isis by a Roman emperor, Trajan who ruled his empire from 98 until 117 A.D.

An altar for making offerings to Goddess Isis

An altar, a flat-topped block, for offerings to Goddess Isis

An altar, a flat-topped block, for making offerings to Goddess Isis

Writer and wife at the Philae Temple or Temple of Isis on 18 Dec 2017

Writer and wife visiting the Temple of Isis or Philae Temple, Aswan

Writer and wife visiting the Temple of Isis or Philae Temple, Aswan, on 18 Dec 2017

Tour Group leaving Agilkia Island where the Philae Temple or Temple of Isis is located

Tour group leaving Agilkia Island by boat

Tour group leaving Agilkia Island by boat

Tour group going for a Nubian lunch at el Dokka Restaurant, Aswan

We returned to the Marina Temple Philae from Agilkia Island and took another boat to a tiny island to have a Nubian lunch at a restaurant known as el Dokka Restaurant in Aswan.

Tour group taking another boat from Marina Temple Philae  to a small island for a Nubian lunch at el Dokka Restaurant in Aswan

Tour group boarding a boat to a small island for a Nubian lunch

Tour group boarding a boat to a small island for a Nubian lunch at el Dokka Restaurant

Tour Group arriving at a tiny island for a Nubian lunch at el Dokka Restaurant

Tour group arriving on an island for a Nubian lunch

Tour group arriving on an island for a Nubian lunch at el Dokka Restaurant

el Dokka Restaurant atop a rock

Tour group going for a Nubian lunch at el Dokka Restaurant on a small island, Aswan

Tour group going for a Nubian lunch at el Dokka Restaurant on a small island, Aswan

Dining Hall of el Dokka Restaurant, Aswan

Tour group having Nubian lunch at el Dokka Restaurant, Aswan

Tour group having Nubian lunch at el Dokka Restaurant, Aswan

A plate of Nubian fried chicken and rice

A plate of fried chicken and rice

A plate of fried chicken and rice

Nubian fried mushrooms and salad

Fried mushroom and salad with mayonnaise

Fried mushroom and salad with mayonnaise

A Nubian claypot dish

A Nubian claypot dish

A Nubian claypot dish

Nubian coffee for guests at el Dokka Restaurant, Aswan

A cup of coffee for guests at el Dokka Restaurant, Aswan

A cup of coffee for guests at el Dokka Restaurant, Aswan

A five-star hotel, Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Hotel, on the Bank of River Nile

Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Hotel. a 5-star hotel on the bank of River Nile in Aswan

Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Hotel. a 5-star hotel on the bank of River Nile in Aswan

Flying back to Cairo from Aswan

In the evening we took an airplane at Aswan International Airport and flew back to Cairo, a distance of 682 km, for an hour and 10 minutes.

On arrival at Cairo we checked in at Le Meridien Hotel. Early in the following morning, we left the hotel by coach for Sinai Peninsula in the east.

(Continue in Egypt Travel Part VIII)

Previous / Home / Next

Egypt Travel Parts I to XII

Egypt Travel Part I :Salah el Din Citadel, Muhammad Ali Mosque, Tahrir Square and Egyptian Museum

Egypt Travel Part II :Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut Temple and Colossi of Memnon

Egypt Travel Part III :Hot Air Balloons and Karnak Temple Complex

Egypt Travel Part IV :Papyrus Paper-Making, Luxor Temple and Esna Lock

Egypt Travel Part V :Edfu Temple, Kom Ombo Temple and Galabia Party

Egypt Travel Part VI :Abu Simbel Temples and Nubian Village(Elephantine Island)

Egypt Travel Part VII :Unfinished Obelisk, Aswan High Dam and Philae Temple

Egypt Travel Part VIII:Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel, Moon Beach(Ras Sudr), and St. Catherine

Egypt Travel Part IX :Mount Sinai, Catherine’s Monastery and Sharm el Sheikh

Egypt Travel Part X  :Sharm el Sheikh

Egypt Travel Part XI :Cairo Food, Saqqara Step Pyramid Complex and Memphis

Egypt Travel Part XII :Great Giza Pyramid Complex and Khan el Khalil Bazaar

Egypt Travel Part VIII: Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel, Moon Beach(Ras Sudr) and St. Catherine

April 1, 2018 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Egypt 

Egypt Travel Part VIII: Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel, Moon Beach(Ras Sudr) and St. Catherine

Day 7   Tuesday, 19 Dec 2017

Early in the morning, we left Cairo and would be on a long journey on the road by coach to St. Catherine and then to Sharm el Sheikh in Sinai Peninsula, Egypt.

Coach bringing tour group from Cairo to Sinai Peninsula

Coach that brings tour group from Cairo to Sinai Peninsula, Egypt

Coach that brings tour group from Cairo to Sinai Peninsula, Egypt

Map showing the places with names in blue in Sinai Peninsula the tour group were going to stop or visit

Map showing the places in Sinai Peninsula tour members were going to visit

Map showing the places in Sinai Peninsula tour members were going to visit

Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel

To go to Sinai Peninsula from Cairo our coach had to go through a tunnel under the Suez Canal. Known as Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel it is about 1.63 km long and about 120 km east of Cairo. It was opened in 1981 and reopened in 1992.

A place near the entrance of Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel from Suez to Sinai Peninsula

A place near the entrance of Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel from Suez to Sinai Peninsula

A place near the entrance of Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel from Suez to Sinai Peninsula

Part of the Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel as seen from the writer’s moving coach. 

Inside the Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel as seen from writer's coach

Inside the Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel as seen from writer’s coach

Sinai Peninsula is a desert area with very little vegetation and rain. The roads were straight and looked new.

Sinai Peninsula is a desert area with very little vegetation

Sinai Peninsula is a desert area with very little vegetation and rain.

Moses’ well in Elim

On the way to St. Catherine we stopped at a place, Elim, which is 100 km south-east of the tunnel in Suez. There was a well in its oasis. It was one of the 12 wells used by Prophet Moses and his followers, Israelites, who were on their way to the promised land.

Moses crossed the Red Sea

According to the Book of Exodus, Moses led Israelites to escape from the ancient Egyptian army. They then crossed the Red Sea parted by God to a promised land in Sinai Peninsula.

On the way to the promised land, they stopped at several wells. One of them was at in the Elim oasis.

A painting showing Moses leading Israelites across the Red Sea parted by God to a promised land in Sinai Peninsula. They were being pursued by their enemies, the ancient Egyptian army.

Moses leading Israelites crossed the Red Sea parted by God to escape from the ancient Egyptian army, according to the Book of Exodus.

Moses leading Israelites and crossing the Red Sea parted by God to escape from the ancient Egyptian army, according to the Book of Exodus.

Tour group stopped at Elim which is 100 km south-east of Suez to see one of the 12 Moses’ wells in the oasis.

Tour group stopping at an Elim oasis to see one of 12 Moses' wells

Tour group stopping at an Elim oasis to see one of 12 Moses’ wells

The Israelites led by Moses stopped and camped at the well for a short while before they continued their journey to the promised land, according to the Book of Exodus.

One of 12 Moses' wells where the Israelites led by Moses stopped and camped there for a while

One of 12 Moses’ wells in Elim where the Israelites led by Moses stopped and camped there for a while

Unoccupied Houses

On the journey in northern Sinai Peninsula, we noticed many houses were unoccupied by civilians. It was due to Sinai insurgency between the Islamist militants and the Egyptian security forces. Besides, the civilians were afraid of being attacked by the militants.

Unoccupied houses by civilians along highways in northern Sinai Peninsula

Unoccupied houses along highways in northern Sinai Peninsula due to Sinai insurgency

Unoccupied houses by civilians along highways in northern Sinai Peninsula due to Sinai insurgency, and civilian attacks by the militants

Lunch at Moon Beach Resort Restaurant, Ras Sudr

Tour group stopped at Moon Beach Resort Restaurant, Ras Sudr, for lunch after travelling 226 km by road from Cairo.

Tour group stopping at Moon Beach Resort Restaurant in Ras Sudr for lunch after travelling 226 km by road from Cairo

Tour group stopping at Moon Beach Resort Restaurant, Ras Sudr. for lunch after travelling 226 km by road from Cairo

Lunch in dining hall of Moon Beach Restaurant, Ras Sudr

Tour group having lunch at Moon Beach Restaurant in Ras Sudr, Sinai Peninsula

Tour group having lunch at Moon Beach Restaurant in Ras Sudr, Sinai Peninsula

Calm Red Sea and quiet beach of Moon Beach Resort, Ras Sudr, Sinai Peninsula, Egypt

Calm Red Sea and quiet beach of Moon Beach Resort, Ras Sudr, Sinai Peninsula

Calm Red Sea and quiet beach of Moon Beach Resort, Ras Sudr, Sinai Peninsula

Leaving Ras Sudr after lunch

After lunch we left Ras Sudr and travelled another 200 km to St. Catherine. But two hours later, we stopped at a roadside cafe for tea-break.

Tea-break at a roadside cafe.

Tour group stopping at a roadside for tea-break after having lunch about two hours ago at Ras Sudr

Tour group stopping at a roadside cafe for tea-break after having lunch at Ras Sudr about two hours ago

Tour group relaxing at a roadside cafe for a short while before they continued their journey to St. Catherine in the south.

Tour group having a drink and relaxing at the roadside cafe before going to St. Catherine in the south

Tour group having a drink and relaxing at the roadside cafe before going to St. Catherine in the south

Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty(1979)

Sinai Peninsula was occupied by the Israeli forces from 1967 until 1982. It was returned to Egypt in 1982 although the Peace Treaty between them was signed in 1979.

Sinai Peninsula was occupied by Israeli forces from 1967 until 1982.

Sinai Peninsula was occupied by Israeli forces from 1967 until 1982

Sinai Peninsula was occupied by Israeli forces from 1967 until 1982

Arrival at St. Catherine

After a long journey from Cairo via the Suez tunnel, we finally reached St. Catherine in Sinai Peninsula. We had travelled a total distance of abou 440 km on the road from Cairo to St. Catherine during the whole day.

We would stay at a hotel, Morgenland Hotel, for a night. But some of us would leave the place after midnight and travelled 6.7 km to the foot of a mountain, Mount Sinai, which is 2285 metres above sea-level and then climbed up the mountain to its peak in pitch-darkness.

A large billboard welcoming visitors to St. Catherine in South Sinai Peninsula, Egypt

A large billboard welcoming visitors to St. Catherine in South Sinai Peninsula

A large billboard welcoming visitors to St. Catherine in South Sinai Peninsula

Tour group resting at Morgenland Hotel at St. Catherine before climbing Mount Sinai(2285 metres) after midnight.

Tour group resting at Morgenland Hotel at St. Catherine before climbing Mount Sinai(2285 metres) which is 6.7 km away after midnight

Tour group resting at Morgenland Hotel at St. Catherine before climbing Mount Sinai(2285 metres) which is 6.7 km away after midnight

Writer and wife at Morgenland Hotel, St. Catherine, on 19 Dec 2017

Writer and wife at Morgenland Hotel, St. Catherine, on 19 Dec 2017

Writer and wife at Morgenland Hotel, St. Catherine, on 19 Dec 2017

Moses received the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai

According to the Book of Exodus, Moses went up Mt. Sinai to receive two tablets of stone inscribed with the God’s Ten Commandments.

Mount Sinai, a tourists’ popular site

Mt. Sinai attracts tourists as, according to the Book of Exodus, Moses had gone up to receive two tablets of stone inscribed with the God's Ten Commandments

Mt. Sinai attracts tourists as, according to the Book of Exodus, Moses had gone up to receive two tablets of stone inscribed with the God’s Ten Commandments

Writer getting ready to climb Mt. Sinai with other tour members after midnight on 20 Dec 2017

Writer getting ready to climb Mt. Sinai with other tour members after midnight on 20 Dec 2017

Writer getting ready to climb Mt. Sinai with other tour members after midnight on 20 Dec 2017

(Continue in Egypt Travel Part IX)

Previous / Home / Next

Egypt Travel Parts I to XII

Egypt Travel Part I :Salah el Din Citadel, Muhammad Ali Mosque, Tahrir Square and Egyptian Museum

Egypt Travel Part II :Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut Temple and Colossi of Memnon

Egypt Travel Part III :Hot Air Balloons and Karnak Temple Complex

Egypt Travel Part IV :Papyrus Paper-Making, Luxor Temple and Esna Lock

Egypt Travel Part V :Edfu Temple, Kom Ombo Temple and Galabia Party

Egypt Travel Part VI :Abu Simbel Temples and Nubian Village(Elephantine Island)

Egypt Travel Part VII :Unfinished Obelisk, Aswan High Dam and Philae Temple

Egypt Travel Part VIII:Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel, Moon Beach(Ras Sudr), and St. Catherine

Egypt Travel Part IX :Mount Sinai, Catherine’s Monastery and Sharm el Sheikh

Egypt Travel Part X  :Sharm el Sheikh

Egypt Travel Part XI :Cairo Food, Saqqara Step Pyramid Complex and Memphis

Egypt Travel Part XII :Great Giza Pyramid Complex and Khan el Khalil Bazaar

Egypt Travel Part IX: Mount Sinai, St. Catherine’s Monastery and Sharm el Sheikh

April 1, 2018 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Egypt 

Egypt Travel Part IX: Mount Sinai, St. Catherine’s Monastery and Sharm el Sheikh

Day 8   Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Map showing the location of Mount Sinai near St. Catherine’s Monastery in south Sinai Peninsula, Egypt

Map showing the location of Mount Sinai near St. Catherine in south Sinai Peninsula, Egypt

Map showing the location of Mount Sinai near St. Catherine’s Monastery in south Sinai Peninsula, Egypt

 

Mt. Sinai Climb

It was at 1 a.m. on 20 Dec 2017 that we started the climb to the top of Mt. Sinai in St. Catherine, Sinai Peninsula, Egypt. The mountain was 2282 metres above sea-level.

Tour members starting the Mt. Sinai climb in St. Catherine at 1 a.m. on 20 Dec 2017

Tour members starting the Mt. Sinai climb at 1 a.m. on 20 Dec 2017

Tour members starting the Mt. Sinai climb at 1 a.m. on 20 Dec 2017

Moonless Night

The lower mountain path was lit for a hundred metres then headlamps or torchlights had to be used to see the stony path to the summit in pitch darkness on the moonless night. The climb was easy at the beginning but later it was tough as the mountain guide allowed us a two-minute rest at each stop. 

Stony path all the way from the bottom to the top of Mt. Sinai(2285 metres)

Stony path all the way from the bottom to the top of Mt. Sinai(2285 metres)

Resting at a Shelter

After two hours of climbing(3 a.m.), three of us including my brother gave up and rested at a shelter while the rest continued the climb to the summit of Mt. Sinai.

Colourful Sunlight

At about 5.0o a.m. I stood outside the shelter and was fascinated to see the colourful sunlight appearing on the eastern horizon.

Colourful sunlight at 5 a.m.

Colourful sunlight on the horizon at 5 a.m. as seen from a rest shelter on Mt. Sinai

Colourful sunlight on the horizon at 5 a.m. as seen from a rest shelter on Mt. Sinai

Bright Yellow Sun

Later at 5.40 a.m., I saw the bright yellow sun peeping out of the horizon. Soon the whole surrounding was brightened up.

The sun appearing on the horizon at 5.40 a.m. on 20 Dec 2017 as seen from the rest shelter on Mt. Sinai

The sun appearing on the horizon at 5.40 a.m. on 20 Dec 2017 as seen from the rest shelter on Mt. Sinai

Bright Morning

When the morning was bright, I could see the stone-shelter where we rested earlier and the summit of Mt. Sinai in the distance, clearly. But those who went up to the summit had not come down yet.

Stone-shelter and Mt. Sinai in the morning

Writer at the rest shelter waiting for his tour members to come down from the summit of Mt. Sinai(2285 metres)

Writer at the rest shelter waiting for his tour members to return from the summit of Mt. Sinai(2285 metres above sea-level)

Friendly cafe owner

The owner of the shelter-cafe was a friendly Egyptian. He had been serving climbers for several years.

Owner of the Rest Shelter cafe

Friendly owner of the shelter cafe

Arrival of Tour-Members

At about 6.20 a.m. the rest of the climbers arrived at the shelter but did not stop there. So three of us who  had remained at the shelter overnight followed them down the mountain. They told us that when they reached the summit it was still dark, but the mountain guide told them that they could not wait there to see the sunrise. He was told by our Egyptian tour-guide, Khaled, to descend immediately as we had to visit St. Catherine’s Monastery which would close at 12 noon.

Disappointment

The successful climbers felt disappointed and had to go down the mountain. But, fortunately, they did see the sunrise later as they were descending.

Tour members arriving at the shelter at 6.20 a.m. on 20 Dec 2017

Tour members arriving at the rest shelter from Mt. Sinai summit at 6.20 a.m. on 20 Dec 2017

Tour members arriving at the shelter from Mt. Sinai summit at 6.20 a.m. on 20 Dec 2017

Peter Lim and his happy family posing for a photo at the shelter.

Peter Lim and his happy family posing for a photo at the rest shelter

Peter Lim and his happy family posing for a photo at the shelter

Tour members descending Mt. Sinai in the morning on 20 Dec 2017

Tour members descending Mt. Sinai in the morning on 20 Dec 2017

Tour members descending Mt. Sinai in the morning on 20 Dec 2017

Tour members taking a long journey down Mt. Sinai

Tour members taking a long journey down Mt. Sinai(2285 metres)

Tour members taking a long journey down Mt. Sinai(2285 metres)

Book of Exodus

According to the Book of Exodus, Moses went up to the summit to receive the Ten Commandments from God.On

Chapel and Mosque on Summit

On the summit of Mt. Sinai the climbers saw an Orthodox Chapel of the Holy Trinity which was built in 1934 on ruins of a 4th. Century Byzantine church and a 12th. Century mosque nearby.

Summit of Mt. Sinai

According to the Book of Exodus, Moses went to the Mt. Sinai summit to receive the Ten Commandments from God

According to the Book of Exodus, Moses went up to the Mt. Sinai summit to receive the Ten Commandments from God

A painting showing Moses receiving two tablets of stone inscribed with the God’s Ten Commandments.

Moses on the Mi. Sinai summit receiving two tablets of stone inscribed with the God's Ten Commandments, according to the Book of Exodus

Moses on the Mi. Sinai summit receiving two tablets of stone inscribed with the God’s Ten Commandments, according to the Book of Exodus

Painting showing Moses with the Ten Commandments descending Mt. Sinai

Moses with two tablets of stone inscribed with the Ten Commandments descending Mount Sinai to see his people

Moses with two tablets of stone inscribed with the Ten Commandments descending Mount Sinai to see his people

Visiting St. Catherine’s Monastery

After the mountain climb, we returned to our hotel, Morgenland Hotel, took a quick bath and breakfast, and packed our luggage getting ready to go to St. Catherine’s Monastery which was 10 km away. Then our coach brought us to a place where we took a van-taxi that took us to the monastery, a km away.

Tour group stopping at a place to take a van-taxi to St. Catherine’s Monastery, a km away

After the Mt. Sinai climb, we were brought by our coach to a place near the St. Catherine's Monastery that is 10 km from Morgenland Hotel

After the Mt. Sinai climb, we were brought by our coach to a place near the St. Catherine’s Monastery that is 10 km from Morgenland Hotel

A km-ride to the monastery by van-taxi

Tour group taking a kilometre-taxi ride to St. Catherine's Monastery in the hot sun

Tour group taking a kilometre-taxi ride to St. Catherine’s Monastery in the hot sun

About St. Catherine’s Monastery

St. Catherine’s Monastery located at the foot of Mt. Sinai was built by the order of a Byzantine emperor, Justinian I, in the 6th. Century A.D.. It has become a sacred place for pilgrimage.

St. Catherine's Monastery was built by Justinian, a Byzantine emperor in the 6th. Century A.D.

St. Catherine’s Monastery was built by order of Justinian I, a Byzantine emperor in the 6th. Century A.D.

The Monastery’s Treasure

St. Catherine’s Monastery houses a treasure trove of icons and manuscripts. It is surrounded by high thick walls with small entrance and windows to prevent it from being attacked by unknown people.

6th. Century Monastery

St. Catherine's Monastery was built order of a Byzantine emperor, Justinian I, in the 6th. Century A.D.

St. Catherine’s Monastery was built order of a Byzantine emperor, Justinian I, in the 6th. Century A.D.

Main Entrance of Monastery

Main entrance of St. Catherine's Monastery

Main entrance of St. Catherine’s Monastery

Monastery’s Compound

Tour group in the compound of St. Catherine's Monastery

Tour group in the compound of St. Catherine’s Monastery

High and Thick Wall surrounding the Monastery

High and thick wall was built round St. Catherine's Monastery to prevent enemies from attacking it.

High and thick wall was built round St. Catherine’s Monastery to prevent enemies from attacking it.

Orthodox Church where no photographing was allowed inside

Tour group entering an orthodox church on the left

Tour group entering an orthodox church on the left. Visitors were not allowed to take photos inside.

Moses’ Well where Moses met his wife, Zipporah

Moses' Well, the place where Moses met his wife, Zipporah, who was one of the 7 daughters of Jethro, according to the Book of Exodus

Moses’ Well, the place where Moses met his wife, Zipporah, who was one of the 7 daughters of Jethro, according to the Book of Exodus

“Burning Bush”

“Burning Bush” in the Monastery garden from which God first revealed himself to Prophet Moses, according to the Book of Exodus

"Burning Bush: in the garden of the monastery from which God first revealed Himself to Prophet Moses, according to the Book of Exodus

“Burning Bush: in the garden of the monastery from which God first revealed Himself to Prophet Moses, according to the Book of Exodus

Group tour photo at St. Catherine’s Monastery on 20 Dec 2017

Group photo at St. Catherine's Monastery taken on 20 Dec 2017

Group photo at St. Catherine’s Monastery taken on 20 Dec 2017

St. Catherine’s Legend

According to legend, Catherine was a Christian martyr from Alexandria. She was sentenced to death on the breaking wheel that was supposed to kill her. Since it failed, she was beheaded. Later angels took her body to Mount Sinai. In around 800 A.D. monks from the monastery found her body and kept her in the Orthodox church. Thus. the monastery was named after her.

Mosque at St. Catherine’s Monastery

There is a mosque behind the Bell Tower at St. Catherine’s Monastery. Originally, it was built as a hospice for Christian pilgrims. Then in 1106 it was converted to that mosque for the use of local Bedouins , some of them were working for the monastery. It is still in use today.

A mosque at St. Catherine Monastery

Building behind Bell Tower was converted to a mosque for the use of the local Bedouins in 1106, some working for the monastery.

Building behind Bell Tower was converted to a mosque for the use of the local Bedouins in 1106, some working for the monastery.

Travelling south to Sharm el Sheikh

In the late afternoon on 20 Dec 2017, we left St. Catherine’s Monastery and headed south to a famous coastal tourist town in Egypt, Sharm el Sheikh. On arrival we checked in at a well-known hotel, Maritim Jolie Ville Golf and Resort.

Map showing the southern part of Sinai Peninsula

Map showing the southern part of Sinai Peninsula, Egypt

Map showing the southern part of Sinai Peninsula, Egypt

Maritim Jolie Ville Golf & Resort, Sharm el Sheikh

A lovely resort that has many facilities, like swimming pools, tennis courts, 18-hole golf course, over 300 rooms, beach for swimming in the Red Sea, restaurant, bar, etc..

Tour group stayed for two nights at Maritim Jolie Ville Golf & Resort in Sharm el Sheikh on 20-21 Dec 2017

Tour group stayed for two nights at Maritim Jolie Ville Golf & Resort in Sharm el Sheikh on 20-21 Dec 2017

Fresh water and sea-water swimming pools at the resort

Water-slide for children at Maritim Jolie Ville Golf & Resort, Sharm el Sheikh

Water-slide for children at Maritim Jolie Ville Golf & Resort, Sharm el Sheikh

Beach for swimming in the clear water of the Red Sea

Sunbathing and swimming at Maritim Jolie Ville Golf & Resort, Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt

Sunbathing and swimming at Maritim Jolie Ville Golf & Resort, Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt

Writer and wife relaxing at Maritim Jolie Golf Ville and Resort, Sharm el Sheikh, Sinai Peninsula, Egypt

Writer and wife relaxing at Maritim Jolie Golf Ville and Resort, Sharm el Sheikh, Sinai Peninsula, Egypt

Resting at Resort

We stayed at that resort for that night and would go to Naama Bay for a submarine ride to see marine life in the bay on the following day, 21 Dec 2017.

(Continue in Egypt Travel Part X)

Previous / Home / Next

Egypt Travel Parts I to XII

Egypt Travel Part I :Salah el Din Citadel, Muhammad Ali Mosque, Tahrir Square and Egyptian Museum

Egypt Travel Part II :Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut Temple and Colossi of Memnon

Egypt Travel Part III :Hot Air Balloons and Karnak Temple Complex

Egypt Travel Part IV :Papyrus Paper-Making, Luxor Temple and Esna Lock

Egypt Travel Part V :Edfu Temple, Kom Ombo Temple and Galabia Party

Egypt Travel Part VI :Abu Simbel Temples and Nubian Village(Elephantine Island)

Egypt Travel Part VII :Unfinished Obelisk, Aswan High Dam and Philae Temple

Egypt Travel Part VIII:Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel, Moon Beach(Ras Sudr), and St. Catherine

Egypt Travel Part IX :Mount Sinai, Catherine’s Monastery and Sharm el Sheikh

Egypt Travel Part X  :Sharm el Sheikh

Egypt Travel Part XI :Cairo Food, Saqqara Step Pyramid Complex and Memphis

Egypt Travel Part XII :Great Giza Pyramid Complex and Khan el Khalil Bazaar

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