Egypt Travel Part X: Sharm el Sheikh, Naama Bay, Submarine Ride, Old Market, Sahaba Mosque

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Egypt Travel Part X: Sharm el Sheikh, Naama Bay, Submarine Ride, Old Market, Sahaba Mosque

Day 9   Thursday, 21 December 2017

Naama Bay, Sharm el Sheikh, Sinai Peninsula

On the second day at Sharm el Sheikh, we left Maritim Jolie Golf Ville and Resort and went to Naama Bay which was a few km from the resort. We were going to be in a moving submarine to see marine life in the bay.

Map showing the location of Sharm el Sheikh

Map showing the southern part of Sinai Peninsula, Egypt

Map showing the southern part of Sinai Peninsula, Egypt

Bill-board advertising submarine service

When we arrived at the Naama Bay, we saw a large bill-board advertising the submarinc service.

Submarine service at Naama Bay, Sharm el Sheikh

A large bill-board advertising submarine service at Naama Bay, Sharm el Sheikh

A large bill-board advertising submarine service at Naama Bay, Sharm el Sheikh

Tour members were briefed about the marine life in Naama Bay by a submarine company worker before entering a submarine.

A submarine company worker telling tour group about marine life in Naama Bay

A submarine company worker telling tour group about marine life in Naama Bay

A submarine jetty at Naama Bay, Sharm el Sheikh

A submarine jetty at Naama Bay, Sharm el Sheikh

A submarine jetty at Naama Bay, Sharm el Sheikh

Clear, blue water in Naama Bay, Sharm el Sheikh

Naama Bay, Sharm el Sheikh, Sinai Peninsula, Egypt

Naama Bay, Sharm el Sheikh, Sinai Peninsula, Egypt

Submarines waiting for tourists to board at Naama Bay jetty

Submarines at Naama Bay jetty waiting for tourists to board

Submarines at Naama Bay jetty waiting for tourists to board

More tourist submarines

More tourist submarines at the jetty

More tourist submarines at the jetty

A submarine with tourists moving to the deep water of Naama Bay

A tourist submarine moving to the deep water of Naama Bay

A tourist submarine moving to the deep water of Naama Bay

Writer and wife relaxing on a submarine before it started to move

Writer and wife relaxing on a submarine before it started to move

Writer and wife relaxing on a submarine before it started to move

Parasailing is one of the tourists’ activities at Naama Bay

Parasailing is one of the tourist activities at Naama Bay, Sharm el Sheikh

Parasailing is one of the tourist activities at Naama Bay, Sharm el Sheikh

“Banana” ride is another tourist activity at Naama Bay

"Banana" ride is another water activity for tourists at Naama Bay

“Banana” ride is another water activity for tourists at Naama Bay

Snorkelling is a tourists' popular water activity in Naama Bay, Sharm el Sheikh

Snorkelling is a tourists’ popular water activity in Naama Bay, Sharm el Sheikh

Tour members inside the moving submarine were fascinated by marine fish swimming about, plants and corals in the water.

Tour group watching marine fish and looking at corals in Naama Bay, Sharm el Sheikh

Tour group watching marine fish and looking at corals in Naama Bay, Sharm el Sheikh

Corals, marine plants and fish are plenty in Naama Bay, Sharm el Sheikh, Sinai Peninsula

Corals, marine plants and fish are plenty in Naama Bay, Sharm el Sheikh

Corals, marine plants and fish are plenty in Naama Bay, Sharm el Sheikh, Sinai Peninsula

Large and small fish of diverse kinds in Naama Bay

Large and small fish of diverse kinds in Naama Bay, Sharm el Sheikh

Large and small fish of diverse kinds in Naama Bay, Sharm el Sheikh

Old Market in Sharm el Sheikh

After the interesting and exciting submarine ride in Naama Bay, we went to the Old Market of Sharm el Sheikh which was about two km from Naama Bay.

Variety of Shops

It is a well-planned town with shops of many kinds that sell things ranging from daily necessities, foods, beverages to jewellery and electrical goods.

Old Market in Sharm el Sheikh has all kinds of shops like restaurants, groceries, art galleries, etc.

Old Market in Sharm el Sheikh has all kinds of shops like restaurants, groceries, art galleries, etc.

Writer’s wife at Old Market of Sharm el Sheikh on the sunny day.

Writer's wife at Old Market, Sharm el Sheikh

Writer’s wife at Old Market, Sharm el Sheikh

A street of shops at Old Market, Sharm el Sheikh

A street of shops at Old Market, Sharm el Sheikh

A street of shops at Old Market, Sharm el Sheikh

Old Market Bazaar, Sharm el Sheikh

Old Market Bazaar, Sharm el Sheikh, Sinai Peninsula, Egypt

Old Market Bazaar, Sharm el Sheikh, Sinai Peninsula, Egypt

Sahaba Mosque

The largest and most prominent building at Old Market is a mosque, Sahaba Mosque, built in Ottoman architectural style in 2011.

Sahaba Mosque,built in Ottoman architechural style in 2011, Od Market, Sharm el Sheikh

Sahaba Mosque,built in Ottoman architechural style in 2011, Od Market, Sharm el Sheikh

Sahaba Mosque, beautiful and large, at Old Market, Sharm el Sheikh

Sahaba Mosque, beautiful and large, at Old Market, Sharm el Sheikh

Back to Resort for Dinner

In the evening we left Old Market and went back to our resort, Maritim Jolie Golf Ville and Resort, to have dinner. We stayed one more night there as we would fly back to Cairo from Sharm el Sheikh on the following morning on 22 Dec 2017.

(Continue in Egypt Travel Part XI)

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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 XI: Cairo Food, Saqqara and Memphis

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

Egypt Travel Part XI: Cairo Food, Saqqara and Memphis

Day 10   Friday, 22 December 2017

Flight back to Cairo

In the morning of 22 Dec 2017, we flew back to Cairo from Sharm el Sheikh in southern Sinai Peninsula.

Map showing the air-flight route from Sharm el Sheikh to Cairo

Map showing tour group's flight from Sharm el Sheik to Cairo on 22 Dec 2017

Map showing tour group’s flight from Sharm el Sheik to Cairo on 22 Dec 2017

Departure from Sharm el Sheikh, Sinai Peninsula

Tour group leaving Sharm el Sheikh International Airport for Cairo in the north-west of Egypt on 22 Dec 2017.

Tour group leaving Sharm el Sheikh Airport in south Sinai Peninsula for Cairo in the north-west in Egypt

Tour group leaving Sharm el Sheikh Airport in south Sinai Peninsula for Cairo in the north-west in Egypt on 22 Dec 2017

Arrival at Cairo

More than an hour later, tour group arrived and landed at Cairo International Airport at 9.40 a.m. and noticed that it was shrouded in haze. The haze was caused by fine particles blown from the Sahara Desert in the west and smoke from vehicles in the city and open burning in its outskirt.

Tour group arrived at Cairo Airport from Sharm el Sheikh at 9.40 a.m. on 22 Dec 2017 and the airport was shrouded in haze.

Tour group arrived at Cairo Airport from Sharm el Sheikh at 9.40 a.m. on 22 Dec 2017 and the airport was shrouded in haze.

Lunch at Alezba Village Restaurant, Cairo

Tour group boarded a coach at the Cairo airport and went to a place, Alezba Village Restaurant, in the city for a buffet lunch.

Tour group arriving at 9.40 a.m. at Cairo International Airport from Sharm el Sheikm, Sinai Peninsula

Tour group arriving at 9.40 a.m. at Cairo International Airport from Sharm el Sheikm, Sinai Peninsula

Tour group entering Alzeba Village Restaurant for lunch.

Tour group entering Alezba Village Restaurant in Cairo to have Egyptian lunch

Tour group entering Alezba Village Restaurant in Cairo to have Egyptian buffet lunch

A garden at Alzeba Village Restaurant, Cairo

A garden path at Alezba Village Restaurant, Cairo

A garden path at Alezba Village Restaurant, Cairo

A worker making freshly baked bread in a traditional oven

A worker making freshly baked bread in a traditional oven for guests' lunch

A worker making freshly baked bread in a traditional oven for guests’ lunch

Eating place at Alzeba Village Restaurant, Cairo

Eating place at Alezba Village Restaurant, Cairo

Eating place at Alezba Village Restaurant, Cairo

Tour group helping themselves to many kinds of dishes at the restaurant

Tour members helping themselves to many kinds of dishes at Alezba Village Restaurant, Cairo

Tour members helping themselves to many kinds of dishes at Alezba Village Restaurant, Cairo

Tour members queuing up for food

Tour members queuing up for buffet lunch at Alezba Village Restaurant, Cairo

Tour members queuing up for buffet lunch at Alezba Village Restaurant, Cairo

Tour members going for more food?

Tour members going for more food?

Tour members going for more food?

This is writer’s lunch at Alzeba Village Restaurant, Cairo.

This is writer's buffet lunch at Alezba Village Restaurant, Cairo

This is writer’s buffet lunch at Alezba Village Restaurant, Cairo

Grilled chicken meat, anyone?

Grilled chicken meat at Alezba Village Restaurant, Cairo, anyone?

Grilled chicken meat at Alezba Village Restaurant, Cairo, anyone?

Lim family members, including writer, having lunch at the restaurant

Lim family enjoying Egyptian buffet lunch at Alezba Village Restaurant, Cairo

Lim family enjoying Egyptian buffet lunch at Alezba Village Restaurant, Cairo

Teo and wife, and Neoh and wife having lunch at the restaurant

Teo and wife, and Neoh and wife at Alezba Village Restaurant, Cairo

Teo and wife, and Neoh and wife at Alezba Village Restaurant, Cairo

Tay and family having lunch at the restaurant

Tay and family at Alezba Village Restaurant, Cairo

Tay and family at Alezba Village Restaurant, Cairo

Samuel Koh and family having lunch at the restaurant

Samuel Koh and family at Alezba Village Restaurant, Cairo

Samuel Koh and family at Alezba Village Restaurant, Cairo

Tan and family having lunch at the restaurant

Tan and family at Alezba Village Restaurant, Cairo

Tan and family at Alezba Village Restaurant, Cairo

Peter Lim and family having lunch at the restaurant

Peter Lim and family at Alezba Village Restaurant, Cairo

Peter Lim and family at Alezba Village Restaurant, Cairo

Liew and family having lunch at the restaurant

Liew and family at Alezba Village Restaurant. Cairo

Liew and family at Alezba Village Restaurant. Cairo

Evi Cuaca and mother having lunch at the restaurant

Evi and mother at Alezba Village Restaurant, Cairo

Evi and mother at Alezba Village Restaurant, Cairo

Gan and Chew having lunch at the restaurant

Gan(L) and Chew(R) at A;lezba Village Restaurant, Cairo

Gan(L) and Chew(R) at Alezba Village Restaurant, Cairo

Visiting two historical places in the south of Cairo

After the delicious, sumptuous meal at Alezba Village Restaurant in Cairo, the tour group travelled several km south of Cairo to visit two historical places, Saqqara and Memphis.

Map showing the location of Saqqara and Memphis

Map showing three historical sites: Memphis, Saqqara and Giza

Map showing three historical sites: Memphis, Saqqara and Giza

Ticket to see the Step Pyramid Comples in Saqqara

Ticket to visit the Step Pyramid of Djoser Complex at Saqqara, Egypt

Ticket to visit the Step Pyramid of Djoser Complex at Saqqara, Egypt

Step Pyramid of King Djoser

Tour group entered the Step Pyramid Complex and saw the Pyramid of King Djoser built in 2700 B.C. by Imhotep, a famous ancient Egyptian architect. It was meant as a tomb for King Djoser who ruled ancient Egypt from 2667-2648 B.C..

The pyramid consists of six square mastabas, one on top of each other and the top one is smaller than the bottom one. The height of the pyramid is about 62 metres.

Step Pyramid of King Djoser was designed and built in 2700 B.C. by imhotep as a tomb for the king.

Step Pyramid of King Djoser was designed and built in 2700 B.C. by imhotep as a tomb for the king.

Writer and wife at the Step Pyramid Complex, Saqqara, Egypt

Writer and wife at Step Pyramid, Saqqara, Egypt

Writer and wife at Step Pyramid, Saqqara, Egypt

Court of Columns, an entrance to Step Pyramid Complex, Saqqara, Egypt

Court of Columns for entry to Step Pyramid, Saqqara, Egypt

Court of Columns, an entrance to Step Pyramid Complex, Saqqara, Egypt

Funerary Temple near Step Pyramid of King Djoser, Saqqara, Egypt

Funerary Temple near Step Pyramid of Djoser, Saqqara, Egypt

Funerary Temple near Step Pyramid of Djoser, Saqqara, Egypt

A smaller ruined tomb at Step Pyramid Complex, Saqqara, Egypt

Smaller ruined tomb at Step Pyramid Complex, Saqqara, Egypt

Smaller ruined tomb at Step Pyramid Complex, Saqqara, Egypt

Remains of a ruined temple at Step Pyramid Complex, Saqqara, Egypt

Remains of a ruined temple at Step Pyramid Complex, Saqqara, Egypt

Remains of a ruined temple at Step Pyramid Complex, Saqqara, Egypt

Remains of a ruined house at Step Pyramid Complex, Saqqara, Egypt

Remains of a ruined house at Step Pyramid Complex, Saqqara, Egypt

Remains of a ruined house at Step Pyramid Complex, Saqqara, Egypt

Visiting Memphis, the oldest capital of Egypt

Having seen enough of Step Pyramid Complex in Saqqara, we went to another place nearby. It was the oldest capital of Egypt known as Memphis. It was established by the first pharaoh, Menes, on the west bank of River Nile. The king founded the First Dynasty more than 5000 years ago.

Decline of Memphis

When the Romans arrived in Egypt, Memphis lost its importance to Alexandria in the north which was nearer to the Roman Empire. Its ruins are located near a town, Mit Rahina, 20 km south of Cairo.

Ticket to enter Mit Rahina Museum, Mit Rahina, Egypt

Ticket to visit Mit Rahina Museum to learn about the history of the oldest capital of Egypt, Memphis

Ticket to visit Mit Rahina Museum to learn about the history of the oldest capital of Egypt, Memphis

Mit Rahina Museum

Mit Rahina houses a large statue of King Ramesses II(1303-1213) and many artifacts of the ancient temples of Memphis.

Mit Rahina Museum that houses a huge statue of Ramesses II

Mit Rahina Museum that houses a huge statue of Ramesses II

A huge statue of King Ramesses II in the museum

Huge statue of Ramesses II is displayed in Mit Rahina Museum,

Huge statue of Ramesses II(1303-1213) is displayed in Mit Rahina Museum,

The statue of King Ramesses II was found face down in a marshy ground in Mit Rahina in 1821

Picture shows the huge statue of Ramesses II was found in a marshy ground in 1821.

Picture shows the huge statue of Ramesses II was found in a marshy ground in 1821.

Ancient Temples and tombs around Mit Rahina Museum

There are several ancient temples sited around Mit Rahina Museum such as Ptah Temple, Ramesses II Temple, Hathor Temple and Tombs of High Priests, too.

Pictorial map showing historical sites around Mit Rahina Museum

Pictorial map showing ancient temples and tombs around Mit Rahina Museum

Open air museum outside Mit Rahina Museum

Open air museum outside Mit Rahina Museum

Open air museum outside Mit Rahina Museum

Relics of ancient temples and chapels in the open air museum of Mit Rahina Museum

Relics of ancient temples and chapels excavated nearby are displayed in the open air museum of Mit Rahina Museum

Relics of ancient temples and chapels excavated nearby are displayed in the open air museum of Mit Rahina Museum

Lim family members including writer posing in front of the second largest Sphinx in Egypt in the open air museum

Right to left: Writer, wife. sister-in-law and brother standing in front of Egypt's seond largest Sphinx in the open air museum of Mit Rahina Museum

Right to left: Writer, wife. sister-in-law and brother standing in front of Egypt’s seond largest Sphinx in the open air museum of Mit Rahina Museum

Writer and wife standing in front of a tall statue of Ramesses II in the open air museum

Writer and wife standing in front of a tall statue of Ramesses II in the open museum of Mit Rahina Museum

Writer and wife standing in front of a tall statue of Ramesses II in the open museum of Mit Rahina Museum

A friendly guard standing next to a headless statue of Ramesses II in the open air museum

A friendly guard standing, proudly, next to a headless statue of Ramesses II in the open air museum of Mit Rahina Museum

A friendly guard standing, proudly, next to a headless statue of Ramesses II in the open air museum of Mit Rahina Museum

“Triad of Memphis” in the open air museum was a family of three gods: Great God Ptah(middle), his wife, Sekhmet(on his left), and King Ramesses II as his son, Nefertum(on his right).

"Triad of Memphis is a family of three gods: Great God Ptah(middle), his wife, Sekhmet(on his left), and Ramesses II as his son, Nefertum(on his right), in the open air museum

“Triad of Memphis” was a family of three gods: Great God Ptah(middle), his wife, Sekhmet(on his left), and Ramesses II as his son, Nefertum(on his right), in the open air museum

Bust of Goddess Hathor with cow ears

Bust of Goddess Hathor with cow ears in the open air museum was a symbol of love, motherhood and music, and provider of food, milk and produce.

Bust of Goddess Hathor in the open air museum She with cow ears was symbolised as love, motherhood and music, and provider of food, milk and produce.

Bust of Goddess Hathor is in the open air museum. She with cow ears was symbolised as love, motherhood and music, and provider of food, milk and produce.

Mummification Bed

Mummification bed on which dead bodies were washed clean, and their organs removed before being wrapped in linen a few time. Then they were kept in sarcophaguses(coffins).

Mummification bed for dead bodies which were washed clean, their organs removed and wrapped in linen a few times Then they were kept in scophaguses

Mummification bed on which dead bodies were washed clean, and their organs removed before being wrapped in linen a few times. Then they were kept in sarcophaguses(coffins).

Diagram showing steps for ancient Egyptian mummification

Method of ancient Egyptian mummification

Method of ancient Egyptian mummification

Egyptian tour-guide, Khaled, telling the tour group about the history of Memphis outside the Mit Rahina Museum

Egyptian tour-guide, Khaled, telling the tour group about the history of Memphis outside the Mit Rahina Museum

Egyptian tour-guide, Khaled, telling the tour group about the history of Memphis outside the Mit Rahina Museum

Back to Cairo from Mit Rahina Museum

After an interesting visit to Mit Rahina Museum learning about the ancient history of Memphis, we headed back to Le Meridien Hotel in Cairo for dinner.

(Continue in Egypt Travel Part XII Final)

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 XII(Final): Great Giza Pyramid Complex and Khan el Khalil Bazaar

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

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

Day 11   Saturday, 23 December 2017

This day was our last day of our visit in Egypt. We had two more places to go, namely, Great Giza Pyramid Complex in the Cairo outskirt and the largest bazaar, Khan el Khalil Bazaar, in Egypt that is in the Cairo city.

In the morning, we left our hotel, Le Meridien Hotel, in the outskirt of Cairo city and travelled a short distance to Giza.

Map showing the location of Giza where the Great Giza Pyramid Complex is.

Map showing the location of Giza in Egypt

Map showing the location of Giza in Egypt where well-known pyramids are sited

Ticket to visit the Great Giza Pyramid Complex in Giza in Egypt

Ticket to visit Giza Pyramid Complex in Egypt

Ticket to visit Great Giza Pyramid Complex in Egypt

The Great Giza Pyramid Complex

This place was a cemetery or necropolis for ancient Egyptian kings, queens and noblemen who lived about 4500 years ago. It is the only place in the world where the deceased were buried in large or small pyramids. Besides, there are tombs, too.

Location of the important pyramids at the Great Giza Pyramid Complex, Egypt

Plan of Giza Pyramid Complex, Egypt

Plan of Great Giza Pyramid Complex, Egypt

The important pyramids at Great Pyramid Complex, Egypt

The oldest, largest and highest pyramid at this complex is the Pyramid of Khufu(died in 2566 B.C.), second, Pyramid of Khafre(died in 2480 B.C.), and third, Pyramid of Menkaure(died in 2500 B.C.). Besides, there are three small pyramids for queens, tombs for other queens and cemeteries for noblemen.

The Pyramids at Giza Pyramid Complex, Egypt

The Pyramids at Giza Pyramid Complex, Egypt

Pyramid of Khufu

Tour group posing in front of Pyramid of Khufu also known as the Great Pyramid of Giza. It is the largest, oldest and highest pyramid in Egypt and the world too. Its height is 146.7 metres.

Tour group visiting Giza Pyramid Complex in Egypt on 23 Dec 2017

Tour group visiting Giza Pyramid Complex in Egypt on 23 Dec 2017

Writer, wife, sister-in-law and brother(left to right) at the Great Pyramid of Giza or Pyramid of Khufu

Pyramid of Khufu behind writer, wife , brother and sister-in-law is the oldest, largest and tallest pyramid in Egypt

Writer, wife , brother and sister-in-law posing in front of Pyramid Khufu, the oldest, largest and tallest pyramid in Egypt and the world too.

Pyramid of Khufu has an entrance and air shaft leading to the tombs of the King and Queen inside.

Pyramid of Khufu houses the tombs of King Khufu and his queen. It has air-shaft and entrance to their tombs.

Pyramid of Khufu houses the tombs of King Khufu and his queen. It has air-shaft and entrance to their tombs inside.

Pyramid of Khafre

Pyramid of Khafre is the second largest and highest pyramid in Egypt. Its height is 136.4 metres. Khaftre was King Khufu’s son who died in 2480 B.C..

Pyramid of Khafre is the second largest and tallest pyramid in Egypt. Khafre was Khufu's son.

Pyramid of Khafre is the second largest and tallest pyramid in Egypt. Khafre was Khufu’s son who died  in 2480 B.C..

Great Sphinx

There is a large statue of a mythical creature that has a lion’s body and human head several hundred metres from the Pyramid of Khafre. It is known as the Great Sphinx, the largest figure in the world. It was created during the reign of King Khafre from 2558 until 2532 B.C..

Great Sphinx is located further down the Pyramid of Khafre. It was created during the reign of King Khafre(2558-2532 B.C.)

Great Sphinx is located further down the Pyramid of Khafre. It was created during the reign of King Khafre(2558-2532 B.C.)

Writer’s wife and tour members posing in front of the Great Sphinx and the Pyramid of Khafre behind the sphinx

Writer's wife and tour members posing for a photo in front of the Great Sphinx, Giza Pyramid Complex, Egypt

Writer’s wife and tour members posing for a photo in front of the Great Sphinx, Giza Pyramid Complex, Egypt

Writer and wife trying to “touch” the top of the Pyramid of Khafre

Writer and wife trying to "touch" the top of the Pyramid of Khafre

Writer and wife trying to “touch” the top of the Pyramid of Khafre

Funerary Temple

A funerary temple was built at every pyramid for worshipping the deceased king or queen. Food and objects were offered to the deceased.

A funerary temple at every pyramid for worshiping the deceased king or queen, Food and objects were offered to the deceased.

A funerary temple at every pyramid for worshiping the deceased king or queen. Food and objects were offered to the deceased.

Writer and wife at the Great Giza Pyramid Complex, Egypt, on 23 Dec 2017

Writer and wife at the Giza Pyramid Complex on 23 Dec 2017

Writer and wife at the Giza Pyramid Complex on 23 Dec 2017

Writer’s brother and wife at the Great Giza Pyramid Complex, Egypt, on 23 Dec 2017

Writer's brother and wife at the Giza Pyramid Complex on 23 Dec 2017

Writer’s brother and wife at the Giza Pyramid Complex on 23 Dec 2017

Tan and family at the Great Giza Pyramid Complex, Egypt, on 23 Dec 2017

Tan and family at the Giza Pyramid Complex on 23 Dec 2017

Tan and family at the Giza Pyramid Complex on 23 Dec 2017

Hilarious Moments at the Great Giza Pyramid Complex. Egypt

i. Peter Lim appearing to have flown like the Superman from the pyramids to the cameraman

Peter Lim, a tour member, appearing to have flown from the pyramids to the cameraman

Peter Lim, a tour member, appearing to have flown like the Superman from the pyramids to the cameraman

ii, Tay appearing to have jumped off the Pyramid of Khafre like the Spiderman at the Great Giza Pyramid, Egypt

Tay, a tour member, appearing to have jumped off a pyramid

Tay, a tour member, appearing to have jumped off a pyramid

iii. Yong Zhen, the tour manager, appearing to make one jump over three pyramids

Yong Zhen, the tour manager, appearing to jump over three pyramids

Yong Zhen, the tour manager, appearing to make one jump over three pyramids

iv. Tan and wife playing an exciting “game” at the Great Giza Pyramid Complex, Egypt

Tan and wife playing an exciting "game" at the Giza Pyramid Complex, Egypt

Tan and wife playing an exciting “game” at the Giza Pyramid Complex, Egypt

Camel Ride

Before we left the Great Giza Pyramid Complex, we went for a camel ride near the place in the Sahara Desert, Egypt.

Tourists love camel ride

Many tourists going for camel ride at the Giza Pyramid Complex in Sahara Desert, Egypt

Many tourists going for camel ride near the Giza Pyramid Complex in Sahara Desert, Egypt

Tour members and tourists enjoying the camel ride in the Sahara Desert

Tourists, including our tour group, love camel riding near the Giza Pyramid Complex in the Sahara Desert, Egypt,

Tourists, including our tour group, love the camel ride near the Giza Pyramid Complex in the Sahara Desert, Egypt.

Writer’s wife will never forget her first camel ride near the Great Giza Pyramid Complex in Sahara Desert, Egypt.

Writer's wife is experiencing her first camel ride in Sahara Desert, Egypt

Writer’s wife will never forget her first camel ride in Sahara Desert, Egypt

Writer and wife enjoying the camel ride together near the Great Giza Pyramid Complex in Sahara Desert, Egypt

Writer and wife enjoying the camel ride in Sahara Desert, Egypt

Writer and wife enjoying the camel ride together in Sahara Desert, Egypt

Cindy, a tour member, loves camel riding, too.

Cindy, a tour member, loves camel riding. too.

Cindy, a tour member, loves camel riding. too.

Visit to Khan el Khalil Bazaar in Cairo

After the visit to the Great Giza Pyramid and the camel ride, we went to a bazaar in Cairo city. Known as Khan el Khalil Bazaar, it is the largest in Egypt that has a few thousand stalls selling goods of all kinds ranging from daily necessities to silver and gold jewellery.

El Hossein Square

On arrival at the Cairo city, we had lunch first at a restaurant in El Hossein Square. This public square is surrounded by mosques, old buildings, restaurants and coffee-shops.

El Hossein Square is surrounded by El Hossein Mosque, a row of of coffee shops and restaurants, and large, old buildings.

El Hossein Square is surrounded by El Hossein Mosque, a row of of coffee shops and restaurants, and large, old buildings.

El Hossein Mosque

This square has a large mosque known as el Hossein Mosque. Hence, the square takes the name of the mosque. This mosque which was built in 1154 houses some sacred items like the oldest manuscripts of Quran.

El Hossein Mosque built in 1154 in the Square houses some sacred items like the oldest manuscripts of Quran.

El Hossein Mosque built in 1154 in the Square houses some sacred items like the oldest manuscripts of Quran.

A row of restaurants and coffee-shops in the El Hossein Square

 

A row of coffee-shops and restaurants in El Hossein Square,Cairo

A row of coffee-shops and restaurants in El Hossein Square, Cairo

The Khan el Khalil Bazaar is behind this row of restaurants and coffee-shops

A row of coffee-shops and restaurants in the El Hossein Square and Khan el Khalili Bazaar behind the buildings

A row of coffee-shops and restaurants in the El Hossein Square and Khan el Khalili Bazaar behind the buildings

Writer, wife, brother and sister-in-law(left to right) having lunch at a restaurant, Abou Mazen Restaurant, in El Hossein Square, Cairo, on 23 Dec 2017

Writer, wife, brother and sister-in-law having lunch at Abou Mazen Restaurant in El Hossein Square, Cairo, on 23 Dec 2017

Writer, wife, brother and sister-in-law having lunch at Abou Mazen Restaurant in El Hossein Square, Cairo, on 23 Dec 2017

Delicious Lunch

We had a delicious lunch at Abou Mazen Restaurant, El Hossein Square, Cairo, Egypt

Lunch for writer, wife, brother and sister-in-law at Abou Mazen Restaurant, El Hossein Square, Cairo

Delicious lunch for writer, wife, brother and sister-in-law at Abou Mazen Restaurant, El Hossein Square, Cairo

Egypt’s Largest Bazaar

After lunch my wife and I walked to Egypt’s largest bazaar, Khan el Khalil Bazaar, which is a few metres from the El Hossein Square and right behind the row of restaurants and coffee-shops.

Khan el Khalil Bazaar, established in 1382 in Cairo, is the largest market-place in Egypt. It has a few thousand stalls attracting domestic and foreign tourists alike.

Khan el Khalil Bazaar, established in 1382 in Cairo, is the largest market-place in Egypt. It has a few thousand stalls attracting domestic and foreign tourists alike.

Over a Thousand Shops and Stalls

There are over a thousand shops and stalls at Khan el Khalil Bazaar selling goods ranging from clothes, shoes and souvenirs to silver and gold jewellery.

A busy shopping street at the bazaar, Khan el Khalil or just Khan

A variety of shops at Khan el Khalil Bazaar, Cairo

A busy shopping street at Khan el Khalil Bazaar, Cairo

Street Vendors at Khan el Khalil Bazaar

Street vendors at Khan el Khalil Bazaar, Cairo

Street vendors at Khan el Khalil Bazaar, Cairo

Goods overflowing a street at the bazaar

Goods overflowing a street is a common sight at Khan el Khalil Bazaar, Cairo

Goods overflowing a street that is a common sight at Khan el Khalil Bazaar, Cairo

Domestic and foreign visitors are spoilt for choice at the bazaar.

A wide variety of goods for sale at Khan el Khalil Bazaar, Cairo

A wide variety of goods for sale at Khan el Khalil Bazaar, Cairo

Writer’s wife buying T-shirts at Khan el Khalil Bazaar

Writer;s wife buying T-shirts at Khan el Khalil Bazaar, Cairo

Writer’s wife buying T-shirts at Khan el Khalil Bazaar, Cairo

Photos below show some of the things for sale at the shops of the bazaar.

Jewellery for sale

Jewellery for sale at Khan el Khalil Bazaar, Cairo

Jewellery for sale at Khan el Khalil Bazaar, Cairo

Colourful clothes for sale

Colourful clothes for sale at Khan el Khalil Bazaar, Cairo

Colourful clothes for sale at Khan el Khalil Bazaar, Cairo

Souvenirs for sale

Souvenirs for sale at Khan el Khalil Bazaar, Cairo

Souvenirs for sale at Khan el Khalil Bazaar, Cairo

Paintings on papyrus papers for sale

Paintings on papyrus papers for sale at Khan el Khalil Bazaar, Cairo

Paintings on papyrus papers for sale at Khan el Khalil Bazaar, Cairo

Water-pipes for smoking “shisha” for sale

Water-pipes for smoking shisha(hookah) are for sale at Khan el Khalil Bazaar, Cairo

Water-pipes for smoking shisha(hookah) are for sale at Khan el Khalil Bazaar, Cairo

“Shisha” Smoking

An Egyptian showing the writer the way he smokes “shisha”. Like smoking cigarettes, it can cause health problems as it uses tobacco, too.

An Egyptian showing the writer the way he smokes shisha. Like smoking cigarettes, smoking shisha can cause health problems due to tobacco.

An Egyptian showing the writer the way he smokes shisha. Like smoking cigarettes, smoking “shisha” can cause health problems as it uses tobacco, too.

Departure from Cairo for Home

In the late afternoon, we left the bazaar for Cairo International Airport where we would fly home on an Emirates airplane at 7.05 in the evening.

Tour Group Flying Home on an Emirates Airplane

Tour group flying home by Emirates plane at Cairo, Egypt, at 7.05 p.m. 0n 23 Dec 2017

Tour group flying home by Emirates plane at Cairo, Egypt, at 7.05 p.m. 0n 23 Dec 2017

Tour Group flying home from Cairo to Singapore via Dubai

Tour group flying from Cairo to Singapore via Dubai from 23-24 Dec 2017

Tour group flying from Cairo to Singapore via Dubai from 23-24 Dec 2017

Egypt Trip to Remember

We have spent 11 days visiting ancient historical places, boat-cruising along River Nile, flying in a hot-air balloon, sailing in a submarine in Naama Bay, visiting the largest bazaar and other unforgettable activities in Egypt. We are glad that we have enjoyed every moment of the trip.

Map showing the places we visited in Egypt from 13-23 Dec 2017 

Touring places in Egypt from 13-23 Dec 2017

Touring places in Egypt from 13-23 Dec 2017

Acknowledgement

Thanks to Chan Brothers Travel Agency(Singapore) for the wonderful Egypt tour, Yong Zheng(tour manager) for taking good care of us and Khaled(Egypt tour guide) for imparting his invaluable knowledge about the historical places we visited. I must also thank all the tour members for being such good friends.

(The End of Egypt Travel)

Previous / Home

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

Italy Travel Part I: Rome and Vatican City

December 11, 2017 by · Comments Off on Italy Travel Part I: Rome and Vatican City
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Italy Travel Part I: Rome and Vatican City

Italy is a popular tourists’ destination that is rich in history and culture. She has many interesting cities where old, monumental buildings built in Gothic, Classical, Medieval, Baroque and Neoclassical architectural styles still exist.

Italy Tour of 7 Cities

Tour-Group and Tour-Manager

Malaysia Tour Group

Malaysian Tour Group

My wife and I joined a group of 20 Malaysians under a Golden Destinations(Malaysia) tour manager, Jenny, and travelled to Italy for a five-day land tour of 7 cities, namely Rome, Vatican City, Pisa, Verona, Florence, Venice and Milan.

Map of Italy showing Cities to be Visited

Italy tour of Rome, Vatican City, Pisa, Florence, Venice, Verona and MIlan

Italy tour of Rome, Vatican City, Pisa, Florence, Venice, Verona and MIlan

Writer and Wife

Writer, Choo Chaw, and wife, Peng

Writer, Choo Chaw, and wife, Peng

Tour-Manager, Jenny

Jenny, tour manger

Jenny, tour manger of Golden Destinations(Malaysia)

Day 1  Thursday, 2 November 2017

Air Flight to Italy

On the first day we left KLIA(Malaysia), travelled to Hong Kong and then to Rome in Italy. The air-flight was long taking about 15 hours.

Day 1: Flight to Italy from Malaysia via Hong Kong

Day 1: Flight to Italy from Malaysia via Hong Kong

Day 2  Friday, 3 November 2917

Visiting Rome and Vatican City on Day 2

Rome Tour Guide, Christina

When we arrived in Rome, Italy, on the 2nd. day,  a Polish coach-driver, Bart, brought us to some historical places in Rome and later to other cities in northern Italy for a total of 5 days.

Bart, the Coach-Driver

Bart, a Polish coach-driver, bringing Malaysians on a tour to 7 cities in northern Itaky

Bart, a Polish coach-driver, bringing Malaysians on a tour to 7 cities in northern Itaky

Map of Italy showing the location of Rome and Vatican City

Visiting Rome and Vatican City on Day 2: Friday, 3 November 2017

Visiting Rome and Vatican City on Day 2: Friday, 3 November 2017

Jenny, our tour-manager, led us to the historical places in Rome and they were as follows:

Monument of Victor Emmanuel II

The first place we visited was one in the centre of Rome City where we saw the massive Monument of Victor Emmanuel II(1820-1878). It was built in honour of Emmanuell II for unifying Italy in 1861 and becoming her first king. It was built by several well-known sculptors in the 1885-1925 period.

Monument of Victor Emmanuel II

Monument of Victor Emmanuel II, Rome

Pantheon

Then we walked to Venezia Square where a Roman temple was built in 113-125 A.D periodk. Now it is a Catholic church dedicated to “St. Mary and Martyrs”. The front of the church is supported by 12 Cornithian columns and a rotunda with a dome is behind them.

Pantheon in Rome

Pantheon in Rome

Top of the Pantheon dome allows light to pass through.

Top of the Pantheon dome allows light to pass through.

Visitors in the interior of Pantheon

Visitors in the interior of Pantheon

Tombs of Kings

Tombs of two Italian kings, Victor Emmanuel II(1820-1878) and Umberto I(1844-1900), are displayed in the building. The tomb of Umberto I’s wife, Margerit(1851-1926), is inside, too.

Tomb of King Umberto I(1844-1900) in Pantheon, Rome

Tomb of King Umberto I(1844-1900) in Pantheon, Rome

Piazza della Rotunda

Outside Pantheon is a square known as Piazza della Rotunda which has an obelisk and fountain.

Pantheon Square or Piazza della Rotunda, Rome

Pantheon Square or Piazza della Rotunda, Rome

Colosseum in Rome

From Pantheon we walked to a historical site where Italy’s iconic Roman amphitheatre was built. Known as Colosseum, it was built in the 72-80 A.D. period by two Roman Emperors, first Vespasian and later, Titus. Built for gladiators’ contests and public spectacles, it could accommodate 65 000 spectators.

Christina, the Colosseum Tour-Guide

At the Colosseum we met our local tour-guide, Christina, who showed us around the amphitheatre.

Rome tour-guide, Christina

Colosseum tour-guide, Christina

Colosseum of Rome

Colosseum of Rome

Colosseum in the Olden Days

Colosseum in the Olden Days

Fall of the Western Roman Empire

The Colosseum ceased to be used for gladiators’ contests and public spectacles in the early Medieval Period or Middle Ages(5-15th. Century) after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. Then it was used for such purposes as a cemetery, workshops and for housing.

Earthquake

In 1349, a strong earthquake damaged the southern part of the Colosseum and it was repaired later.

Colosseum in Ruin

Owing to weathering, erosion and neglect for over a 1000 years, the Colosseum is in ruin, but millions of visitors continue going to Rome to see the legacy of the Roman Empire every year.

Ruined Interior Colosseum

Ruined interior of Colosseum

A Bare Colosseum without Statues and Stucco Decorations

A bare Colosseum without statues and stucco decorations

Steps of Colosseum in ruin after 1400 years

Steps of Colosseum in ruin after over 1000 years

Colosseum Decorations Were Stolen

Since the Colosseum was not used after the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 4th. Century, marble statues and stucco decorations were all stolen; leaving the amphitheatre bare with ugly holes in the walls.

Ugly Holes in Walls of Colosseum

Ugly holes in walls of Colosseum

Stucco Decorations in Colosseum

Stucco decorations in Colosseum taken off from walls

Headless Statue in Colosseum

Headless statue in Colosseum

Colosseum’s Wooden Floor of Arena

The wooden floor of the Arena of the Colosseum soon rotted and was removed, exposing the underground rooms and passageways.

Wooden floor of arena rotted and removed

Wooden floor of arena rotted and removed exposing rooms and passageways below

Arch of Constantine

Next to the Colosseum stands a triumphal arch known as Arch of Constantine. It was built in 315 A.D. to commemorate Constantine I(272-337)’s victory in the Battle of Milvian in 312 A.D.

(Arch of Triumph in Paris built in the 1806=1836 period, looks similar to this smaller Roman triumphal arch in Rome. The former was erected in honour of those who fought and died for their country in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars.)

Arch of Constantine built in commemoration of Constantine I's victory in the Battle of Milvian in 312 A.D.

Arch of Constantine built in commemoration of Constantine I’s victory in the Battle of Milvian in 312 A.D.

Writer, wife, tour manager and tour guide posing in front of Arch Constantine

Writer, wife, tour manager and tour guide posing in front of Arch 0f Constantine

Taking photo in front of Arch of Constantine

Tour members posing in front of Arch of Constantine

Visiting Vatican City

Later, we moved on to the world’s smallest country, Vatican City, that is surrounded by the city of Rome. It has a population of about 840 and a small area of 44 hectares which is equivalent to 82 football fields.

She has the largest Catholic church in the world known as St. Peter’s Basilica that was built in the 1506-1626 period.

St. Peter's Basilica, the largest church in the world

St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest Catholic church in the world

St. Peter's Square as seen from St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City

St. Peter’s Square as seen from St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City

The church is dedicated to St. Peter(one of Jesus Christ’s apostles and the first pope) and the burial site of St. Peter. It is a popular place for pilgrimage and liturgical  functions.

Bronze Statue of St. Peter in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City

Bronze statue of St. Peter in St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City

Rain and Long Queue

When we arrived at the church, St. Peter ‘s Basilica, it was drizzling and we had to join a long queue to enter the church. According to our tour manager, Jenny, we were lucky that we queued for about an hour before we entered the church. She had to queue for three hours the last time she brought a tour group there!

Long queue to St; Peter's Basilica, the largest church in the world

Long queue to St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest Catholic church in the world

“Pieta”

When we entered the church, the first thing that caught my eyes on the right was a marble sculpture known as “Pieta”.

Floor Plan of St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City

Floor Plan of St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City

“Pieta” is a masterpiece created by a famous Italian sculptor, Michelangelo Buonorroti(1475-1564), from  1498 until 1499. It depicts Virgin Mary holding her dead son, Jesus Christ, on her lap after his crucifixion.

"Pieta" by Michelangelo

“Pieta” by Michelangelo

More sculptures, monuments, paintings and statues of previous popes, founders of religious orders, etc. can be seen in the church.

Monument dedicated to Pope Leo XI(1535-1605)

Monument dedicated to Pope Leo XI(1535-1605)

Monument dedicated to Pope XI(1611-1689) in St. Peter's Basilica

Monument dedicated to Pope XI(1611-1689) in St. Peter’s Basilica

Statue of Pope Pius X in St. Peter's Basilica

Statue of Pope Pius X in St. Peter’s Basilica

Other Basilicas

On the floor of the nave are markers showing the comparative sizes of other basilicas in other places.

On the floor of the nave of the church are makers showing other churches of comparative sizes

On the floor of the nave of the church are makers showing other churches of comparative sizes

The Holy Door

There is a special door known as “The Holy Door” made of bronze in the northernmost entrance of St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. It depicts the life of Jesus Christ.

The door is cemented shut and only opened for Jubilee Years of the church. The Catholics believe that if they go through the door during the Jubilee Years, they may be granted the plenary indulgences.

The Holy Door is only opened in Jubilee Years of St. Peter's Basilica

The Holy Door is only opened in Jubilee Years of St. Peter’s Basilica

Change of Guards at St. Peter’s Basilica

Coming out of the church at 5 p.m. I was fortunate to watch the change of the Swiss guards at the entrance adjacent to the church. The ceremony lasted for 5 minutes.

Swiss guards protect the pope and St. Peter's Basilica

Swiss guards protect the pope and St. Peter’s Basilica

The guards are Swiss citizens. Their duty is to protect the pope and the church. They wear a colourful uniform which has vertical blue, red, orange and yellow stripes.

Victoria Terma Hotel

In the evening we left the church, went for dinner and retired to our rooms at Victoria Terma Hotel that is a few kilometres from Rome City.

Tour group staying at Victoria Terma Hotel near Rome on the first night in Italy

Tour group staying at Victoria Terma Hotel near Rome on the first night in Italy

Home / Next

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

Home / Next

Italy Travel Part II: Rome

December 11, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
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Italy Travel Part II: Rome(continued) 

Day 3  Saturday, 4 November 2017

Map Showing the Location of Rome

Visiting Rome on Day 3: Saturday, 4 November 2017

Visiting Rome on Day 3: Saturday, 4 November 2017

Visiting Rome(continued)

In the morning we left Victoria Terma Hotel and went to visit two more places in Rome City before we left for Pisa and Florence in the north.

Trevi Fountain, Rome

The first iconic landmark we visited in the morning was a well-known Baroque fountain, Trevi Fountain. It was built in the 1752-1762 period by several sculptors with the facade of Poli Palace as its backdrop.

Trevi Fountain was built in 1732-1762 by a few sculpyors

Trevi Fountain was built in the 1732-1762 period by a few sculptors

Trevi Fountain viewed from right

Trevi Fountain viewed from right

Trevi Fountain seen from the left

Trevi Fountain seen from the left

Coins in Fountain-Pool

Visitors believe that if they throw coins into the fountain-pool after making one, two or three wishes their wish or wishes may be granted. Everyday many visitors throw about 30oo euro worth of coins into the water. The money collected is for subsidizing a supermarket for the poor.

Coins thrown by visitors into the fountain pool are worth 3000 euros a day

Coins thrown by visitors into the fountain pool are worth 3000 euros a day

Spanish Steps

Having spent a short time at Trevi Fountain, we left and took a long walk to another place of interest known as Spanish Steps.

The Spanish Steps has 135 steps from the Spanish Square below to a Roman Catholic church, Trinita dei Monti, on top of Pincia Hill. The steps were built to link the Bourbon Spanish Embassy below with the church on the hill.

Spanish Steps has 135 steps linking Spanish Square below and Church on top of Pincia Hill

Spanish Steps has 135 steps linking Spanish Square below and Church on top of Pincia Hill

Crowded Spanish Square

Crowded Spanish Square

Spanish Square

In the Spanish Square there is a small fountain known as “Fountain of Ugly Boat”.

Fountain of Ugly Boat in Spanish Square

Fountain of Ugly Boat in Spanish Square

At about 11 a.m. we were lucky to hear a band on the Spanish Steps playing Italian music.

Band Playing Italian Musics

Band Playing Italian Music

Trinita dei Monti Church

The Roman Catholic church located on Pincia Hill is known as Trnita dei Monti Church. It was built to replace the old one that was constructed by King Louis XII in 1502 to celebrate his victory in the Battle of Naples. This church was consecrated in 1585.

Triniti dei Monti Church on Pincia Hill

Triniti dei Monti Church on Pincia Hill

Roman Obelisk

In front of the church is a Roman obelisk that was moved there in 1789.

Interior of Trinita dei Monti

Interior of Trinita dei Monti

Journey to Florence

Soon we left Rome for Florence in the north. On the way we stopped at two places. The first place was a shop, Autogrill Service Area in Val di Chiana, where we stopped to buy Italian food products for our loved ones back home(Malaysia).

Shopping at Autogrill, Val di Chiana

At 3.30 p.m. we arrived at the shop, Autogrill. It was a pleasure to shop at this well-stocked place and the tour members were spoiled for choice. Besides, the shop-assistants were friendly and helpful.

Shopping for Italian foodstuffs at Autogrill, Val di Chiana, Italy

Shopping for Italian foodstuffs at Autogrill, Val di Chiana, Italy

Shopping at Autogrill, Val di Chiana

Shopping at Autogrill, Val di Chiana

Francesca, friendly shop-assistant

Francesca, friendly shop-assistant

Many kinds of foodstuffs at the shop

Many kinds of foodstuffs at the shop

Writer befriends a shop-assistant, Andra

Writer befriends a shop-assistant, Andra

After spending an hour at the shop, we moved on.

Pierotucci Leather Factory

In the evening we arrived at a leather factory known as Pierotucci Leather Factory near Florence City.

Established in 1972, it produces genuine leather bags, jackets and accessories. Besides producing its own designs, it also produces those of others such as Dunhill, Valentino, Bally, Fratelli Rossetti, Cole-Haan and Hugo Boss.

Pierotucci Leather Factory Workshop, Florence

Pierotucci Leather Factory Workshop, Florence

Leather Craftsmen

When we arrived at the factory, we were led into a workshop where expert craftsmen worked. As the workers had left the factory, a lady explained how a craftsman made a handbag. Then we were led to a showroom where many kinds of leather goods were displayed for sale.

Tour group at Pierotucci Leather Factory, Florence, Italy

Tour group at Pierotucci Leather Factory, Florence, Italy

Genuine leathers for making bags, jackets and accessories

Genuine leather for making bags, jackets and accessories

Factory showroom of leather-products

Factory showroom of leather-products

Genuine leather handbags in showroom

Genuine leather handbags in showroom

Genuine leather jackets in showroom

Genuine leather jackets in showroom

Genuine leather belts in showroom

Genuine leather belts in showroom

“Authentic Florentine Steak”

A few of us bought some items and then left for dinner at a L’ema restaurant nearby to savour the “Authentic Florentine Steak”. Unfortunately, I could not finish the meat as it was too “rubbery”.

Tour group having "Authentic Florentine Steak" for dinner at a L'ema restaurant

Tour group having “Authentic Florentine Steak” for dinner at a L’ema restaurant

Photo Session

At the restaurant I took the opportunity to take photos of the happy tour members and myself for remembrance.

Tye Family

Tye Family

Mr, and Mrs. Raymond Low, Penny and Fong Eng

Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Low, Penny and Fong Eng

Eunice and Lim

Mr. and Mrs. Lim

Mr, and Mrs. Lim

Mr. and Mrs. Lim

Mr. and Mrs. Look

Mr. and Mrs. Look

Ai Lan and Mee Lan

Ai Lan and Mee Lan

Mr. and Mrs. Ho

Mr. and Mrs. Ho

Mr. and Mrs. Leow

Mr. and Mrs. Leow

Writer(Choo Chaw) and wife(Peng)

Writer(Choo Chaw) and wife(Peng)

Hotel President, Prato

After the dinner we left and went to stay at a hotel, Hotel President, in Prato that is near Florence. We would be going to Pisa to see Leaning Tower of Pisa the following day.

Previous / Home / Next

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

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Italy Travel Part III: Pisa and Florence

December 11, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
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Italy Travel Part III: Pisa and Florence

Day 4:  Sunday, 5 November 2017

Visiting Leaning Tower of Pisa, Pisa

Visiting Pisa and Florence on Day 4, Sunday, 5 November 2017

Visiting Pisa and Florence on Day 4, Sunday, 5 November 2017

Rain in Pisa

In the morning we left our hotel. Hotel President near Florence and went west to Pisa. On arrival at Pisa, we walked in the rain from the coach parking area to Cathedral Square which was a few hundred metres away.

Pickpockets

On the way we came across some foreigners selling umbrellas and ponchos. They forewarned us that there were several pickpockets around, trying to steal tourists’ money. As we were walking to the square, we looked out for one another. Luckily, none of us fell prey to the pickpockets.

Walking in the rain to Leaning Tower of Pisa

Walking in the rain to Leaning Tower of Pisa

Souvenir stalls along a street to Pisa Tower

Souvenir stalls along a street leading to Pisa Tower

Three Monumental Buildings

When we were in the square we saw three prominent monumental buildings, namely Baptistery of St. John, Cathedral of Pisa and a world’s famous leaning tower known as “Leaning Tower of Pisa”.

Cold and wet in Cathedral Square of Pisa

Cold and wet in Cathedral Square of Pisa

Baptistery of St. John 

Baptistery of St. John is a Roman Catholic church that was built in Romanesque and Gothic architectural styles in the 1152-1363 period.

Three prominent buildings in Cathedral Square

Three prominent buildings in Cathedral Square

Cathedral of Pisa

Cathedral of Pisa is in between Baptistery of St. John and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It was built in Romanesque architectural style from 1063 until 1092 and dedicated to the Assumption of Virgin Mary. Now it is the seat of Archbishop of Pisa

Cathedral and Leaning Tower of Pisa

Cathedral of Pisa and Leaning Tower of Pisa

Leaning Tower of Pisa

The well-known tower, Leaning Tower of Pisa, which is about 56 metres high was built in Romanesque architectural style. The builders took almost 200 years(1173-1372) to complete the construction. Unfortunately, the tower tilted slowly to as much as 5.5 degrees while they were building it. It was due to weak foundation on one side of the ground.

Leaning Tower of Pisa has tilted to about 3 degrees

Leaning Tower of Pisa has tilted to about 3 degrees

Tower Tilting 5.5 Degrees

Later, frantic efforts were carried out to make the tower stand upright. But they could only reduce the leaning angle to about 3 degrees as we are seeing it now. I think it is because of its tilting nature that attracts the attention of millions of tourists every year.

Visiting Florence

Michelangelo Square

Michelangelo Square, Florence, Italy

Michelangelo Square, Florence, Italy

In the afternoon we left Pisa and travelled east to Florence City. Before we entered the city, we went to Michelangelo Square on a small hill in the south. Standing at the square in the rain, we saw the beautiful city of Florence.

 

Panoramic view of Florence City from Michelangelo Square

Panoramic view of Florence City from Michelangelo Square

Bronze Statue of David

In the square we saw a bronze statue of David which is a replica of Michelangelo’s marble statue of David.

Bronze statue of David in Michelangelo Square

Bronze statue of David in Michelangelo Square

Florence Square

When we entered the city centre, the first place we visited was a square known as Florence Square where we met a local guide, Virginia.

Virginia, Florence tour-guide talking to tour group

Virginia, Florence tour-guide talking to tour group

Florence Tour Guide, Virginia

In the square, Virginia brought us round and told us about the monumental buildings. some of which are shown below

Cathedral of St. Mary of the Flower

This huge cathedral with a red dome was built in 1296-1436 in Gothic architectural style. It is the largest one in Florence.

 

Cathedral of St. Mary of the Flower, the main Florence church

Cathedral of St. Mary of the Flower, the main Florence church

An entrance to the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Flower, Florence

An entrance to the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Flower, Florence

The interior of Cathedral of St. Mary of the Flower

The interior of Cathedral of St. Mary of the Flower

Giotto’s Bell Tower

Close to the cathedral and built in Gothic architectural style from 1334 until 1359 is a tall tower, Giotto’s Bell Tower, that is about 85 metres tall. Visitors can climb up 414 steps to the top to see the whole city of Florence.

Giotto's Bell Tower next to Cathedral of St. Mary of the Flower in Florence Cathedral Square

Giotto’s Bell Tower next to Cathedral of St. Mary of the Flower in Florence Cathedral Square

Giotto Bell Tower, Florence

Giotto Bell Tower, Florence

Baptistery of St. John

Another building near the cathedral is Baptistery of St. John in Romanesque architectural style. It was built in the 1059-1128 period in octagonal shape and has three bronze doors with relief sculptures. One of them was dubbed as “Door of Paradise” by Michelangelo.

Baptistery of St. John in Florence Cathedral Square

Baptistery of St. John in Florence Cathedral Square

One of the three doors of Baptistery of St. John

One of the three bronze doors of Baptistery of St. John

Signora Square

Then we walked a short distance to another place known as Signora Square. This square was the political focus of Florence for many years. On one side of the square an equestrian monument of Cosimo I(1519-1574) was erected in 1594.

Cosimo I Monument

Cosimo I was the 2nd. Duke of Florence from 1537 until 1569. The Fountain of Neptune near the monument was under repair.

Signoria Square, the political focus of Florence

Signoria Square, the political focus of Florence

Palazzo Vecchio

In the square there is a building, Palazzo Vecchio, which houses the town hall and a museum, too. It was built in the 13th. Century to show the importance of Florence and protect the magistrates of the city in times of turbulence.

Palazzo Vecchio, a town hall and museum

Palazzo Vecchio, a town hall and museum

Statue of David

At the entrance of the building there is a statue of David which is a replica of Michelangelo(1475-1564)’s David statue on one side and statues of Hercules and Cacus by Baccio Bandinelli(1493-1560) on the other side.

Statues of David, Hercules and Cacus at the entrance of Palazzo Vecchio

Statues of David, Hercules and Cacus at the entrance of Palazzo Vecchio

Signora Square, the political focus of Florence

Signora Square, the political focus of Florence

Loggia dei Lanzi

Loggia dei Lanzi built in the 15th. Century is an open-air gallery of Renaissance sculptures.

Loggia dei Lanzi, an open-air gallery of Renaissance sculptures

Loggia dei Lanzi, an open-air gallery of Renaissance sculptures

This building at Signora Square displays several beautiful sculptures. The photos below show some of them.

A bronze statue of Perseus holding Medusa's head

A bronze statue of Perseus holding Medusa’s head

Statue of a Male Lion belonging to Ferdino I of Medici(1549-1609)

Statue of a Male Lion belonging to Ferdino I of Medici(1549-1609)

"Hercules beating the Centaur Nessus" by Giovanni Bologna(1529-1608), a Flemish sculptor living in Italy

“Hercules beating the Centaur Nessus” by Giovanni Bologna(1529-1608), a Flemish sculptor living in Italy

"Menelaus supporting the body of Petroclus" sculpture, a much restored Roman sculpture

“Menelaus supporting the body of Petroclus” sculpture, a much restored Roman sculpture

"The Rape of Polyxena" by Pio Fedi(1815-1892), an Italian sculptor

“The Rape of Polyxena” by Pio Fedi(1815-1892), an Italian sculptor

Uffizi Gallery

Uffizi Gallery is behind Loggia dei Lanzi. It is a famous large museum that has 101 rooms displaying artworks, particularly, from the Italian Renaissance period. It attracts many visitors every year. About 2 million people entered the museum in 2016.

Uffizi Gallery, a famous museum of artworks, particularly, from the Italian Renaissance

Uffizi Gallery, a famous museum of artworks, particularly, from the Italian Renaissance

Uffizi Gallery has niches in exterior columns that contain statues of important historical figures, such as Michelangelo Buonarroti, Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo Galilei, and Dante to name a few.

Michelangelo Buonarroti(1475-1564)

Michelangelo was born in Florence, He was a sculptor, painter, architect and poet. His famous sculptures include “David” and “Pieta”.

Michelangelo Buonarroti(1475-1564) was born in Florence. He was a scul[tor, painter, architect and poet. His famous sculptures include "David" and "Pieta".

Michelangelo Buonarroti(1475-1564) was born in Florence. He was a sculptor, painter, architect and poet. His famous sculptures include “David” and “Pieta”.

Leonardo da Vinci(1452-1519)

Leonardo was an Italian polymath who had many areas of interest such as sculpture, painting, invention and astronomy. His famous paintings include “Mona Lisa” and “The Last Supper”.

Leonardo da Vinci(1452-1519) was an Italian polymath who had many areas of interest. His famous paintings include "Mona Lisa" and "The Last Supper".

Leonardo da Vinci(1452-1519) was an Italian polymath who had many areas of interest. His famous paintings include “Mona Lisa” and “The Last Supper”.

Galileo Galilei(1564-1642)

Galileo was also an Italian polymath who was interested in astronomy, physics, engineering, natural philosophy and Mathematics.

Galileo Galilei(1564-1642) was an Italian polymath interested in astronomy, physics, engineering, natural philosophy and Mathematics.

Galileo Galilei(1564-1642) was an Italian polymath interested in astronomy, physics, engineering, natural philosophy and Mathematics.

Dante Alighieri(1265-1321)

Dante Alighieri(1265-1321) was an Italian statesman, poet, language theorist and political theorist.

Dante Alighieri(1265-1321) was an Italian statesman, poet, language theorist and political theorist.

Ponte Vecchio(Old Bridge)

Ponte Vecchio is a 30 metre-long stone-bridge that spans River Arno. The first bridge was built in the Roman times. It had been destroyed by flood a few times and then reconstructed.

Ponte Vecchio is an old 30 metre-long stone-bridge spanning River Arno in Florence.

Ponte Vecchio is an old 30 metre-long stone-bridge spanning River Arno in Florence.

Shops have been built on the bridge selling jewellery and souvenirs to tourists.

Shops on Ponte Vecchio selling jewellery and souvenirs to tourists

Shops on Ponte Vecchio selling jewellery and souvenirs to tourists

Basilica Santo Croce

In the evening we left the old bridge, Ponte Vecchio, and walked for several minutes to a restaurant for dinner. On the way we came across a white cathedral, Basilica Santa Croce(Basilica of the Holy Cross), that housed the tombs of many influential Italians, including those of Michelangelo and Galileo. So it is also known as the Temple of the Italian Glories.

Built in the 1294-1385 period. it is the main principal Franciscan church and a minor basilica of the Roman Catholic church.

Basilica Santo Croce that houses the tombs of Michelangelo and Galileo

Basilica Santo Croce that houses the tombs of Michelangelo and Galileo

Hotel President, Prato, Florence

After dinner we went back to our hotel, Hotel President in Prato, to rest.

The following day, we left Florence for Venice.

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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): Florence and Milan

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Italy Travel Part IV: Venice

December 11, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
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Italy Travel Part IV: Venice

Day 5:  Monday, 6 November 2017

Journey from Florence to Venice

We left the Florence hotel, Hotel President, in the morning and travelled to Venice in the northeast of Italy.

Map of Italy showing the location of Venice

Visiting Venice on Day 5, Monday, 6 November 2017

Visiting Venice on Day 5, Monday, 6 November 2017

Venice

Venice is built on more than 100 islands in a lagoon. The islands are separated by canals, straddled by over 400 bridges. A causeway, Bridge of Liberty(Ponte della Liberta), connects the mainland to a small island of Venice.

This causeway, Bridge of Liberty(Ponte Della Liberta), connects the mainland and a Venice island

This causeway, Bridge of Liberty(Ponte Della Liberta), connects the mainland and a Venice island

Causeway

In the afternoon we arrived at the island of Venice after crossing the causeway from the mainland. Then we boarded a boat that took us to another but larger island, San Marco Island(St. Mark Island).

Tour group taking a boat to San Marco Island of Venice

Tour group taking a boat to San Marco Island of Venice

Spectacular Views

While sailing to San Marco Island we saw a few large cruise ships and spectacular views of old medieval buildings, hotels and churches on some islands.

A large cruise ship bringing tourists to Venice

A large cruise ship bringing tourists to Venice

Tour group's boat passing by a beautiful building, Hotel Hilton, on Giudecca Island of Venice

Tour group’s boat passing by a beautiful building, Hotel Hilton, on Giudecca Island of Venice

Old Venetian buildings along the waterfront of Dorsudoro Island of Venice

Old Venetian buildings along the waterfront of Dorsoduro Island of Venice

Photographing

While sailing to the island, we took the opportunity to take some photos of ourselves in the boat for remembrance. Below are a few of them.

Writer and wife

Writer and wife

Raymond Low and wife

Raymond Low and wife

Mr. Tye and family

Mr. Tye and family

Some Ladies of Tour Group

Some Ladies of Tour Group

Mr. and Mrs. Lim

Mr. and Mrs. Lim

San Marco Island of Venice

After a 20 minute boat-ride, we sighted San Marco Island with a prominent bell tower known as St. Mark’s Bell Tower. The view was stunning.

After a short boat riding, we sighted our destination, San Marco Island.

After a short boat riding, we sighted our destination, San Marco Island.

Soon we arrived and disembarked at the jetty of San Marco Island.

Tour group arriving on San Marco Island of Venice

Tour group arriving on San Marco Island of Venice

Waterfront of San Marco Island

The waterfront is wide and about 1 metre above sea-level. Hence, it is prone to flooding whenever the tide is high. But tables kept on the waterfront are ready to be used by visitors if it is flooded.

Tables on the waterfront are ready to be used by visitors if there is flood

Tables on the waterfront are ready to be used by visitors if there is a flood

Tables were used earlier by visitors queuing up to enter St. Mark Cathedral in San Marco Square.

Visitors standing on tables to prevent their feet from getting wet in flooded San Marco Square, Venice

Visitors standing on tables to prevent their feet from getting wet in flooded San Marco Square, Venice

Flood in Venice

A flood occurred in Venice on the following day after our visit.

Venice was flooded on Tuesday. 7 November 2017 when we were in Florence

Venice was flooded on Tuesday. 7 November 2017 when we were in Florence

Venetian Buildings

On the waterfront there are several rows of old Venetian buildings. Among them are Doge’s Palace(Palazzo Ducale) and a prison separated by a narrow canal.

 

Wide eastern waterfront of San Marco Island

Wide eastern waterfront of San Marco Island

Wide westerm waterfront of San Marco Island

Wide westerm waterfront of San Marco Island

Doges of Venice

Doges of Venice were chief magistrates and leaders with supreme authority of the former Republic of Venice. They were elected for life. Venice was under their rule from 697 until 1797 when France under Napoleon Bonaparte(1769-1821) captured it.

Doge’s Palace(Palazzo Ducale)

Doge’s Palace built in Gothic architectural style and established in 1340 was the residence of the Doge of Venice until 1797 when France took over Venice. Later, the palace was taken over by Austria when Venice was ruled by Austria. In 1866 Venice became part of Italy.

Since 1923 it has become an art museum.

Doge's Palace(Left) and Old Prison(Right)

Doge’s Palace(Left) and Old Prison(Right)

Bridge of Sighs

A bridge was built from Doge’s Palace to the prison next to it in 1614. Known as the Bridge of Sighs, it was built for criminals who were sentenced to jail. They had to walk across the bridge from Doge’s Palace where the court was situated to the prison.

While crossing the bridge, the criminals had a last look outside through the two windows, sighed and entered the prison to serve their sentences.

Bridge of Sighs links Doge's Palace and Old Prison

Bridge of Sighs links Doge’s Palace to the Old Prison

Writer and wife standing on a bridge and Bridge of Sighs in the background

Writer and wife standing on a bridge, with the Bridge of Sighs in the background

Over 400 Bridges in Venice

There are over 400 bridges in Venice. Most of them are short, straddling narrow canals and different from each other in design.

A low bridge in Venice

A low bridge in Venice

A short and low bridge

A short and low bridge in Venice

A high bridge in Venice

A high bridge in Venice

Malaysian beauties on a Venetian bridge

Malaysian beauties on a Venetian bridge

San Giorgio Maggiore Church

Standing on the waterfront I looked across a waterway, the Grand Canal, and saw a large church on Dorsoduro Island. It is called San Giorgio Maggiore, a 16 th. Century Benedictine church built in Classical Renaissance architectural style in the 1566-1610 period.

San Giorgio Maggiore Church on Dorsodura Island of Venice

San Giorgio Maggiore Church on Dorsodura Island of Venice

Venetian Ladies

On the waterfront we saw two ladies walking on stilts. They were dressed in traditional Venetian costumes and wearing masks. They were inviting visitors to take photos with them.

Venetian ladies in traditional costumes and wearing masks on waterfront

Venetian ladies in traditional costumes and wearing masks on waterfront

Venetian Masks

There were some souvenir stalls on the waterfront. The most common things they were selling were the Venetian masks.

Venetian masks are usually worn during the Carnival of Venice which is an annual festival in Venice. They may wear full-face masks or eye masks to hide their identity and social status.

Venetian masks worn during the Carnival of Venice

Venetian full-face masks worn during the Carnival of Venice

Venetian eye-masks worn during the Carnival of Venice

Venetian eye-masks worn during the Carnival of Venice

Black Spaghetti for Lunch

When it was lunchtime, we went to a restaurant, Taverna dei Dogi, in an alley near St. Mark’s Square. We had black spaghetti or squid ink spaghetti, simple salad, fried squid rings and ice-cream for lunch.

Tour group having lunch at Taverna dei Dogi Restaurant, Venice

Tour group having lunch at Taverna dei Dogi Restaurant, Venice

Interior of Taverna dei Dogi Restaurant, Venice

Interior of Taverna dei Dogi Restaurant, Venice

Black Spaghetti or Squid Ink Spaghetti

Black Spaghetti or Squid Ink Spaghetti

Simple Salad

Simple Salad

Tasty Fried Squid Slices

Tasty Fried Squid Rings

Glass-Blowing Demonstration

After lunch, we walked to a glass-shop in Castello District which was nearby. At the shop we watched a glass-blower, Parlo, making a glass-object by traditional method. After the glass-blowing demonstration, we went to the glass showroom where many kinds of glass-objects were for sale, such as chandeliers, drinking glasses, glass figures, etc. But none of us bought any of them as it was troublesome to bring them home, 10 000 km away from Venice.

Glass-master demonstrating traditional glass-making

Glass-blower, Parlo, demonstrating traditional glass-making

Glass-objects of different forms, sizes and colours for sale

Glass objects in different forms, sizes and colours for sale

Glass-shop assistant trying to sell Venetian glass-objects

Glass-shop assistant trying to sell Venetian glass-objects

St. Mark Square(Piazza San Marco)

Later, we went to the most important place in Venice. It is the centre for social, political and religious activities of the city. It is known as St. Mark’s Square(Piazza dei San Marco).

St, Mark's Bell Tower built in the 12th. Century is 98.6 metres tall in the centre of St. Mark's Square

St. Mark’s Square is an important place for social, political and religious activities in Venice.

Malaysian tour group in St. Mark Square(Piazza San Marco), Venice

Malaysian tour group in St. Mark’s Square(Piazza San Marco), Venice

Malaysian tour group visiting St. Mark's Square on 6 Nov 2017

Group photo

St. Mark’s Bell Tower

In the centre of the square stands a tall tower, St. Mark’s Bell Tower. It is 98.6 metres tall and built in 1912 replacing the old one that collapsed in 1902. The first one was built in the 12th. Century as a watch-tower or lighthouse.

St. Mark's Bell Tower built in 1912 to replace the old one that collapsed in 1902 is 98.6 metres high.

St. Mark’s Bell Tower built in 1912 to replace the old one that collapsed in 1902 is 98.6 metres high.

St. Mark’s Cathedral(Basilica dei San Marco)

On its western side is a large church, Basilica dei San Marco(St. Mark Cathedral). It was built in 978-1092 with five domes and five arches in front. It has a mixture of Italian, Byzantine and Gothic architectural styles.

It was built as a private chapel for the Doges until 1807 when the local bishop, Patriarch of Venice, took over in 1807.

St. Mark's Cathedral(Basilica San Marco) built in 978-1092 houses St. Mark's Treasure in St. Mark's Square, Venice

St. Mark’s Cathedral(Basilica San Marco) built in 978-1092 houses St. Mark’s Treasure in St. Mark’s Square,

The Church houses St. Mark’s Treasure consisting of 293 items in gold, silver, glass and other precious materials from various sources like from Constatinople, Western art, of Islamic origin and others.

Gondola Ride 

Finally, we went to a pond or small lake, Bacino Orseolo, near St. Mark’s Square to ride gondolas.

A gondola is Venetian iconic boat that looks like a canoe. Painted black, it is 11 metres long with comfortable seats and ornately decorated.

 

Bacino Orseolo is a place for gondola rides

Bacino Orseolo is a place for gondola rides

Fellow tour members getting ready for a gondola ride

Fellow tour members enjoying a gondola ride

10 000 Gondolas

About 200 years ago, there were approximately 10 000 gondolas, but now there are about 500 left. Those boats were the chief means of transportation in Venice in the olden days. Today most of them are used for carrying tourists who want to enjoy the ride.

Venetian gondolas at a mooring on Grand Canal, Venice

Venetian gondolas at a mooring on Grand Canal, Venice

Bacino Orseolo

A tourist gondola can carry 6 persons and is rowed by a gondolier. My wife and I together with 4 members of the Tye family sat in a gondola at Bacino Orseolo, a small lake. Our seating in the gondola was decided by the gondolier as he did not want his boat to be tilted to one side

Writer, wife and Tye family enjoying gondola ride

Writer, wife and Tye family enjoying gondola ride

Slow Gondola Ride

Shortly afterwards, we were moving away from the lake. The boat was moving slowly along narrow canals and part of the large canal known as Grand Canal, passing under low bridges.

Gondola moving into busy Grand Canal of Venice

Gondola moving into busy Grand Canal of Venice

Marco, the Gondolier

Our gondolier was Marco. We asked him to sing for us while he was rowing, but there was no response from him. Anyway, we enjoyed the sights and sounds of  Venice as we were moving along the canals and under low bridges. The ride which lasted for about 20 minutes is a memorable one.

Marco is a skilful gondolier since he was a teenager.

Marco is a skilful gondolier plying his trade since he was a teenager.

Gondoliers row their boats with skill and care in narrow canals

Gondoliers row their boats with skill and care in narrow canals

Low canal bridges will be a problem for gondoliers to row their boats underneath.

Low canal bridges are a problem for gondoliers during high tide.

Rialto Bridge(Ponte de Rialto)

While riding in a gondola on Grand Canal, we saw an iconic bridge of Venice known as Rialto Bridge. Constructed in 1591, it spans Grand Canal and connects San Marco Island and San Palo Island.

Rialto Bridge(Ponte de Rialto) spanning Grand Canal was constructed in 1591.

Rialto Bridge(Ponte de Rialto) spanning Grand Canal was constructed in 1591.

Departure for Venice Mainland

Soon we left Venice’s San Marco Island and returned to the mainland of Venice. Then we headed west to a hotel, Hotel Da Porto, along Viale del Sole to stay overnight before going to Verona and Milan in the north the following day.

Previous / Home / Next

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

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Italy Travel Part V(Final): Verona and Milan

Italy Travel Part V(Final): Verona and Milan

Day 6: Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Map showing the location of Verona and Milan

Visiting Verona and Milan on Day 6: Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Visiting Verona and Milan on Day 6: Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Visiting Verona

After breakfast at Hotel Da Porto near Venice, we headed west to Verona.

Verona has a population of about 260 000. It is a famous tourist destination due to its historical buildings, monuments and churches.

Arena

On arrival in Piazza Bra in Central Verona, we saw a circular Roman amphitheatre which is similar to the Colosseum in Rome. But its size is much smaller and is known as the Arena.

Arena, an amphitheatre for concerts and opera performances

Arena, an amphitheatre for concerts and opera performances

Built in 30 A.D. for shows and gladiator games for 25 000 spectators, the Arena is now used for concerts and opera performances.

Palazzo Barbieri(Verona Town Hall)

Near the Arena is a yellow building known as Palazzo Barbieri. Built in neoclassical architectural style in the 1836-1848 period for staff associated with the occupying Austrian Army forces. it is now the city hall of Verona.

City Town Hall of Verona in the background

City Town Hall of Verona in the background

Shutterbugs Having a Field Day in Piazza Bra

Before we went to the next place we had some time off for taking photographs in the square, Piazza Bra.

Ladies of the Malaysian Tour Group in Verona

Pretty ladies in a row

Gentlemen of the Malaysian Tour Group in Verona, Italy

Gentlemen not to be outdone!

Juliet’s House

After that, we walked to a place which was a few hundred metres away. It was where a house that seemingly that belonged to Juliet was sited.

Juliet's House in Verona

Juliet’s House in Verona

William Shakespeare’s Play, “Romeo and Juliet”

Romeo and Juliet were young lovers in William Shakespeare’s popular play, “Romeo and Juliet”. In the play, the families of Romeo and Juliet were enemies and therefore the lovers could not marry each other. Owing to unfortunate happenings, both drank poison and died. But their deaths made the two families end their feud.

Juliet's Balcony

Juliet’s Balcony

Juliet’s House

As Shakespeare had set the popular play in Verona and the owner of the house, Dal Cappello or Cappelletti, had the same name as Juliet’s family, people believed that the house was Juliet’s.

Wife with Juliet

Writer’s wife with “Juliet”

Mr. and Mrs. Ho with Juliet in Verona

Mr. and Mrs. Ho with “Juliet” in Verona

Mr. and Mrs. Tye with Juliet

Mr. and Mrs. Tye with “Juliet”

Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Low with Juliet in Verona

Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Low with “Juliet” in Verona

Juliet’s Balcony

The house has a balcony where Romeo and Juliet met and Romeo promised Juliet eternal love according to Shakespeare’s play. Besides, there is a life-sized bronze statue of Juliet in the courtyard.

The statue was erected in the courtyard in 1972. It was created by a Veronese sculptor, Nereo Costatini.

Visitors' love notes and graffitis

Romantic visitors’ love notes and graffitis at the entrance

Inner walls of entrance of Juliet's house are full of love notes, locks and graffitis left behind by romantic visitors

Inner walls of entrance to Juliet’s house are full of love notes, locks and graffitis left behind by romantic visitors

Entrance and Courtyard Walls

Young and old visitors like to rub the statue believing that they will get eternal happiness, youthfulness and love. Besides, they like to leave behind love notes, locks and graffitis on the entrance and courtyard walls.

Love notes and graffitis on wall of courtyard

Love notes and graffitis on wall of courtyard

Monument of Giuseppe Garibaldi(1807-1882)

While walking further away from Juliet’s house, I came across an equestrian monument of Giuseppe Garibaldi.

Garibaldi(1807-1882) who was a famous general played an important role in the unification of Italy.

The process of the unification began in 1815 and ended in 1871 when several different states united as the Kingdom of Italy.

Giuseppe Garibaldi(1807-1882), an Italian general who played an important role in the unification of Italy

Giuseppe Garibaldi(1807-1882), an Italian general who played an important role in the unification of Italy

Scaliger Tombs

Adjacent to Palazzo del Comune there is a small church, Santa Maria Antica Church. In 1200s the Scaliger family took it over and made it their private church. The Scaliger family is a group of lords ruling Verona. In 1300s they used the church compound as a burial ground for the Scaliger lords.

In front of the church within the iron-grilled enclosure, there are five tombs of Scaliger lords which are Gothic funerary monuments of the Scaliger family.

 

Santa Maria Church and Scaliger Tombs in the front court in Verona

Santa Maria Church and Scaliger Tombs in the front court in Verona

Scaliger Tombs which are Gothic funerary monuments of the Scaliger Family in Verona

Scaliger Tombs which are Gothic funerary monuments of the Scaliger Family in Verona

Visiting Milan, the last Destination

Later, we left Verona and moved on. We headed north-east to our final destination of the tour, i.e. Milan.

Victor Emmanuel II Gallery(Galleria Vittoria Emanuele II)

Soon we arrived in Milan and visited the oldest shopping mall in the world. Known as Victor Emmanuel II Gallery(Galleria Vittoria Emanuele II), it was built in the 1865-1877 period. The large building is covered with iron-glass roofs and a large glass dome in the centre.

An entrance to Victor Emmanuel II Gallery, Milan

An entrance to Victor Emmanuel II Gallery, Milan

Oldest shopping mall in the world

Oldest shopping mall in the world

Brightly-lit interior of the Gallery

Brightly-lit interior of the Gallery

Coats of Arms

It houses shops, restaurants and hotels. There are four mosaics on the floor in the centre of the Gallery portraying the coats of arms of the three capitals of the Kingdom of Italy, namely, Turin, Florence and Rome plus Milan.

Mosaic on the floor of Victor Emmanuel II Gallery portraying the Turin's coat of arm

Mosaic on the floor of Victor Emmanuel II Gallery portraying the Turin’s coat of arms

The Three Spins

It is interesting to learn that if a person spins around three times on one of his/her heels on the testicles of the bull in the mosaic of the coat of arms of Turin, he/she will get good luck. I saw a few visitors trying their luck, but they all failed. I failed too when I tried.

A visitor trying the three spins on a bull in mosaic

A visitor trying the three spins on a bull’s testicles in mosaic on the floor

Milan Cathedral Square(Piazza Duomo)

Adjacent to the Gallery is a large open space known as Milan Cathedral Square(Piazza Duomo).

Milan Cathedral Square(Piazza Duomo)

Milan Cathedral Square(Piazza Duomo)

Equestrian Statue of the First King of Italy

In the middle of the square there is a bronze equestrian statue of the first King of Italy Kingdom, Victor Emmanuel II(1820=1878) on a high pedestal.

Equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel II, the first King of the Kingdom of Italy

Equestrian statue of Victor Emmanuel II, the first King of the Kingdom of Italy

Milan Cathedral(Duomo di Milan)

On one side of the square near the Gallery stands a beautiful, majestic, Gothic cathedral, Milan Cathedral. The builders took over 600 years from 1386 to 1965 to complete constructing the Cathedral. With seating capacity of 40 000, it is the largest Roman Catholic church in Italy and the 3rd. in the world. The church is dedicated to St. Mary of the Nativity.

Beautiful, majestic Roman Catholic church, Milan Cathedral

Beautiful, majestic Roman Catholic church, Milan Cathedral

Writer and wife in Milan Cathedral Square

Writer and wife in Milan Cathedral Square

Bronze Door

A large closed bronze door in the middle has 3-D figures depicting the life story of Jesus Christ. Some of them are shown below.

Birth of Jesus Christ

Birth of Jesus Christ

Mother and Child

Mother and Child

Walk to Calvary Hill

Walk to Calvary Hill

Crucifixion

Crucifixion

"Pieta": Virgin Mary holding Jesus Christ's dead body after his crucifixion

“Pieta”: Virgin Mary holding Jesus Christ’s dead body after his crucifixion

Ascension

Ascension

Marble Sculptures

The exterior walls of the church and facade are full of  marble sculptures. The figurines of the sculptures look like dolls from a distance. Here are some of them.

Small figures on and around window

Small figures on and around window

Marble statues on wall of Milan Cathedral

Marble statues on wall of Milan Cathedral

Marble figures on column of Milan Cathedral

Marble figures on column of Milan Cathedral

Sforza Castle

In the evening we left Milan Cathedral and Victor Emmanuel II Gallery for dinner. After dinner we walked to a historical castle known as Sforza Castle.

The original castle was built in the 14th. Century as a residence for lords. When it was destroyed in 1447, Francesco Sforza, the Duke of Milan, rebuilt it in 1450 and made it as his residence. Later, it became a fort used by Spanish invaders and then Austrians.

Sforza Castle in Milan

Sforza Castle in Milan

After World War II(1939-1945), the badly damaged castle was reconstructed. It has been used for housing some museums since then.

Departure for Malaysia

For the last night in Italy, we stayed at Mercure Hotel. The following morning we left Milan and flew back to Malaysia, our home, via Hong Kong.

Addio, goodbye to Italy!

Addio, goodbye to Italy!

That was an enjoyable, educational and unforgettable trip in Italy.

Previous / Home 

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

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Writer’s List of Memorable Travels

July 10, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
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Writer’s List of Travels

1.  Africa

South Africa

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: 

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

Part II: Sydney

3.  China:

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

3. 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

4.  Europe:

i.  Western Europe Travel

Part I: Germany, Switzerland, France

Part II: France, Belgium, Holland, England

ii.  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)

5.  Indonesia:

i.  Bali Travel       

ii Batam Island Travel

6. Italy:

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

7.  Japan:

Part I: Osaka, Kyoto, Hamamatsu

Part II: Owakudani Valley, Mt. Fuji, Tokyo

8.  Myanmar:

Part I: Yangon, Bagan, Mount Popa

Part II: Yangon, Kyauktan

9.  New Zealand:

New Zealand Travel

10.  South Korea

Part I:  Seoul, Jeju Island

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

11.  Singapore:

Singapore Heritage Trail

Part I: Chinatown, Little India

Part II: Malay Heritage, Civic District

12.  Thailand:

i. Bangkok, Ayuthaya Travel

Part I: Bangkok, Ayuthaya

Part I: Bangkok

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

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

Part I: Maesa, Chiang Mai

iii.  Phuket Travel 

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

13.  U.S.A & Canada

i.   East Coast

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

ii.   West Coast

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

14.   Vietnam

Hanoi Travel

Part I: Hanoi, Halong Bay

Part II: Hoa Lo, Tam Coc, Hanoi

END

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

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

(continue from Part VII)

Friday, 2 Dec 2016

Gold Reef City: Gold Mine Museum

This Friday was our last day in South Africa before we went back to Malaysia, our homeland, in the evening. But we had one more place to visit in the morning. It was a gold mine museum which was in a theme park known as Gold Reef City that was located 7 km south-west of Johannesburg City. The museum offered an underground mine tour.

Map showing gold rich area, Witwatersrand, and Gold Reef City Theme Park

Map showing gold rich area, Witwatersrand, and Gold Reef City Theme Park

Underground Gold Deposit

Witwatersrand region around Johannesburg City has the largest underground gold deposit in the world. 50% of the world’s gold production is from this region.

When gold was first discovered in 1886 in this region gold prospectors from within and without South Africa rushed to the place and started drilling for the underground gold.

Crown Mines Group

Crown Mines Group, one of the gold prospectors, started mining in 1916 at the place known as Shaft 14 which is now located in Gold Reef City Theme Park. It closed Shaft 14 in 1977 when the depth of the mining level had reached 3293 metres below the surface. In 1979, it donated the land to Rand Mines which turned it into a museum.

Crown Mines owned Shaft 14 and the diagram shows that gold had been mined to the level, 3293 metres below the surface.

Crown Mines owned Shaft 14 and the diagram shows that gold had been mined to the level, 3293 metres below the surface.

Gold Mine Tour

After breakfast at Hotel Peermont Mondior that was near Johannesburg International Airport, we travelled to Gold Reef City, a theme park. When we reached the park, there were many people, young and old from all walks of life, waiting for the gate to be opened before they could go in and enjoy the kinds of thrills they liked inside.

Choo Chaw taking a photo at Hotel Peermont Mondior before leaving for Gold Mine Museum

Choo Chaw taking a photo at Hotel Peermont Mondior before leaving for Gold Mine Museum

People of all ages and from all walks of life waiting outside Gold Reef City where they could enjoy many thrills

People of all ages and from all walks of life waiting outside Gold Reef City where they could enjoy many thrills

Pictorial map showing the locations of different thrills and Gold Mine Museum Tour

Pictorial map showing the locations of different thrills and Gold Mine Museum Tour

When it was opened, we passed through it to get to the gold mine museum. The mine was originally owned by Crown Mines Group which started mining the place in 1916 and closed it in 1977 when the shaft known as Shaft 14 reached a depth of 3293 metres below the surface.

Entrance to Gold Reef City Theme Park and Gold Mine Museum which offers mine tour

Entrance to Gold Reef City Theme Park and Gold Mine Museum which offers mine tour

Shaft 14

At the museum, a mine tour-guide greeted us and gave each of us a headlamp and safety-helmet. Then we followed him to Shaft 14, entered the shaft-cage or elevator which brought us to Level 2 that was 75 metres below the surface.

Headlamps and helmets were given to fellow-Malaysians before entering the underground gold mine.

Headlamps and helmets were given to fellow-Malaysians before entering the underground gold mine.

Shaft 14 of Crown Mines has two shafts for transporting miners, equipment and materials from 1916 until 1977

Shaft 14 of Crown Mines has two shafts for transporting miners, equipment and materials from 1916 until 1977

Fellow-Malaysians entering Shaft 14 for an underground mine tour

Fellow-Malaysians entering Shaft 14 for an underground mine tour

Head-Frame and Winder

The cage was lowered into Shaft 14 by a cable that went round a tall head-frame and to a hoist-machine or winder outside the shaft.

Head-frame for lowering or hoisting up shaft-cage or elevator with the help of hoist-machine

Head-frame for lowering or hoisting up shaft-cage or elevator with the help of hoist-machine

Air-compressor(green) for pumping air into shafts and shaft-winder for lowering or hoisting cage or elevator in shafts

Air-compressor(green) for pumping air into shafts and shaft-winder for lowering or hoisting cage or elevator in shafts

Acid Mine Water

Although the maximum depth of the mine was about 3293 metres underground, most of the shafts had been filled with acid mine water. The acid was produced when rain-water flowed into the shaft and reacted with sulfides of iron in the underground rocks.

Choo Chaw and wife visiting underground gold mine

Choo Chaw and wife visiting underground gold mine

Underground Mine Tour 

At Level 2, our mine-guide gave us a good lesson on mining, uses of machines, safety measures, first-aid given to injured miners, etc.

Adit or tunnel leading to a place or stope where gold-ore was excavated

Adit or tunnel
leading to a place or stope where gold-ore was excavated

Mine tour-guide giving mining lesson to fellow-Malaysians at Level 2 of Shaft 14

Mine tour-guide giving mining lesson to fellow-Malaysians at Level 2 of Shaft 14

Fellow-Malaysians following the guide into the deep tunnel

Fellow-Malaysians following the guide into the deep tunnel

Gold-Bearing Rocks

The rocks in the mine of Crown Mines consist of conglomerate pebbles, mostly of quartz, in sandy matrix with abundant pyrite(iron sulfide) in the cement. It is the cement that contains the gold and not the pebbles. Less than one gram of gold can be extracted from one ton of gold-bearing rock in the underground mine. But this amount varies from place to place.

Gold-bearing rocks in a tunnel at Level 2

Gold-bearing rocks in a tunnel at Level 2

Relics at Level 2

There were several relics of the mine left behind at Level 2 for visitors to see, such as locomotive, wagons, explosives, fuses, mercury arc rectifier and a few more.

Locomotive for pulling wagons loaded with rocks and equipment

Locomotive for pulling wagons loaded with rocks and equipment

A machine for loading gold-bearing rocks into wagons

A machine for loading gold-bearing rocks into wagons

Explosives for blasting gold-bearing rocks

Explosives for blasting gold-bearing rocks

Mercury Arc Rectifier

An old mercury arc rectifier for converting alternating current into direct current for machines in the gold mine

Pump for getting rid of water in the underground mine

Pump for getting rid of water in the underground mine

Mine-Workers’ Jobs

In the mine dummies were used to show visitors the jobs mine-workers used to do, e.g. drilling, taking attendance of workers and loading rocks.

A dummy resembling a mine-worker drilling rocks to break them up

A dummy resembling a mine-worker drilling rocks to break them up

A clerk in the mine taking attendance of mine-workers

A clerk in the mine taking attendance of mine-workers

First Aid

A space at Level 2 in the mine was used for treating injured workers when the mine was in operation.

A space in the mine for treating injured miners

A space in the mine for treating injured miners

Escape Routes

The mine tour-guide showed us the inclined shafts in the diagram which workers could walk up or down to go to another level or used them as escape routes for evacuation in case of explosion, tunnel collapse or other dangerous happenings in the underground mine.

The mine tour-guide showing the escape-routes for evacuation in the diagram at Level 2.

The mine tour-guide showing the escape-routes for evacuation in the diagram at Level 2.

Inclined shaft for going to another level or evacuation when there is a dangerous happening

Inclined shaft for going to another level or evacuation when there is a dangerous happening

After an educational tour of the underground mine, we went back to the surface and waited for a hot liquid gold pouring demonstration in a room.

Relics left behind on the Ground by Crown Mines 

While waiting for the demonstration, I looked around and saw some relics left behind by Crown Mines, e.g. locomotive, wagons, generators, water-pumps, winders, etc.

A locomotive for pulling wagons carrying rocks, equipment, workers, etc.

A locomotive for pulling wagons carrying rocks, equipment, workers, etc.

Pump used for pumping water out of mine

Pump used for pumping water out of mine

This machine pumped air into the underground mine

This machine pumped air into the underground mine

A wagon full of gold-bearing rocks

A wagon full of gold-bearing rocks

Old electric generator producing electricity for operating the mine

Old electric generator producing electricity for operating the mine

Gold Pour Demonstration

In the demonstration in a room, two men brought out a container of liquid gold from an oven with temperature of over 1063 degrees Celsius(melting point of gold is 1063 degree Celsius) and poured it into a mould. When gold solidified, it weighed about 12.5 kg.

Visitors watching a hot liquid gold pour demonstration

Visitors watching a hot liquid gold pour demonstration

Oven heating gold to its melting point of 1063 degrees Celsius

Oven heating gold to its melting point of 1063 degrees Celsius

Two men pouring liquid gold into a mould

Two men pouring liquid gold into a mould

Gold Ingot or Bar

After the demonstration, visitors were asked to see a gold ingot or bar in front. Everybody was eager to touch the precious, yellow metal. The bar was about 99.5% and weighed 12.5 kg. It was worth about USD540,000 at the rate of about USD43,000 per kg on 2 Dec 2016, the day we watched the gold pour demonstration.

Everybody wanted to touch the gold bar weighing 12.5 kg and worth USD540,000 at current price rate on 2 Dec 2016.

Everybody wanted to touch the gold bar weighing 12.5 kg and worth USD540,000 at current price rate on 2 Dec 2016.

Photo with Mine Tour-Guide

Before we left the gold mine museum for Johannesburg International Airport, my wife and I took a photo with the friendly mine tour-guide.

Choo Chaw and wife taking a photo with the gold mine tour-guide at the mine museum

Choo Chaw and wife taking a photo with the gold mine tour-guide at the mine museum

Johannesburg International Airport

At 10.30 a.m. we, finally, left the museum and headed straight for Johannesburg International Airport or O.R. Tambo International Airport named after Oliver Tambo, a former President of African National Congress, in 2006.

Fellow-Malaysians and Choo Chaw checking in and flying off at Johannesburg International Airport on 2 Dec 2016 for home

Fellow-Malaysians and Choo Chaw checking in and flying off at Johannesburg International Airport on 2 Dec 2016 for home

Departure for Homeland, Malaysia

After checking in and waiting for a few hours at the airport, we, at last, flew away from Johannesburg at 2.30 p.m. to return to our homeland, Malaysia.

Departure from Johannesburg to Malaysia

A Mauritius plane carrying fellow-Malaysians and Choo Chaw flying away from Johannesburg to their homeland, Malaysia, on 2 Dec 2016

Air-route from Johannesburg to Kuala Lumpur taken by a Mauritius plane that carried fellow-Malaysians and Choo Chaw

Air-route from Johannesburg to Kuala Lumpur taken by a Mauritius plane that carried fellow-Malaysians and Choo Chaw

An Unforgettable South African Tour from 28 Nov-2 Dec 2016

Well, that was an unforgettable tour in South Africa. We have gained quite a lot of knowledge about South Africa, like her landscapes, people’s way of life, wild animals, mining activities, and many more.

Thanks for reading about this tour and hope it is helpful to you, if you plan to make a trip there.

The End

Written by Choo Chaw

Previous / Home

Home

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:     Maiden’s Cove, Hout Bay, Duiker Island(Seals), Boulders, Cape Point, Cape of Good Hope

South Africa Travel Part V:       Pilanesberg National Park(Game Drives/Safaris)

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

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

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

 

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