14. November 2004 11:02
by Rene Pallesen

Bedstemor's 85th Birthday ( 13 - 20 Nov 2004 )

14. November 2004 11:02 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

bedstemor s 85th birthday 13 20 nov 2004
Bedstemor's 85th Birthday ( 13 - 20 Nov 2004 )

Ancient Egyptian stories and legends have long made their mark through movies such as "Cleopatra", "The Mummy" and wowed us women with Omar Sharif's performance in "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Doctor Zhivago" and more recently in cartoons such as "The Prince of Egypt". There is a certain mystic about middle east portrayed to us from a very young age when we hear bedtime tales like "Ali Baba the 40 Thieves" or "Sinbad the Sailor" - most of us have a dream of seeing the pyramids.

I was very lucky to have the opportunity 20 years ago to come to Egypt with my parents and at 10 years old, there's only so much a child can remember. But this year, the Pallesen Family once again get together for the Matriach's 85th birthday. It is tradition for the family to come together and travel to an exotic country - in the past Tunisia, Morocco, Gambia and for Grandmother's last wish, to see the pyramids of Egypt, that her husband saw 45 years earlier.

The Matriach's three children, six grandchildren (Nikolai could not make it), four greatgrandchildren and respective spouses all came together for a week in magical Egypt. It is autumn with warm days and cool nights - a contrast to the approaching winter in Denmark.

Saturday 13 November 2004
Departure for Egypt

Our family had to leave Falster at 2:30am to catch a 6:30 flight, 4½hr later we arrived at Cairo Airport. I have dim memories of a very warm airport in complete chaos, with people pushing to get their luggage through, shouting over a mad din. Instead we found a rather clean and uncrowded airport. We were met by the AB Travel Agency representative, taken to a Hotel Pyramisa, left in a closed piano barPallesen familie venter på værelser and promptly forgotten until one of us had the bright idea to ask for our keys.

Our family shared a two-bedroom hotel room with a large living area. Our first afternoon was spent walking around the streets of Cairo trying to find a place for the family to have dinner. Our hotel was located across the river from downtown Cairo, so there was not a lot to see, combined with the fact that many shops were closed during the day over Ramadan, the Islamic period of fasting from dawn to dusk. Sunday heralded the last day of Ramadan, so many were preparing for the final feast.

In the end, the whole family had dinner in the hotel's "Oriental" restaurant of Egyptian style. We figured we would get some decent Egyptian food but were disappointed to find most of our food luke-warm. The rice was very dry, little meat on the lamb and rather bland food. To our surprise, after our comment about this, we were presented with a complimentary platter of fruits native to Egypt such as fresh dates and guava. To our amusement, no matter what kind of Egyptian wine we ordered, they all tasted the same. There was plenty of Egyptian beer and of course the danes lived up to their drinking prowess and Bedstemor ("grandmother") treated us all dinner.

Sunday 14. november 2004

On the first night we didn't sleep very well - sleeping in a different bed combined with quranic prayers coming from a nearby mosque didn't exactly leave us with a peaceful sleep. However we were all up early to get together in Bedstemor's room for a "surprise" get-together - to sing the danish birthday song amongst a flutter of red white flags, and present her with a small gift. This family "surprises" the birthdayee and all sing in unison this rather cute birthday song.

The Citadel Muhammad Ali Mosque

Udsigten fra CitadelletOur first destination was the Citadel. It is the city's fortress that once housed the royal family and although most of the complex is open to visitors, the military still have a foothold and some areas are out of bounds. It takes a half day to explore all areas of the Citadel but we didn't have the opportunity to do so, and instead spent most of our time in the Muhammad Ali Mosque.

<== There is a magnificent view of the city from the Western Terraces - magnificent had most of Cairo not been filled with the same shade of mud-bricked buildings. What was most notable about Cairo was its lack of colour or rather its ability to blend into the desert.

Mohammed Ali MosqueOur guide Adam/Mohammed provided little insight to the function or history of the Citadel, and instead sat the group in one corner of the Muhammad Ali Mosque like a bunch of school children, and gave a lecture on Islamic laws and behaviour.

When René ventured to ask more about the Citadel, he was scolded for interrupting and told to listen. We never got the opportunity to find the number 7 Napoleon's troops had painted above one doorway to avoid using the unfamiliar Arabic names or the twin half-round towers because our guide simply didn't know where they were.

Ind i Mohammed Ali Mosque

During this time, I had the opportunity to wander off and walk the beautiful alabaster-lined arcades of the mosque. the soaring central prayer hall was a glimmer of hundreds of lights hanging in concentric circles. Arabic inscriptions in gold were painted on the ceiling. Women had to be suitably attired and could not wear sleeveless tops or short skirts or shorts. In one corner lay the sarcophagus of Muhammad Ali - the builder of the mosque and an albanian mercenary who was the founder of the dynasty that ruled till the revolution in 1952.

Cairo Egyptian Museum

I have memories of wandering around this museum, peering into smudged glass cases, staring into the shrivelled faces of some once well-known pharaoh like Ramses II and wondering if the ancient Egyptians were giants in their large coffins.
20 years later, it was almost impossible to push through the crowds of tourists - only useful because their guides provided more information than ours. With only two hours, there was no way that we could view the whole museum or see the royal mummies.
The museum was celebrating its centenary and there was a special exhibition dedicated to TutAnkhAmun - the most famous archaeological find. With travel guide in hand, we oohed and ahhed over the gold treasures found in his tomb - a gold throne featuring the famous scene of TutAnkhAmun's queen anointing him, chests made out of ebony ivory, cheetah-skinned hunting shields, bows, arrows, alabaster canopic jars holding King Tut's mummified organs, gold sarcophagus - if Howard Carter had found such treasures for a little known boy-king, imagine what the tomb of a pharaoh like Ramses II would have been like? King Tut's inner coffin of solid gold and the famous mask of gold that everyone wants to see and is portrayed in many egyptian images.
The museum has become another money-making expedition for the Egyptians with an exhorbitant price to view the royal mummies. We had to content ourselves with the animal mummies - cats, dogs, birds, goats, Nile perch (yes, fish as well!) and most amazing was a 7-metre crocodile mummy.
The exhibitions were arranged by themes on the upper floor and chronological on the lower floor, going clockwise from the Old Kingdom, to the Middle and finally to the New and later kingdoms. There were rooms full of giant sarcophagi that would've weighed a tonne each, a room full of miniatures showing the egyptians' daily lives, a room full of ancient papyrus long faded and rooms full of bits and pieces from ruins, statues, palace floors - a place where one needs a days to spend with a decent travel guide.

Khan Al-Khalili

På gaderne af Ægypts største bazar, Khan Al KhaliliAfter a stop at an egyptian perfumery and some lunch, we headed to Khan Al-Khalili - the oldest bazaar in Egypt that has lasted since the 1300s. Ancient buyers visited the khan for goods brought in on merchant caravans. No longer do we find slaves, silk, jewels or diamonds, but wooden guitars, brightly patched pouffe covers, clothes, t-shirts, crappy papyrus paintings, bongs/water pipes, bright bolts of cloth, the aroma of spices is very much present and stalls are heaped with bright red, gold and blue powders and sacks of seeds pods. Coppersmiths hammer out platters, tureens, coffeepots and enormous crescent-shaped tops for minarets. It is a ritual of the bazaar to expect to bargain - locals or foreign visitors - usually a 10th of the offer price - if you have paid a third, you have paid too much. We had only an hour to spare but many of the shops were closed for a siesta after lunch. Ulla I pointed to bags of multicoloured spices. He wanted £50 (AUD$10, 50DK.Kr) and after I said "da ketir awi" (it costs too much) and walked away, the shopkeeper doggedly followed us for a kilometre reducing the price from £40 to £30, £25, £20 and after we shouted £10 in jest, he offered £15, £10 and finally £5 before finally giving up on us. After much haggling, we managed to bargain for two ornate glass perfume bottles for £20 (AUD$2.50; 20DK.Kr)

Bedstemor's Birthday Feast

Bedstemors festIrene Ole had organised a private room for Bedstemor's birthday party. A single long table in a room of egyptian style. Small silver pots lined in two rows in the middle of the table kept the food warm.

We feasted on cumin-flavoured fried fish, chicken fillets egyptian-style, cinammon-flavoured ravioli, rice, mashed potatoes and beef steaks in pepper sauce, sang and toasted with bottles of egyptian wine and beer to Bedstemor.

Whilst the children played in one corner, there was much chatter througout the table and the evening finished off with chocolate and fruit cakes topped with "Happy Pirthday" (note, it's not an error) and we laughed in amusement in a plethora of egyptian sweets - baklawa, semolina tarts, rose-water flavoured tarts, and tarts that tasted like liquid honey... Ulla almost wanted to take the rest of the desserts with her (except for the rose-water flavoured ones - it was funny to watch her expression - rosewater almost smells like cosmetics). The waiters were extremely attentive, coming by every two minutes to serve us.

Best of all, Bedstemor turned 2 years old, as she blew out each candle on the cakes. As the danes would say, "det var meget hyggeligt!" (it was cozy)

Monday 15. november 2004 (7:30am start)

From the brown buildings and streets of Cairo, we travelled 24km southeast of the city to Saqqara, changing from a uniform brown to lush green fields of large cabbages and hundreds of date palms. It was like an oasis, a gentle mist gave a surreal sense of the fertile plains of ancient Egypt. Women in full-length black abeeyas squatted in the fields, the odd man walking around - such a contrast to the intense crowds of central Cairo.

Saqqara's Step Pyramid

Founded as a necropolis (burial city) for the Old Kingdom and is one of the richest archaeological sites in Egypt.

The Step Pyramid is less that ½ the height of the largest pyramids at Giza, but this monument served as a predecessor of the smooth pyramids. Previously tombs were made of mud brick, rectangular slablike structure covering a burial pit. But the architect Imhotep had the bright idea to construct in stone and Zosers trinpyramide i Sakkarabuild the slablike structure 5 times one on top of the other, creating the first pyramid.

We entered through the Great South Court - the size of a soccer field, down a corridor of 40 pillars inspired by bundles of tied reeds. Whilst Adam was making another one of his speeches, I was tempted by a turbaned egyptian in a dress who took me to the top where I managed to get one shot of the magnificent pillars up top, before being scolded by Adam and being asked for baksheesh (tip). I was gratefully rescued by a couple of Italians when the egyptian would not let me go without a baksheesh. However, once I surfaced from the building, I was blinded by white sands and the immense pyramid sitting solitary amongst a few ruined stones, with a much smaller triangular heap of stones in the background. Although the morning had been cool, the sun soon warmed us up as we wandered round to the north.


Ramses II ligger på Memphis' lille museetOnce the capital of ancient Egypt, it remains unexcavated due to villages built on top of it and a high water table as a result of the Aswan Dam. There is a small garden with small finds - bits and pieces but the most exciting thing to see is a colossus of Ramses II lying on his back as the lower legs are missing. The colossus would've been 5 stories high had it been standing. Nearby lies the largest alabaster statue ever found - 80 tons of sphinx - imagine what treasures that could've been found if Memphis could've been excavated, especially as this ancient city lay halfway between Upper and Lower Egypt.

Our final stop before lunch was a papyrus museum - another place of commission for Adam. Bedstemor purchased a papyrus of egyptian alphabets. Some of the paintings cost a massive £3,500 (AUD$900, 3,500DK.Kr). For lunch, we had a splendid egyptian meal in the middle of nowhere that served excellent mezza (egyptian tapas) of baba ghanoush (roasted eggplant dip), tzatziki (cucumber dip), hummus (chickpea dip), fuul (beans) served with freshly made pita bread, warm vine-leaf rolls, lamb kofta and freshly roasted chicken in thyme. It was feast fit for a king and the most egyptian meal we had on the whole trip.

De store fantastiske pyramider i Giza. Her ses vi den største pyramid - Cheops/Khufus pyramidPyramids of Giza

From air the desert pyramids were right on the edge of the city, 16km from Cairo.

I remember vaguely, as a child, hunched over, walking up a surprisingly warm shaft lit by a single light bulbs and emerging into a very chilly dark room that held a single stone sarcophagus, the room empty except for occasional square holes in the wall where food was left for the afterlife.

I had entered the Queen's chamber in the largest pyramid and 20 years later, only the first 300 can enter these pyramids - for an exhorbitant fee.

René står næste pyramiden
The largest of the three, Cheops' pyramid was the largest, standing at 146metres at one point, took 920 metres to walk around it and contained 2.3 million blocks! Each block was at least one metre high, so you can imagine how massive these pyramids were.

Den anden største pyramid - Chephrens pyramid

The 2nd largest, Khefren's (Cheop's son) pyramid still had some of the smooth shiny limestone casing that once used to cover all these pyramids.==>

The massive solar boat that once carried the pharaoh's body from Memphis to Giza and the three smaller Queens' pyramids stood at one corner of the massive Cheop pyramid. We didn't have the opportunity this time to enter the tombs, but I feel priveleged that I did and that I still have some memories of the event.

The Sphinx

SfinxenThe pyramids loomed in the background as it sat silently on the hot sand under the glaring sunlight for 4,000 years. Napoleon's troops once used it for target practice, so its nose and pharaohs beard and long fallen off and lies in a British museum. The Greeks called it "the Sphinx" as it was based on a mystical creature with the head of a man and body of a lion, which would stop any traveller along the way with a riddle - if the riddle wasn't answered, it became the sphinx's dinner. Throngs of crowds surrounded the sphinx and we could only enter in single file. Over time, it seemed that tourists could view it from further and further away. 45 years ago, Bedstefar's (grandfather) could touch the Sphinx and even climb to the top of the pyramid; 20 years ago, it was simply surrounded by a small wire fence but I could stand close up to it; now it lay in a very large pit where visitors could only view it up close if they zoomed in on their cameras. 4 millenia later, it still manages to awe all of us.

Tuesday 16. november 2004 (2:30am start)

Yes, you did read that right - we were all waiting in the lobby at 2:30AM. Last night, Bedstemor's grandchildren treated the family to a Spanish-Egyptian Italian dinner, which was followed by a Familien i en cacophany of tambourines, oboes and drums played for an Egyptian engagement couple in the lobby.

This morning we were flying to Aswan, to board a 3-day cruise up the Nile, sailing up to Luxor. When we arrived, we were taken for a short felucca ride along the Nile with a fantastic view of the Tomb of Nobles. When we returned we were given our rooms onboard a four-storey cruise ship that had an indoor games room, a pool and sundeck at the top. Even from our rooms right at the bottom, we had a magnificent view of a small white mosque-like structure on top of huge sandy mountains dotted with small caves.

In the evening we had the opportunity to visit a small souq (local bazaar) selling t-shirts, papyrus paintings, mounds of saffron and dry scented lotus flowers, brown, red, yellow indigo mounds of fragrant spices - all of which some of us bargained for - the most expensive £25 papyrus painting (AUD$5, 25DK.Kr) to cheapest £15 embroidered t-shirts with hieroglyphics (AUD$3, 15DK.Kr). To top the evening off, we took a £5 horse carriage ride back to the ship.

Den anden papyrus har jeg købt fra bazaren

Wednesday 17. november 2004 (7:30am start)

It seemed some of the family had succumbed to a tummy bug. The rest of us steered clear of unwashed fruit, fresh salads, raw vegetables and drinks made with local water. However, this didn't stop us from going out to see a few sights.

The Unfinished Obelisk

Had this obelisk been completed, it would've been the largest and heaviest ever made standing at 142 metres. It sat in a granite quarry, perfectly complete on three sides but abandoned when a flaw was found in the stone. It is almost impossible to imagine how the ancient egyptians could've moved even a single rock made from this quarry as it stood a great many miles from any of the monuments ever made. Unfortunately for Egypt, most of its obelisks have been spirited to other countries - to Italy, Britain, France and even Argentina by foreign archaeologists in the last centuries. Most of us didn't have the chance to view the complete obelisk before Adam rang a bell that he carried (to annoy us I suppose)

Den ufuldendte ObeliskDe meste familier kom ikke så langt til her

High Dam

For centuries the Nile controlled the Egyptians' lives - either flooding or insufficient water levels were disastrous for the people who relied on this huge water source for their livelihood. When the Aswan Dam was built, some of the villages in the south lost their water supply.

30 years ago, a new High Dam was built which resulted in the man-made Lake Nasser to the south being created ==>

This meant many people had to be moved as villages were buried, as well as some of the ancient egyptian monuments such as the Temple of Philae.

Aswan dæmningAt its highest point, the High Dam stands at 111m high, 3.8km long and 980m wide at the base.

Three times the number of stones used for Cheops' Pyramid was used.

Videoing isn't allowed as it is a high-security military area - should there be an attack on this Dam, then much of Egypt would be submerged under water and would be a disaster for the country.

Given only 10min, Adam "rang" us back to the bus.

Temple of Philae

Vi sejler til Philae templetAfter Aswan Dam, the Temple of Philae was submerged for six months a year and tourists had to view it through the murky waters of Lake Philae. When the High Dam was built, it threatened to submerge the Temple permanently, so was moved stone by stone to a new island similarly landscaped. Philae is special in that it's only accessible by boat and the sunset forms a spectactular backdrop. A temple dedicated to Isis (goddess of women, sex purity), it was one of the last outposes for paganism and due to the popularity of Isis, was also used by the early Christians. The Temple walls and many pillars were filled from top to bottom with hieroglyphs and images of Isis - many defaced by the early Christians who considered ancient Egypt's gods to be "pagan". I had a fantastic afternoon walking in and out of all the nook and crannies - visiting the Birth House, Nilometer, the "Pharaoh's Bedstead" and much to the amusement of the family, I was the last to emerge.

Kom Ombo templet i aftenKom Ombo

The ship set sail from Aswan at 3:45pm after an afternoon spent sunbaking and drinking beer (typically danish to make the most of sunshine and beer). We were sailing 48km north of Aswan to Kom Ombo - the site of an ancient city devoted to the worship of a crocodile god, Sobek. The ancient city is long gone and crocodiles existing on nearby sandbanks have been hunted to extinction.

At sunset, we visited the Temple of Kom Ombo, dedicated to both Sobek the Crocodile god and Horus, the falcon-headed sky god Isis' son. Although we didn't have the opportunity to explore this 2 crocodil mumie på Kom Ombo templetemple, it was both spectacular and eerie at sunset, with large light illuminating it. There existed a pit filled with water, with a platform halfway down, where crocodiles were lured in from the Nile with human flesh, and the largest crocodile was caught and mummified as a tribute to Sobek. At the Chapel of Hathor (Horus' wife), an American shouted "Geez, I thought I was supposed to see crocodile statues!" *laugh* It contained two of the mummified crocodiles found at the Temple.

We returned to a small cocktail party before dinner, provided by the ship to introduce all the staff responsible for making our trip enjoyable.

Thursday 18. november 2004 (7am start)

We sailed overnight past Kom Ombo to Edfu, a small regional center for the sugarcane trade, visited the Temple of Horus and sailed on to the Lock-crossing at Esna.

Temple of Horus

Den smukke Horus temple i EdfuThis is the most complete of its kind, a Greco-Roman temple that conforms exactly to ancient egyptian principles of architecture ie visit Edfu to see what almost every other temple in Egypt would've looked like in its original form. We were awed by the massive walls of the pylons at the entrance, distince reliefs showing mirror images of Horus and the pharaoh grasping the hair of his enemies. It was built by Cleopatra's father around 50yr BC. Standing in the forecourt of this well-preserved temple we can see mud-brick houses lined up at the top of the compound walls because this temple was once buried right up to the ceiling with a village built on top of it. Many of the temple relifes capture the cataclysmic battle of Horus with his brother Seth. We entered a small Nilometer - a dark, dank tunnel that smelled of pee and was once used to measure the level of the Nile. Again I was the last to emerge (a couple of minutes late only) to the loud applause of everyone (and a huge glare from Adam).

Fra vort skib på NilenReturning to the ship in time for the 9am sail, we set off for Esna, 48km south of Luxor. Whilst the family tanned on the sundeck, I sat in the sun at the front of the boat, enjoying sense of peace and tranquility. It was truly beautiful to sit on a boat not too big or small, to watch the changing scenery on both sides, passed fields of giant palms and lush green fields, a smoking metal, the ship moving at a leisurely 16km/hr and passing some incredibe mountains of sand and cliffs. Ole joined me for a chat - he Irene are moving to Greenland on Tuesday. Later in the morning, I joined René and Ulla by the pool, gossiping about Bedstefar and family resemblances, watching Vinnie's kids and Sebastian splash about the pool, Lonnie, Sarah Birit stripped down to the minimum to get a bit of colour.

En ægyptisk mand ryger vand pibeWe reached Esna and used the few hours to get off the ship and stretch our legs after a morning of lazing around the pool. I was itching to walk around Esna, away from tourists and see how the locals lived. René and I headed for the quieter streets avoiding the busy streets around a souq. We were followed by a few children clad in long grey or white robes, who guided and annoyed us. Most of the narrow streets were unpaved, some very muddy and smelling of manure. Skinny, skeletal donkeys balanced again flat wagons, many shy girls waving from the darkness of their doorways or 2nd-level windows, whilst little boys came out to say hello and mill around us. Most houses were simple of mud bricks, with tiny wooden shuttered windows to keep the intense summer heat out. Some had extremely ornate wooden doors, reminiscent of colonial days. Occasional peek in doorways revealed empty mud-lined rooms as most people lived in the upper floors. Eventually René shouted imshee! (go away) as the kids got noisier, more aggressive, pulling on our arms and throwing pebbles at us. When I stumbled over a whimpering black and white disease-ridden puppy in brown paper, it was kicked aside - making me almost reach out for it if René hadn't stopped me.it was wise not to even make contact witht the children, who were dust-covered and clad in the long egyptian grey robes. It was such a relief when they finally left us even though we knew they were hiding in in alleyways watching us wind through the streets. There were goldsmiths glittering with ornate rings, earrings and necklaces; tailors still sewing by hand on the steps of their shop; coffee houses filled with solitary men smoking their water-pipes - their eyes following us down the street. We had spent so much time just sitting around that it was good to get away.

Crossing of the Lock

We set sail at 3pm and many ships like ours got together near two bridges just north of Esna. For one hour of the day, a bridge opened up for the ships and cars were ferried across the Nile instead. In the meanwhile, the ship had organised a special Egyptian "Oriental" dinner where guests could dress up in egyptian attire. It was a traditional egyptian feast of flat bread, baba ghanoush, warm stuffed zucchini and capsicum, warm cabbage rolls, chickpeas, lentils, fish, and traditional dish of okra, and a dressed up rice-stuffed whole lamb with a foil-covered head, small skinny eggplants for ears sitting upright on a silver platter. To finish it off was a plethora of egyptian dessert - semolina tarts, almond-milk agar (jelly) and the tartlets that tasted of liquid honey. Between 10-11pm we all gathered together for the lock-crossing.
Canal lock-crossing involves ships moving from a one water-level to another, usually where a dam is involved. Two cruise ships moved into a channel that is closed off and the water in the channel gradually reduced - in our case approx 10 metres. Once we reached the new water-level on the other side of the lock, the door in front of the ship opened and we sailed out. The lock-crossing took approx one hour, although all the waiting took a few hours. It was well-worth staying up even though we had an early start the next day. What was most amazing was the way the ship travelled with such expertise through such a narrow channel with barely enough space on each side.

Friday 19 November 2004 (7am start)

Overnight we had sailed from Esna to Luxor arriving at approx 2am - the last port for us. We were awoken by efficient wake-up calls and we could hear phones ringing in all the rooms going on early tours. We had a long day ahead, cramming four different sights.

Valley of the Kings

Builders of the great pyramids realised that hidden entrances and false shafts were not going to protect their dead pharaohs or the riches buried with them from tomb-robbers, so from the 18th dynasty, the ancient egyptians started digging underground. Rolling hills and valleys of sand, rubble and solid limestone - it is amazing to think that the ancient egyptians managed to bury something like possibly over 300 pharaohs of which only 62 have been found (last was TutAnkhAmun).

Kongernes Dal

The mountain under which many of the tombs were found has a pyramid-shaped peak.

Ramses V/VI grave

Our tickets allowed us to visit three tombs only and only a handful were opened on the day with long queues at each.

We visited the tombs of Ramseses III, IX and V/VI - all of them relatively small tombs, some partly excavated, others quite madly damaged by humidity from all the tourists and from oily fingers.

Det smukke loft af Ramses V/VI graveThere was a variety of hieroglyphs and images, of the pharaohs, how they treated their subjects, even the ceilings were beautifully adorned with dark blue skies, thousands of stars and the sky goddess Nut, stretched above. Tomb of Ramses III was like a picture book of "Better Homes Gardens" with images of hundreds of pots, furniture and food preparation. In the tomb of Ramses V/VI was a large shattered giant pharaoh-shaped sarcophagus eerily illuminated by silver light - Ramses VI unusually sharing a tomb with his predecessor brother. It is truly amazing that such images have lasted thousands of years, hidden away in dark low-humidity tombs that are quickly disintegrating since they have been excavated.

Colossi of Memnon

Colossi af MemnonJust past the Valley of the Kings, we stopped to view the Colossi of Memnon - twin 18-metre figures of Amenhotep III that once stood in front of what was believed to be Egypt's greatest temples, even larger than the existing Temple of Karnak. Each carved from single pieces of stone, once famous for bell-like tone emitted each sunrise. The Greeks believed these sounds were made by the immortal Memnon greeting his mother. After an Roman emperor made restorations in 170AD, the sounds ceased.

To our amusement, Adam made another one of his commission-based stops at an alabaster factory. He couldn't understand why we broke into laughter. Instead of boycotting the trip, we all went rushing in for free cups of coffee. René led a race with Sebastian and Vinnie's boys sliding across the smooth alabaster marble floor. At the other end was Ulla being approached with a small £10,000 alabaster hippo, to which she jokingly said yes and the shop-assistant went away to put it aside.

Temple of Hatshepsut

Dronning Hatshepsuts terrassetempelLying next to the Valley of the Kings is this temple of the only female pharaoh who ever ruled in Egypt. Due to a botched job by an Egyptian-Polish archaeological team, the ruined temple was recreated to resemble a bus depot, with much of the original artwork covered over or destroyed. The sucessor to Hatshepsut's brother/husband was stepson Tuthmose III who had to wait 20 year to get his throne, hence when she died, she was not mummified and her temple destroyed as punishment. The temple was at the site of a Coptic monastery and fantastic limestone cliffs. There may not be much of the temple to look at but the view, from up close, far away or even from the sky is definitely worth the trip.

Then we had lunch and a brief rest. I was surprised to find that a humorous member of housekeeping had set up towels, blanket lettuce leaves to resember a man and his snake. I thought René had played a joke on me until I found out something similar other family members' rooms!

134 kæmpe-søjler af Karnak temple - verdens største tempelkompleksTemples of Karnak Luxor

Karnak was known as "Ipet-Isut" - The Most Perfect of Places.

Much of it is in ruins but is possibly the largest temple complex ever built anywhere and created over 1,500 years by successive generations of pharaohs.

It was the residence of pharaohs, place of worship, wealthy treasury, centre of administration and employed thousands.

Karnak is most famous for its giant columns - 134, each 15m high, centre 12 columns were 21 metres tall. It takes six adults to stretch their arms out around a column's girth.

Between the columns there once stood statues of pharaohs and the whole effect would've been intimidating, as though passing through a hall of giant gods.

Underskrift af Ramses II

<== Ramses II was responsible for a lot of the restoration of the temple and his signature is etched deeply in certain area so no other pharaoh could take credit.

Den højste obelisk i Ægypt - Hatshepsuts Oberlisk i Karnak tempel

Past the giant columns stood the tallest obelisk existing in Egypt at almost 30m high. Although made out of one piece of granite, the Obelisk of Hatshepsut looks like it's made of two different stones as the lower half was covered up for many years by Tuthmosis III in his resentment towards his stepmother's usurpment of the throne. There once existed 17 obelisks but these now lie in various parts of the world.

The further we walked into the temple, the older the temple and the more ruined it became so when we reached the other side, it was a mass of ruins.

Smukke vægge i Karnak tempel

The most beautiful aspect of the temple to me were the images of a queen embracing her pharaoh.

It was considered taboo for such displays of close affection that for many years it was covered up with a gold plate.

Near the Sacred Lake - a body of water used for priests' ablutions - stood a giant scarab beetle. Adam told us to walk around it seven time and our wishes would be granted. It would've been very comical to see a large group of people all walking around this large beetle.

After 1½hr, it was time to move on... to another commission-based stop - a cotton t-shirt shop with template-printed t-shirts costing five times more than what I bought them for.

Luxor tempel

Finally our last tour - the Temple of Luxor==>

There was once an Avenue of Sphinxes that joined the Temple of Karnak to the Temple of Luxor for 2.5km.

In pharaonic times, Luxor Temple sat at the heart of the ancient capital of Thebes and was well-preserved because it was once buried under the village of Luxor and even had a 13th-century mosque built amongst its walls - which the villagers demanded it remain during excavations of the site.

It is a temple that doesn't seem to be flooded with tourists and at the diminishing lights of sunset, the temple casts an eerie but beautiful shadow through the city.

En After the tour, the rest of the family returned to the ship whilst our little family decided to walk through the city - a short walk along the Nile. Like the walk around Esna, we were interested in walking through the streets, taking photos and seeing how people lived - old men smoking bongs, tailors mending clothes, a man cleaning cups in small coffeeshop, an open butcher with carcasses hanging by the roadside, little kids all vying for a shot on a photo, women clad from head to toe in black, children happily waving from all corners - these people were smiled more and seemed friendlier - and none asking for baksheesh (tip), and a sharp contrast to the streets of Esna. We stopped for a drink on the rooftop of a hotel and watched another fantastic sunset over Luxor.

En kobbersmedEn tømmer
En ægyptisk kvinde bærer noget på hendes hovedEn skrædderEn sky dreng
En mand laver maden ægyptisk caféAnden mand ryger vand
Venter på gadenAnden ægyptiske café / restaurant

en Sko magerTømmerEn slagter

en Hvivlende danserAfter our last dinner, we were entertained by a young boring bellydancer and what I've been waiting to see... a Whirling Dervish - a display of Sufi dancing.

Sufism a semi-mystical branch of Islam with an unorthodox approach to prayer ie dancing to attain a trancelike union with God.

Urged on by the pulse of drums, strings and pipes, the dancer spun in a blur of multicoloured skirts - reds, yellows blue until he looked like a spinning top.

Photo Courtesy of Tour Egypt Photos

Saturday 20 November 2004 (4:45am start)

Most of the family enjoyed the cruise and the sights they saw. They were not very happy with the organisation of the tour, with ridiculous early-morning starts, packed days on some and almost nothing on others. Most of all, many of the family were unhappy with Adam - we vented on our questionnaires and Ulla gave the AB Travel Agent representative an earful, about how rude Adam had been, how unintelligible his heavily-accented danish had been, he picked on some of us, glared at the children for chattering at the back of the bus, he avoided questions and scolded anyone who interrupted him with a question. Worst of all were all these unneccesary "commission-based" trips that cut into our sightseeing time. He was the typical Egyptian that could've made our trip much more enjoyable.

From an early flight to Cairo, a mad-scramble for our baggage, a three-hour wait in the coffeeshop of a nearby hotel to a 4½hr flight back to København, it was 5pm by the time we all retrieved our luggage and bade our final farewells to each member of the family. Despite a 4:45am start, it took us a whole day to return home.

There is a certain amount of sadness that it may be last time the family is united as Bedstemor is getting on in her years. René has been on approx ten reunions, organised by Bedstemor's children but paid for the grandparents - as a legacy to the family. I have been lucky and privileged to be invited to one of these family gatherings - four generations in all. It allowed me to visit another exotic part of the world and to get to know this very special Matriach.

BEDSTEMOR på Karnak tempel

§ The End §

Created: 8 Dec 2004Last Updated: 16-Jan-2005

14. November 2004 11:02
by Rene Pallesen

Bedstemor's 85 års fødselsdag ( 13 - 20 Nov 2004 )

14. November 2004 11:02 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

bedstemor s 85 rs f dselsdag 13 20 nov 2004
Bedstemor's 85 års fødselsdag ( 13 - 20 Nov 2004 )
Oversættelse Freddy Pallesen © 2004

Det gamle Ægyptens historier og legender har længe markeret sig gennem film som "Kleopatra", "Mumien" og begejstret os kvinder med Omar Sharifs optræden i "Lawrence of Arabia" og "Doctor Zhivago og senere i tegnefilm som "The Prince of Egypt". Der er en vis mystik omkring mellemøsten skildret for os i en meget ung alder, når vi hørte godnathistorier som "Ali Baba og de 40 røvere" eller "Sinbad Søfareren" - de fleste af os har en drøm om at se pyramiderne.

Jeg var meget heldig at få muligheden for 20 år siden sammen med mine forældre at komme til Ægypten, men som 10 årig er der ikke så meget et barn kan huske. Men dette år samles Familien Pallesen igen engang for "Matriarkens" 85 års fødselsdag. Det er tradition for familien at samles og rejse til et eksotisk land - tidligere har det været Tunesien, Marokko, Tyrkiet og Gambia - og nu for Bedstemors ønske om at se Ægyptens pyramider, som hendes mand så for 50 år siden.

Bedstemors tre børn, seks børnebørn (Nikolai kunne ikke komme med), fire oldebørn og respektive ægtefæller, alle tog sammen til det magiske Ægypten. Det er efterår med varme dage og kølige nætter - en kontrast til den kommende vinter i Danmark.

Lørdag 13. November 2004
Afrejse til Ægypten

Vores familie måtte af sted kl. 3.30 for at nå flyet kl. 6.55; 4½ time senere ankom vi til Cairo lufthavn. Jeg har en svag hukommelse om en meget varm lufthavn med komplet kaos, med mennesker, der skubber for at få deres kufferter igennem, råbende gennem en masse larm. Nu fandt vi en næsten ren og ikke tætpakket lufthavn.Vi mødte AP-Travels repræsentant, som tog os til Hotel Pyramissa, hvor vi tilsyneladende blev glemt i Pianobaren, til en af os fik den lyse ide, at bede om vores værelsesnøgler.Pallesen familie venter på værelser

Vores familie deltes om en toværelses suite med et stort fællesrum. Vores første eftermiddag blev brugt til en spadseretur rundt i kvarteret for evt. at finde et sted for familien at spise. Vores hotel lå på den anden side af floden i forhold til centrum, så der var ikke meget at se på sammen med, at mange butikker var lukket p.g.a. Ramadanen, den Islamiske fasteperiode fra daggry til solnedgang. Søndag var sidste dag i Ramadanen, så mange var i gang med at forberede den sidste faste.

Sluttelig spiste familien til aften i hotellets "Orientel" restaurant i Ægyptisk stil. Vi regnede med at få ordentlig Ægyptisk mad, men blev skuffede over at få lunkent mad. Risen var meget tør, lammekødet var meget småt og maden var en blandet fornøjelse. Til vores overraskelse, efter vores kommentarer, fik vi serveret ekstra tallerkner med lokal Ægyptisk frugt så som friske dadler og duava. Til vores morskab smagte alle Ægyptiske vine ens, uanset mærke. Der var masser af Ægyptisk øl og selvfølgelig levede danskerne op til deres drikkeevner og Bedstemor gav maden til alle.

Søndag 14. november 2004

Første nat sov vi ikke så godt - at sove i en fremmed seng kombineret med koranbøn fra en nærliggende moske gav os ikke ligefrem en fredfyldt søvn. Imidlertid var vi alle tidlig oppe for at mødes i Bedstemors værelse for at overraske hende med danske fødselsdagssange til flimmer med danske flag og små gaver. Denne familie overrasker fødselaren og alle synger unisont denne meget søde fødselsdagssang.

Citadellet Muhammad Ali Moskeen

Udsigten fra CitadelletVores første besøg gjaldt Citadellet. Det er byens fort og husede engang den kongelige familie og skønt det meste af komplekset er åben for besøgende, besidder militæret stadig en del, som er lukket område. Det tager en halv dag at komme gennem hele Citadellet, hvilket vi ikke havde mulighed for. I stedet tilbragte vi vores tid i Muhammed Ali moskeen.

<== Der er en fantastisk panorama over byen fra den Vestlige terrasse - fantastisk at Cairo ikke et bygget af ens mudderfarvede stenbygninger. Det mest bemærkelsesværdige ved Cairo er imidlertid mangelen på farver og farverne stemmer overens med ørkenens farver.

Mohammed Ali MosqueVores guide Adam/Mohammed gav os en ringe indsigt i funktionen eller historien af Citadellet, og i stedet pladserede gruppen i hjørnet i hjørnet af Muhammed Ali moskeen som en gruppe skolebørn, og gav en lektion om Islamisk lov og sædvane.

Da René vovede sig til at spørge om mere om Citadellet, blev han skældt ud for at afbryde og fik besked på at lytte. Vi fik aldrig muligheden for at finde 7-tallet Napoleons tropper hade malet over port for at undgå de uvante arabiske navne, eller det halvrunde tårn, da vores guide simpelthen ikke vidste, hvor de var.

Ind i Mohammed Ali Mosque

I den tid havde jeg muligheden for at spadsere lidt for mig selv og gå i moskeens skønne alabaster arkader. Den himmelhvælvede centrale bederum var et glimmer af hundrede af lys, der hang i koncentriske cirkler. På loftet var der arabiske inskriptioner i guld. Kvinder skulle være anstændig klædt og kunne ikke bære ærmeløse trøjer eller korte shorts eller skørter. I et hjørne af rummet lå sarkofaget med Muhhamed Ali - grundlægger af moskeen og Albanisk handelsmand, grundlægger af dynastiet, som herskede til revolutionen i 1952.

Cairo Ægyptisk Museet

Jeg huske turen rundt i dette museum, hvor jeg kiggede ind i smudsige glas montre og stirrede på de rynkede ansigter af nogle engang kendte faroer som Ramses II og undrede mig over, om disse gamle Ægyptere var giganter i deres store kister.
20 år senere var det næsten umuligt at skubbe sig gennem mængderne af turister - kun nyttigt fordi deres guider gav flere informationer end vores. Med kun to timer var det umulig at se hele museet og slet ikke de kongelige mumier.
Museet fejrede sit hundred år med en speciel udstilling omkring TutAnkhAmun - det mest berømte fund. Med rejseguiden i hånden "aaaede" og "åååede" vi over guldskattene fundet i hans grav - en guldtrone med den berømte scene med TutAnkhAmons dronning, der tilbeder ham, kister af ibenholt og elfenben, jagtskjolde beklædt med gepardskin, buer og pile, alabaster krukker med kong Tuts mummificerede organer, guld sarkofager - da Howard Carter havde fundet sådanne skatte for en lille kendt drenge-konge, forestil jer, hvad Ramses II´s grav har indeholdt. Kong Tuts inderste kiste af rent guld og og den berømte maske af guld, som alle gerne vil se, er trykt i mange Ægyptiske billedmaterialer.
Museet er blevet en ny pengemaskine for Ægypterne med yderligere en entre for at se de kongelige mumier. Vi måtte være tilfreds med at se dyremumierne - katte, hunde, fugle, geder, Nile Perch (ja, også fisk!) og mest fantastisk var en 7 meter krokodillemumie.
Udstillingerne var på øverste etage opsat efter emne og på underste etage i kronologisk orden uret rundt fra det Gamle Kongerige, til det midterste og sluttende med de Nye og Sidste Kongedømmer. Der var værelser fyldt med kæmpe sarkofager (kister), som hver ville veje en tons, et værelse fyldt med miniaturer, der viste daglig liv i Ægypten, et værelse fuld af falmede gamle papyrusskrifter og værelser fulde af brokker og stykker fra ruiner, statuer, palads gulve - et sted, man kan tilbringe dage med en ordentlig rejse guide.

Khan Al-Khalili

På gaderne af Ægypts største bazar, Khan Al KhaliliEfter et stop på en Ægyptisk parfumefabrik og en frokostpause, kom vi til Khan Al-Khalili, det ældste basar i Ægypten, som går tilbage til 1300-tallet. Gamle tiders købere besøgte Khanen for at kigge på varerne bragt dertil af handelskaravanerne. Vi finder ikke længere slaver, silke, juveler eller diamanter, men træ guitarer, skønne klude tæpper, klæder, t-shirts, papyrustryk, vandpiber, bunker af tøj, aromaen af krydderier breder sig og boder med stakke af rødt, guld og blå pulver og sække med frø og bønner. Kobbersmede udhamrer fade, terriner, kaffekander og enorme halvmåneformede toppe til minareter. Det er et ritual i basarer at tinge om priserne, lokale såvel som gæster - almindeligvis til en tiendedel af den budte pris - har du betalt en tredjedel, har du betalt for meget. Vi havde kun en time til vores rådighed, men mange af boderne var lukkede for siesta og for ramadanen. Ulla og jeg pegede på nogle sække af mangefarvede krydderier. Han ville have 50£ (50 kr.), men efter jeg sagde "da ketir awi" (det koster for meget) og gik, fulgte sælgeren efter os en kilometer mens han reducerede prisen fra 40£ til 30£, 25£, 20£, og efter vi i spøg råbte 10£, tilbød han 15£, 10£ og endelig 5£ før han opgav os. Efter megen tingen lykkedes det os få to udsmykkede parfumeglas flasker for 20£ (20 kr.).

Bedstemor's fødselsdagfest

Bedstemors festIrene og Ole havde sørget for et privat værelse til Bedstemors fødselsdagsfest. Et enkelt langt bord i et værelse i Ægyptisk stil. Sølv fade i to rækker midt på bordet med ild under holdt maden varm.

Vi fik kommen-panneret stegt fisk, kyllinge filleter på Ægyptisk stil, kanel-krydret ravioli, ris, kartoffelmos og steg i pebbersauce, "sang" og brød med Ægyptisk vin og øl til Bedstemor.

Mens børnene legede i et hjørne, var der meget snak bordet rundt, og aftenen sluttede med chokolade og frugt kage pyntet med "Happy Pirthday" (det er ikke en fejl) og vi morede os over os over overfloden af Ægyptiske kager - bagværk, semulje tærte, rosenvands krydrede tærter og tærter, der smagte af flydende honning… Ulla ville gerne have resten af desserten med sig (undtagen den rosenvands krydrede - det var morsomt at se hendes udtryk - rosenvand dufter næsten som parfume). Tjenerne var hele tiden meget opmærksomme, passerede hver andet minut for at opvarte os.

Det bedste var, at Bedstemor blev som to årig, da hun skulle puste lysene på kagerne ud. Som danskerne ville sige, "det var meget hyggeligt!"

Mandag 15. november 2004 (start 7:30)

Fra de grå bygninger og gader I Cairo kørte vi 24 km mod sydøst til Saqqara, skiftende fra ensartet brun til frodige grøne marker med grøntsager og hundrede af dadelpalmer. Det var som en oase, hvor et fint slør gav en uvirkelig følelse af de frodige områder i det gamle Ægypten. Kvinder i hellange sorte "abeeyas" fordelt i markerne, den gamle mand, der vandrede omkring - en stor kontrast til mylderet i Cairos centrum.

Saqqara's Trin Pyramide

Grundlagt som et nekropolis (begravelses by) for det gamle Kongedømme og et af de rigeste arkæologiske områder i Ægypten.

Trin pyramiden er mindre end halv så høj, som den største pyramide ved Giza, men dette monument var en forløber for de glatte pyramider. Tidligere var gravene bygget af soltørrede muddersten, rektangulære byggesten, der dækkede gravstedet. Men arkitekten Imhotep havde Zosers trinpyramide i Sakkaraden lyse ide at bygge med sten og bygge den trinagtige struktur fen gange ovenpå hinanden, og skabte den første pyramide.

Vi kom ind gennem den store sydlige gård - på størelse med en fodboldbane - gennem en koridor af 40 søjler inspireret af bundter af bundne rør. Mens Adam holdt endnu en af sine taler, blev jeg antastet af en klæde og turbanklædt Ægypter, som førte mig op til toppen, hvor jeg fik et godt skud af de fantastiske søjlers top, før jeg blev skældt ud af Adam og tigget for "baksheesh". Jeg var taknemmelig for at blive reddet fra Ægypteren, som ikke ville lade mig gå uden baksheesh, af et par Italienere. Da jeg kom ud fra koridoren blev jeg imidlertid blændet af det hvide sand og den enorme pyramide alene omgivet af sten fra andre ruiner og en meget mindre trekantet høj af sten i baggrunden. Selv om morgenen var køkig, så varmede solen os, mens vi vandrede nord omkring pyramiden.


Ramses II ligger på Memphis' lille museetEngang hovedstaden i det gamle Ægypten, uudgravet på grund af landsbyen, bygget over den gamle by, og det hævede grundvandsspejl på grund at Asuan-dæmningen. Der er en lille park med nogle få fund, brokker og stykker, men den mest spændende ting at se er en kolos af Ramses II, der ligger på ryggen og mangler den nederste del af benene. Kolossen ville have været 5 etager høj, hvis den havde været hel. Midt i parken ligger den største alabaststatue, der er fundet - en sphinx på 80 tons - tænk hvilke skatte, der kunne have været fundet, hvis Memphis kunne udgraves, især da denne gamle by lå på halvvejen mellem Øvre og Nedre Ægypten.

Vores sidste stop før frokost var ved en papyrus butik - endnu et sted med kommission til Adam. Bedstemor købte en papyrus med det Ægyptiske alfabet i heroglypher. Nogle af papyrusbillederne kostede 3500£ (3500 kr). Til frokost fik vi et udmærket Ægyptisk måltid ude midt i ingenting. Vi fik glimrende mezza (ægyptiske tapas) af baba ghanoush (ristet aubergine dip), tzatziki (agurke dip), hummus (kikærte dip), fuul (bønner) serveret med friskbagte pitabrød, varme vinblade ruller, lamme kofta og ny grillet kylling med timian. Det var et måltid for konger og det bedste Ægyptiske måltid, vi fik på hele turen.

Pyramider af Giza

De store fantastiske pyramider i Giza. Her ses vi den største pyramid - Cheops/Khufus pyramidFra luften ligger ørkenen og pyramiderne lige op til byen, 16 km fra Cairo.

Jeg husker svagt at blive puklet op ad en overraskende varm skakt, oplyst af en enkelt lyspære, og komme ind i et meget køligt, mørk rum, hvor der stod en enkel stensarkofag; rummet var tomt, men med tilfældige firkantede huller i væggen til mad til livet hinsides.

Jeg var inde i Dronningerummet i den største pyramide og nu 20 år senere kan kun de første 300 gæster daglig komme ind i disse pyramider - for en anseelig entre.

René står næste pyramiden
Den største af de tre, Kheops pyramide, er 146 meter høj, 920 meter i omkreds og består af 2,3 millioner stenblokke! Hver blok var mindst en meter høj, så man kan forestille sig hvor massive disse pyramider var.

Den anden største pyramid - Chephrens pyramid

Den næststørste Khefrens (Kheops søn) pyramide har stadig noget af de glatte skinnende kalkstens dækning, som engang dækkede alle pyramiderne.==>

Den massive solbåd, som engang bragte faraos krop fra Memphis til Giza og de tre mindre Dronninge pyramider står ved foden af den massive Kheops pyramide. Vi havde ikke mulighed for at komme ind i gravkammeret denne gang, men jeg føler mig privilegeret over at jeg var derinde, og stadig har nogle minder fra begivenheden.


SfinxenPyramiderne rejser sig i baggrunden, mens den sider stille på det varme sand under den bagende sol i 4000 år. Napoleons tropper brugte den som målskive, så næsen og faraos skæg er for længst faldet af og findes i British museum. Grækerne kaldte den "Sphinx", som var basseret på en mærkelig skikkelse med hovedet af et menneske og kroppen af en løve, som ville stoppe enhver rejsende langs vejen med en gåde - hvis gåden ikke blev gættet, blev man måltid for Sphinxen. Trængslen af skarerne omringede Sphinxen og vi kunne kun bevæge os i gåsegang. Gennem tiden ser det ud til, at turisterne må se Sphinxen på længere og længere afstand. For 50 år siden kunne Bedstefar røre ved Sphinxen og også klatre op på toppen af pyramiden; for 20 år siden var Sphinxen hegnet inde med et lille trådhegn, men jeg kunne stå tæt ved den; nu ligger den i et stort hul, hvor besøgende kun kan se den tæt på gennem zoomen på deres kameraer. 4 tusind år senere bjergtager den stadig os alle.

Tirsdag 16. november 2004 (start 2:30)

Ja, du læste rigtig - vi ventede alle I receptionen kl. 2.30. I aftes diskede Bedstemors børnebørn op med Spansk-Ægyptisk-Italiensk middag til hele familien. Dette fulgtes op af en Familien i en larm fra tamboriner, obo og trommer, der spillede til forlovelsesfest for et Ægyptisk par I receptionen.

Denne morgen fløj vi til Asuan for at gå ombord til et Nilkryds på 4 dage op til Luxor. Da vi ankom, tog vi på en "felucca" (nilbåd) tur på Nilen med en fantastisk panorama til "Tomb of Nobles" (de overordnedes grave). Da vi kom tilbage fik vi vores værelser på en fire etages krydstogt skib, der havde motionsrum, svømmebassin og soldæk øverst oppe. Selv fra vores værelser i bunden, havde vi en fantastisk udsigt til de små moskelignende bygninger på toppen af de store sandbjerge med små huler.

Om aftenen havde vi mulighed for at besøge byens lille souq (locale bazaar), hvor de solgte t-shirts, papyrusbilleder, dynger af safran og tørret vellugtende lotusblomster, brun, rød, gul og indigo bjerge af duftende krydderier - alt noget som nogle af os tingede om - det dyreste køb var 25£ for papyrus billede og billigst 15£ for en broderet t-shirt med hieroglyffer. Sidst brugte vi 5£ til en hestevogn tilbage til skibet.

Den anden papyrus har jeg købt fra bazaren

Onsdag 17. november 2004 (start 7:30)

Det ser ud til, at nogle I familien har pådraget sig en maveonde. Vi andre undgik uvasket frugt, frisk salat, rå grøntsager og drinks med vand fra vandhane. Dette forhindrede os imidlertid ikke i at tage på sightseing.

Den ufærdige Obelisk

Hvis denne obelisk var blevet færdig, ville det have været den højeste og tungeste nogensinde fremstillet på 142 meter. Den ligger i et granitstenbrud, færdighugget på tre sider, men opgivet da en revne viste sig i stenen. Det er næsten umulig at forestille sig, hvordan de gamle ægyptere kunne flytte selv en enkelt sten fra dette stenbrud, da dette sted er ganske mange mile fra alle monumenterne, som er færdigfremstillet. Uheldigt for Ægypten er de fleste obelisker blevet spredt til andre lande - til Italien, England, Frankrig og selv Argentina - af fremmede arkæologer gennem de sidste århundreder. Mange af os havde ikke tid til at se hele obelisken før Adam ringede med sin klokke, som han medbragte (for at genere os, tror jeg).

Den ufuldendte ObeliskDe meste familier kom ikke så langt til her

Den Høje Dæmning

I århundreder har Nilen styret Ægypternes liv - hvad enten der var oversvømmelse eller for lidt vand, var det skæbnesvangert for folket, hvis liv afhang af denne store vandkilde. Da Asuandæmningen blev bygget mistede nogle af landsbyerne i det sydlige deres vandforsyninger.

For 30 år siden blev den nye Høje Dæmning bygget, hvilket resulterede i den menneskeskabte Nasser sø mod syd. ==>

Det betød, at mange mennesker måtte flyttes, da landsbyerne og bopladserne blev oversvømmet, ligesom også nogle af de gamle Ægyptiske monumenter som Philae templet.

Aswan dæmningPå sit højeste er den Høje Dæmning 111 m, 3,8 km lang og 980 m bred ved foden.

Der er blevet brugt tre gange så mange sten, som der var i Kheops pyramiden til bygningen af dæmningen.

Da dæmningen er militært område, må man ikke bruge videokamera - hvis der blev rettet et angreb på dæmningen kunne meget af Ægypten blive oversvømmet, hvilket ville være en katastrofe for landet.

Efter kun 10 minutter "ringede" Adam os tilbage til bussen igen.

Philae templet

Vi sejler til Philae templetEfter den første Asuan dæmning blev bygget, var Philae templet oversvømmet 6 måneder om året, og turisterne måtte se templet gennem Philae søens mudrede vand. Da den Høje Dæmning blev bygget, truede det med at oversvømme templet for evigt. Templet blev da flyttet sten for sten til en ø med et lignende landskab. Philae er speciel i, at den kun kan nås med båd og at solnedgangen giver et spektakulært bagtæppe. Templet, som er bygget til Isis (gudinden for kvinder, sexualitet og renhed), var en af de sidste hedenske udsteder og på grund af Isis popularitet, blev det også brugt af de tidlige Kristne. Templets vægge og mange af søjlerne var fra top til fod fyldt med hieroglyffer og billeder af Isis - mange af billedernes ansigter var ødelagt af de tidlige Kristne, som anså de gamle Ægyptiske guder for hedenske. Jeg havde en fantastisk eftermiddag med at vandre ind og ud af gennem alle krogene og sprækkerne - besøge Fødselshuset, Nilometeret, Faraos sengested og meget mere og til stor morskab for familien, var jeg den sidste til at møde op.

Kom Ombo templet i aftenKom Ombo

Skibet sejlede fra Asuan kl. 15.45 efter en eftermiddag tilbragt med solbadning og øldrikning (typisk dansk med solbadning og øl). Vi sejlede 48 km. nord for Asuan til Kom Ombo - den gamle by med tilbedelsen af krokodilleguden Sobek. Den gamle by er for længst forsvunden og krokodillernes eksistens på de nærliggende sandbanker er blevet jagtet til udryddelse.

I solnedgangen besøgte vi Kom Ombo templet, opført til både krokodilleguden Sobek og Horus, den falkehovede himmelgud og Isis søn. Selvom vi ikke havde tiden til at fordybe os i 2 crocodil mumie på Kom Ombo templedette tempen, var det både imponerende og sælsomt med store projektører, der belyste templet. Der var en brønd med vand og en afsats halvvejs nede, hvor krokodiller gennem en gang blev lokket ind fra Nilen med menneskekød, og den største krokodille blev fanget og mumificeret som et offer til Sobek. Ved kapellet for Hathor (Horus hustru) var der en Amerikaner, der udbrød "Gud, jeg troede jeg skulle se krokodillestatuer!" - latter - Kapellet indeholdt to krokodillemumier fundet i templet.

Vi returnerede til et lille cocktail party før middagen, givet af skibet for at introducere de ansvarlige for personalet og for at gøre vores tur behagelig.

Tirsdag 18. november 2004 (start 7.00)

Gennem natten sejlede vi fra Kom Ombo til Edfu, et lille regionalt center for sukkerrørshandlen, besøgte Horus templet og sejlede videre til broen over Nilen og slusesystemet ved Esna.

Horus templet

Den smukke Horus temple i EdfuDette er det mest komplette tempel i Ægypten, et Græsk-Romansk tempel, helt bygget efter gamle Ægyptiske arkitektoniske principper. Vi besøger Edfu for at se, hvordan alle andre templer kunne have set ud i deres originale form. Vi var benovet over indgangspartiet med pylonernes massive mure med tydelige spejlvendte relieffer af Horus og af Farao, der holder sine fjender i håret for at henrette disse. Templet er bygget af Kleopatras far omkring 50 år før Kristus. Omkring pladsen foran dette velbevarede tempel, kan vi se huse bygget af muddersten (mudder fra Nilen blandet med strå og soltørrede) på toppen af bakkerne omkring templet. Templet var tidligere begravet helt op til taget med en landsby opført ovenpå. Mange af templets relieffer viser den voldsomme kamp mellem Horus og hans bror Seth.Vi gik ned i et lille Nilometer - en mørk, snæver tunnel, der stank af urin, som engang blev brugt til at måle Nilens vandstand. Igen var jeg den sidste (kun et par minutter for sent) til store klapsalver fra alle (og et stikkende blik fra Adam).

Fra vort skib på NilenTilbage på skibet til afgang kl. 9.00, hvor vi afsejler mod Esna, 48 km syd for Luxor. Mens familien trængte sig sammen på soldækket, sad jeg i solen på skibets fordæk i fred og ro. Det var rigtig skønt at sidde på et skib - ikke for lille eller for stor - og skue det skiftende sceneri på begge bredder, store palmelunde og frodige grønne marker passerede forbi, et rygende flimmer, skibet, der bevæger sig med fredfyldte 16 km/t og passerer utrolige bjerge af sand og sten. Ole gør mig selskab for en snak - han og Irene flytter til Grønland på tirsdag. Senere på formiddagen sluttede jeg mig til René og Ulla ved poolen, der sludrede om Bedstefar og familie sammenligningerne, mens de betragtede Vinnies børn og Sebastian plaske rundt i pølen, og Lonnie, Sarah og Berit afklædt til et minimum for at få lidt farve.

En ægyptisk mand ryger vand pibeVi ankom til Esna og brugte et par timer til at strække benene efter en formiddag at have dovnet omkring pølen. Jeg kløede efter at spadsere i Esna, væk fra turister og se, hvordan de lokale boede. René og jeg gik efter de stille gader og undgik de travle gader omkring souqen. Vi blev fulgt af en flok børn i lange grå eller hvide klæder, der førte og irriterede os. De fleste af de snævre gader var ubelagte, nogle var mudrede og lugtede af gødning. Magre, skelletagtige æsler stod forspændt arbejdsvogne, mange sky piger vinkede fra deres mørke døråbninger eller fra 1.sals vinduer, mens små drenge kom ud for at sige hello og kredse omkring os. De fleste huse var simple af lermursten og med små tilskoddede vinduer for at holde varmen ude.Nogle havde fantastiske udskårne trædøre, efterladenskaber fra kolonitiden. Tilfældige blikke ind gennem døråbningerne afslørede tomme mudderklinede rum, da de fleste mennesker boede på første sal. Ind imellem råbte René "imshee!" (forsvind), når børnene blev for støjende og nærgående, trak os i armene og smed småsten efter os. Da jeg snublede over en pibende sort og hvid sygelig hvalp svøbt i brun papir, som var sparket til side - rakte jeg næsten ud efter den, hvis ikke René havde stoppet mig. Det var klogt endog ikke at komme i kontakt med børnene, som var støvede og klædt i de lange Ægyptiske dragter. Det var en befrielse, da de til sidst forlod os, selv om vi vidste de gemte sig i smøgene og iagttog os skride gennem gaderne. Der var guldsmedier glimrende af smykke ringe, øreringe og halskæder; skræddere, der stadig syede i hånden sidende på trappetrinene til deres butikker; kaffehuse fyldt kun med mænd, der røg på deres vandpiber - deres øjne fulgte os ned ad gaden. Vi havde siddet forskellige steder så lang tid, at det var godt at komme væk.

Gennem slusen

Vi sejlede kl. 15.00 og samledes med andre skibe som vores ved en bro lige nord for Esna. Hver fjerde time åbner broen i en time for skibene og bilerne kunne i stedet tage en lille færge over Nilen. Til aften har skibet dækket op til en speciel Ægyptisk "Orientalsk" middag, hvor gæsterne kunne klæde sig i ægyptiske dragter. Det var et festmåltid med fladbrød, baba ghanoush, varme fyldte zucchini og peberfrugt, varme pølseruller, kikærter, linser, fisk, traditionel ret af okra (ligner grøn chili, men er ikke stærk), pyntet og risfyldt hel lam med foliedækket hoved med små magre oberginer som ører sat op på et sølvfad. Som afslutning på det hele var der et bord med ægyptiske desserter - semulje tærte, mandel-mælk agar (gelé) og små tærter med honningsmag. Mellem 22 0g 23 samledes vi alle for at se slusningen.

Ved slusning føres skibet fra et niveau til et andet niveau, som regel ved en dæmning. To krydstogtskibe sejlede ind i slusen, hvorefter portene lukkedes efter os. Vandet ledtes ud af slusen og skibene blev sænket næsten 10 meter ned, hvorefter portene foran skibene åbnedes, og vi sejlede videre. Slusningen tog ca. en time, selv om ventetiden varede nogle timer for at komme til. Det var værd at se, selv om vi skulle starte tidlig næste morgen. Det mest fantastiske var at se den ekspertise skibet førtes gennem den snævre sluse med næsten ingen plads til begge sider.

Fredag 19 November 2004 (start 7.00)

Gennem natten sejlede vi fra Esna til Luxor, vores sidste havn, hvortil vi kom ca. kl. 2. Vi blev effektivt vækket og kunne høre telefonvækningen omkring på de værelser, som skulle ud på en tidlig tur. Vi havde en lang dag for os, hvor vi skulle besøge fire steder.

Kongernes dal

Bygmestrene af de store pyramider opdagede, at skjulte indgange og falske skakter ikke beskyttede deres døde faraoer eller rigdommene, der var med i gravene, for gravrøvere, så fra det 18. dynasti startede de gamle ægyptere med at grave i undergrunden. Rullende bakker og dale af sand, grus og solid sandsten - det er forbavsende at tænke sig, at de gamle Ægyptere var i stand til at begrave over 300 faraoer hvoraf kun 62 er fundet (den sidste var TutAnkhAmun).

Kongernes Dal

Bjerget, under hvilket mange af gravene er fundet, har en pyramidelignende fason.

Ramses V/VI grave

Vores billetter gav os ret til kun at besøge tre grave og kun en håndfuld var åbne på dagen med lange køer ved alle.

Vi besøgte gravene for Ramsesene III, IX og V/VI - alle relative små grave, nogle delvis udgravede, andre meget skadede af fugtighed fra de mange turister og fra svedige fingre.

Det smukke loft af Ramses V/VI graveDer var en mængde af hieroglyffer og billeder af faroerne, hvordan de behandlede deres undersåtter, selv lofterne var smukt udsmykket med blå himmel, tusinder af stjerner og himmel gudindens hoved. Ramses III´s grav var som en billedbog over "Bedre Huse og Haver" med billeder af hundrede af krukker, møbler og madkunst. I Ramses V/VI's grav var der en kæmpe revnet Faraoformet sarkofag uhyggelig illumineret med sølvagtig lys - Ramses VI delte usædvanligt graven med sin forgænger og broder. Det er rugtig forbavsende, at sådanne billeder har overlevet tusinder af år, gemt bort i mørke tørre grave, som hurtig nedbrydes, efter at de er blevet udgravet.

Memnon kolosserne

Colossi af MemnonLige efter Kongernes Dal stoppede vi for at se Memnon kolosserne - to 18 meter høje figurer af Amenhotep III, som stod foran hvad men mener var Ægyptens største tempel, endnu større end det eksisterende Karnak tempel. Hver af statuerne er hugget ud af en hel sten, engang berømte for klokkelignende toner, der opstod fra statuerne ved solopgang. Grækerne troede disse lyde blev lavet af den udødelige Memnon, der hilste på sin moder. Efter at en Romersk hersker foretog restaurationer på kolosserne i 170 efter kristus, forsvandt lydene.

Til vores morskab gjorde Adam endnu et "kommisions stop" ved en alabaster butik. Han kunne ikke forstå, hvorfor vi brød ud i latter. I stedet for at boycotte turen, skyndte vi os alle ind for at få en kop gratis myntete (som ikke havde noget med myntete at gøre). René førte an i et race med Sebastian og Vinnies drenge med det glatte alabastergulv som glidebane. I den anden ende blev Ulla præsenteret for en lille 10000£ alabaster flodhest, som hun i sjov sagde ja til, hvorefter butiksassistenten gik for at sætte den til side.

Hatshepsut templet

Dronning Hatshepsuts terrassetempelI nærheden af Kongernes Dal ligger dette tempel for den eneste kvindelige Farao, der har regeret Ægypten. På grund af et forkvaklet arbejde af et rent Ægyptisk arkæologisk hold, blev templets ruiner genrejst til at indeholde et busdepot, resulterende i at meget af de originale kunstværker blev overmalet eller ødelagt. Efterfølgeren til Hatshepsuts bror/mand var stedsønnen Tuthmose III, som måtte vente 20 år på sin trone, hvorfor Hatshepsut ikke blev balsameret, da hun døde, og hendes tempel blev ødelagt som straf. Templet stod på stedet for et Koptisk kloster og fantastiske sandstensklipper. Der er måske ikke meget af templet at se, men synet tæt på, fra stor afstand og endog fra himlen gør absolut turen værd.

Så fik vi frokost og et lille hvil. Jeg blev overrasket over, at et humoristisk medlem af rengøringspersonalet havde sat håndklæder, tæppe og pude op i min seng, så det lignede en mand og hans slange. Jeg troede René havde lavet grin med mig, til jeg fandt ud af, at noget lignende var lavet i andre familiemedlemmers værelser!

134 kæmpe-søjler af Karnak temple - verdens største tempelkompleksKarnak Luxor templer

Karnak var kendt som "Ipet-Isyt" - det mest perfekte af stederne.

Meget af det ligger I ruiner, men er muligvis det største tempelkompleks bygget nogensinde og skabt over 1500 år af efterfølgende generationer af Faraoer.

Det var boplads for Faroer, stedet for gudedyrkelse, rigt skattekammer og administrationscenter med tusinder ansat.

Karnak er berømt for dets gigantiske søjler - 134 på 15 meters højde, 12 i midten på 21 meter. Der skal seks voksne til at favne omkring en søjle.

Engang stod der statuer af Faraoer mellem søjlerne og hele stemningen ville have været skræmmende, som at passere gennem en hal af kæmpe guder.

Underskrift af Ramses II

<== Ramses II var ansvarlig for meget af restaureringen af templet, og hans signatur er hugget dybt ind i flere områder, så ingen anden Farao kunne tage æren.

Den højste obelisk i Ægypt - Hatshepsuts Oberlisk i Karnak tempel

Forbi de kæmpe søjler stod den højeste eksisterende obelisk I Ægypten, næsten 30 meter høj. Selvom den er lavet af et stykke granit, ser Hatsheosuts obelisk ud, som om den er lavet af to forskellige sten, da den nederste del i mange år var dækket til af Tuthmosis III i hans vrede over stedmoderens tilranelse af tronen. Der var engang 17 obeliske, men disse er nu spredt over hele verden.

Jo længere vi kommer ind i tempelområdet, jo ældre er templet og ligger i ruiner, så da vi når den anden ende, ligger alt i ruiner.

Smukke vægge i Karnak tempel

Det mest skønne syn for mig I templet var billedet af dronningen, der omfavner sin Farao.

Det blev betragtet som tabu at vise billeder med en sådan affekt, så billedet var i mange år dækket af en guldplade.

Tæt ved den hellige sø - et bassin beregnet til præsternes renselse - stor en kæmpe skarabel. Adam fortalte, at vi skulle gå syv gange rundt om den, mod uret, og vi ville få vort ønske opfyldt. Det ville have været ret komisk at se en stor skare af folk vandre omkring skarabellen.

Efter 1½ time måtte vi videre… til endnu en kommisionsbutik - en bomuldsbutik med t-shirts med fabrikstryk, der kostede fem så meget, som jeg havde købt broderede t-shirts for.

Luxor tempel

Til sidst på vores tur: Luxor templet==>

Der var en avenue af Sphinxer, som engang forbandt Karnak templet med Luxor templet med 2½ km.

Engang i Faraoernes tid lå Luxor templet i hjertet af den gamle hovedstad Thebes og var velbevaret fordi den engang var begravet under landsbyen Luxor og endog i det 13. årh. havde en moske opført indenfor dens mure - hvilket indbyggerne kræver bevaret under restaureringen af templet.

Templet synes ikke oversvømmet med turister og i det forsvindende lys fra solnedgangen lægger templet et spøgelsesagtigt men flot skygge over byen.

En Efter turen tog resten af familien på hestevognstur tilbage til skibet, mens vores lille familie besluttede at gå gennem byen - en kort tur langs Nilen. Som i Esra var vi interesserede i at gå gennem gaderne, tage video og fotos og se, hvordan folk levede - gamle mænd ryger vandpibe, skrædere syer dragter, en mand vasker kopper i en kaffeshop, en åben slagter med kroppe hængende ved fortovet, små børn hviner for at blive fotograferet, kvinder klædt fra top til tå i sort, børn glad vinkende fra alle hjørner - disse mennesker smilede mere og syntes venligere - og ingen spurgte efter bakshees (drikkepenge), og en skarp kontrast til Esna. Vi stoppede for at få en sodavand på tagterrassen af en hotel og betragtede endnu en fantastisk solnedgang over Luxor.

En kobbersmedEn tømmer
En ægyptisk kvinde bærer noget på hendes hovedEn skrædderEn sky dreng
En mand laver maden ægyptisk caféAnden mand ryger vand
Venter på gadenAnden ægyptiske café / restaurant

en Sko magerTømmerEn slagter

en Hvivlende danserEfter vores sidste middag blev vi underholdt af en ung kedelig mavedanserinde og, hvad jeg har ventet på at se, en "Hvirvlende Dervish" - en fremvisning af Sufi dans.

Sufism, en halv-mystisk gren af Islam, med en uortodoks vej til bøn, det vil sige at danse og opnå en trancelignende forening med Gud.

Tilskyndet af takten fra trommer, strenge og fløjter, spinner danseren rundt i et slør of flerfarvet skørt - rød, gul og blå - indtil han lignede en snurretop.

Photo Courtesy of Tour Egypt Photos

Lørdag 20 November 2004 (start 4:45)

De fleste af familien nød krydstogtet og stederne de så. De var ikke særlig glade ved planlægningen af turen med latterlige tidlige morgenstarter, nogle dage sammenpressede og andre med næsten intet. Men mest af alt var mange af familien utilfredse med Adam - vi klagede på vore spørgeskemaer og Ulla gav AB-Travel repræsentanten en opsang om, hvor ubehagelig Adam havde været, hvor intetsigende hans høj-accenterede sprog havde været, han kørte på nogle af os, stirrede på børnene for at sludre bag i bussen, han undgik spørgsmål og skældte på alle, der afbrød ham med et spørgsmål. Værst var alle de unødvendige "kommissions baserede" stop, som tog tid fra vores seværdigheds besøg. Han var en typisk Ægypter, som kunne have gjort vores tur meget mere lykkelig.

Fra en tidelig flyvetur til Cairo, en galehus med vores bagage, en tretimers ventetid I en kaffeshop på et hotel tæt ved, til en 4½ timers flyvetur tilbage til København, var klokken 17, da vi fik vores bagage og tog en sidste afsked med alle medlemmer af familien. På trods af en start kl. 4.45 tog det os en hel dag at komme hjem.

Der er en vis portion tristhed at det måske er sidste gang familien er samlet, da Bedstemor jo bliver ældre. René har været med på måske ti samlinger, planlagt af Bedstemors børn, men betalt af Bedsteforældrene - som en arv til familien. Jeg har været heldig og privilegeret at blive inviteret med på en af disse familiesamlinger - fire generationer i alt. Det gav mig lov til at besøge en anden eksotisk del af verden og at lære at kende denne meget specielle Matriark.

BEDSTEMOR på Karnak tempel

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Fotografier Oversættelse ©Copyright Freddy Pallesen 2000 ~ 2005
Design dagbog ©Copyright 2001 ~ 2005
Created: 13Dec 2004Sidst update: 21-Jan-2005

14. November 2004 10:57
by Rene Pallesen

Papyrus Paintings We Bought

14. November 2004 10:57 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

papyrus paintings we bought

Created: Dec 2004Last Updated: 21-Jan-2005

14. November 2004 10:53
by Rene Pallesen

Saqqara's Step Pyramid & Great South Court

14. November 2004 10:53 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

saqqara s step pyramid great south court

Created: Dec 2004Last Updated: 21-Jan-2005

14. November 2004 10:52
by Rene Pallesen

The Sphinx at Giza

14. November 2004 10:52 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

the sphinx at giza

Created: Dec 2004Last Updated: 21-Jan-2005

14. November 2004 10:38
by Rene Pallesen

Khan Al-Khalili - Egypt's Oldest Bazaar

14. November 2004 10:38 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

khan al khalili

Al-Khalili's Bazaar / Markets, is the oldest market in Egypt, established some time in the 12th century. The surviving towers of the original markets go back to the 1500s and miles of shops adorn the streets.
I was looking forward to purchasing some papyrus paintings and some t-shirts, but it was rather quiet with half the shops closed.
However, we did see plenty selling wooden guitars, brightly tattered pouffe covers, egyptian clothes, spices, t-shirts, crappy papyrus paintings, plenty of bong-like pipes.

Wherever we went, we would see a couple of individuals smoking "water-pipes" (or what I would've called "bongs"). These bongs were brightly coloured, some intricately ornate and were inexpensive - AUD$40 for the ignorant tourist, less than AUD$10 for the savvy bargain-hunter.

Afterward only an hour, we all met up at a typical Egyptian coffee-house. We met up here because it seems, Adam wanted to smoke his water-pipe...

Created: Dec 2004Last Updated: 24-Jan-2005

14. November 2004 10:37
by Rene Pallesen

Aswan Dam

14. November 2004 10:37 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

aswan dam

The High Dam was built in the 1970s. It was higher and wider than the old Aswan Dam.

At its highest point, the High Dam was 111m high, 3.8km long and 980m wide at the base. It was built with 3 times as many stones that was used to build Cheops' Pyramid.

The High Dam is a high-security military area so no video cameras were allowed. Should the High Dam be destroyed, than most of Egypt will be under water and it would be a disaster for the country.

Lake Nasser is a man-made lake to the south, created as a result of the building of the High Dam. Because of this lake, some great monuments, villages and many of the Nubian tribes had to be moved or they would have been submerged under water. I think much history has been lost to these waters.

This temple had to moved onto higher ground after the High Dam was built.

Created: Dec 2004Last Updated: 24-Jan-2005

14. November 2004 10:37
by Rene Pallesen

The Alabaster Factory

14. November 2004 10:37 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

the alabaster factory

This alabaster factory was one of Adam's commission-based stops.
Alabaster is a cheaper type of marble - the corridors of the Mohammed Ali Mosque was made of this marble, as was the small sphinx statue in Memphis. It was also used for King TutAnkhAmun's canopic jars

Created: Dec 2004Last Updated: 24-Jan-2005
Perfect Moments Photography | Slideshow 2004 - anti_war_demonstration_2004


2004 - anti_war_demonstration_2004