One's destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things - Henry Miller

Thursday, June 24, 2010


23 June 2010
Well...we have done it...we have seen the relics from Tutankhamen’s tomb, a bust of Queen Nefertiti AND visited the pyramids... just amazing and awe inspiring...pulls you up short and makes you reflect on our place in the world and in the development of mankind. Did you know the folding bed in Tut’s tomb had the same simple hinges we use today or that boomerangs and nulla nulla (tools given to him to hunt in the next life) were in there as well?
We toured the Egyptian Museum of Antiquity, with about 2000 other people I might add, where everything from Tutankhamen’s tomb (except his body) is displayed over the second floor of the museum. In spite of limited time and the crowds, we were still able get a broad overview of what was left to accompany him to the next world as well as mourn his passing, from the flowers placed by his wife and family, to the blood stained gloves of the embalmers. The jewellery buried with him was exquisite and the familiar golden face mask and chairs were as beautiful as you would expect. And I was able to breathe on the carved head of Queen Nefertiti ... a stunningly beautiful woman. The museum even has the original decorated floor from a room in her home...a wonderful surprise!
Left Dawn Princess at 7:30am in a convoy of buses (with a police escort) to travel back down along the Suez Canal and across the Nile delta to Cairo, Giza and the pyramids. Once again we drew the short straw and had an excellent tour guide – a very clever young man who is studying to become an Egyptologist and has already completed studies of ancient Egyptian history as well as Middle Eastern religions. He was so pleasant, unpretentious, informative, well read on world issues and outspoken on Egyptian issues, he added to the success of the tour. It was thanks to him that our tour of the museum was so enlightening.
We caught our first glimpse of the pyramid on our way to lunch in yet another opulent hotel... among other dainties, I had two of the most delectable little sweet ball for dessert... tasted like almond, crunched like a wafer and just melted in your mouth while the beautiful flavour lingered on. I didn’t know what they were so only brought two back from the buffet. One for me and one for Hobo 1 but he hesitated too long making up his mind if he wanted sweets and both had vanished before he decided!!!
The pyramids were as I expected but I did not expect to see them rising up out of Cairo which, with its 16 million people of a night time and 18 million in the day, has enveloped Giza! We ended the day with a photo stop at the sphinx. By this time the flu was descending quickly upon me. I don’t know if it was this, the crowd, the big day or the 42degree heat at four o’clock in the afternoon but I was very disappointed with this stop. It is down in a hollow at the bottom of the hill on which the pyramids stand.
As you can see, finding a sight to pose for a photo was like trying to find a nesting sight in a seabird roockery!
From here it was a three and a half hour drive back to the ship and the news that there will be a general strike in Athens on the day we were scheduled to visit. So today we are on our way across the Mediterranean to Athens tomorrow and back to Kusadasi on Saturday. Having missed The Valley of the Kings, Princess appears to have moved heaven and earth to ensure we do not miss another port!
We’ve just heard the news flash of our new Prime Minister. You realize how insignificant Australia’s role in the world is when you’re on this side of it. For the first hour the news only rated a mention on Sky News and even when BBC World News did catch up, it focused on the fact the Julia was born in Wales - “A Welshman has been chosen to lead New South Wales!!!”
The belated crossing of the Suez will follow in another blog.

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