Karnack and Luxor Temples

Trip Start Apr 06, 2007
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Trip End Jul 23, 2007


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Saturday, June 16, 2007

6-16-07
 
Today was not terribly exciting unfortunately. Our only plans for today was to go to the post office to send a package home, yes another one, and to visit the Cairo Museum. So we packed a bag full of stuff to send home and as soon as I stood up it hit me like a mack truck!!! My back was killing me, not like some mild pain either it was grueling want to lay in bed and die pain!!! It was obviously from yesterdays antics of climbing up and down all those pyramids with a heavy backpack no less. Andrea feeling sorry for me decided to carry the backpack today, isn't she great!!! So we headed off to the post office with a huge bag that Andrea and I carried together and when we finally found the post office we realized it was closed. At first we couldn't understand why it would be closed on a Friday but then realized that Friday and Saturday in the Arab world is like our Saturday and Sunday. It is their days of rest. So we reluctantly carried our bag filled with S*%& back to the room. We then headed off insearch of the museum. Did I mention it was 1:30pm already. Yeah we slept in real late since we were so tired from the day before because we had gotten no sleep our first night here because of those blood sucking ministers, which by the way left several itchy souvenirs for me to scratch at.
 
Anyways, once we got to the museum we were informed that no cameras were allowed inside so we checked it at the counter since we had no other choice. At the ticket counter we ran into a girl that went to Yale. I remarked that I was going to attend there in the fall and she couldn't have cared less. I don't know if she didn't believe me or if she was that antisocial but she really wanted nothing to do with us so we continued on. The museum was filled with all sorts of amazing Egyptian Artifacts but the real disappointment came with the presentation. Most of the artifacts weren't labeled and only one out of ten had an index card explaining what it was. To make things worse, the index cards didn't proved a date or explain the use or history of the artifacts. It just listed the name or type of artifact it was and sometimes the material used which you couldn't really care less about. So for example it would have a really ornate necklace and the index card, if it had one would say "Necklace, Gold and turquoise, new kingdom"...what the hell does that mean??? I want to know how old it is, which to be fare if I new when the new kingdom was I might know that, but I also wanted to know where they found it who it belonged to and when was it used. Was it used for ceremonies by a king or was it used by a high class person as normal wear??? Seriously, this museum needs an upgrade!!! The other museum we had been to in Saqqura that was practically new and no one visited was awesome, it gave you all sorts of information on every piece and it even had flat screens showing how the excavation had been done and by whom. You would think that the Cairo museum holding the artifacts of Tutankhamen and a national symbol for all tourists visiting Egypt would be updated to at least modern standards. NOPE!!! The museum reminded me of an old library...the one were you had to use a card and get it stamped when you took out a book. Most of the furniture holding the museum looked old and dilapidated, not cool old but rather nasty old. The one thing they had going for them was that the stuff it held was so cool that it overshadowed the fact they had no sense of marketing or presentation. I'm telling you if I used the index card they had for a science fair project, I would have been laughed at...seriously that bad!!!
 
Anyways, we headed straight for Tutankhamen's artifacts and boy were they impressive. His coffins were made of gold and they were the most intricate coffins we saw. And boy did we see coffins, lots of them. I only wished they had let me take pictures. I was itching to. We also saw the classic head piece put on the mummy before it goes in the coffin and it was also made of gold. It was gorgeous!!! For a split second I even considered how cool it would be to have all this done for you when you died but then quickly remembered how useless it was. Still it was extremely impressive and it was by far our favorite exhibition. It is definitely worth seeing if it ever visits your area. And hopefully they do a better job of presenting it than these people did.
 
Our other favorite exhibit was the animal mummy room. It showed how a lot of creatures got mummified for different purposes. Crocodiles for example were supposed to be a manifestation of their God on earth so they were worshiped like the king...could you imagine that??? How weird??? How many priests were eaten you think? What's even weirder is, could you imagine an Egyptian pharaoh or high priest being a crocodile hunter/ wrestler...it just doesn't fit. I just can't see king tut saying "ohh crookie" could you???
 
Anyways, they also mummified house hold pets like cats and baboons, yep they were household pets. Bet-cha you could teach a baboon to fetch the paper and make coffee wouldn't that be awesome...maybe even teach him how to do a back massage...speaking of which, why don't we have more baboons as pets, someone should breed them for domestication that would be great...anyone else agree or am I totally nuts to think that a smart baboon as a pet is inhumane but a dumb dog is ok as long as he rolls over!!! You decide??? I think of the weirdest things sometimes.
 
Getting back to animal mummification, they also used to mummify animals for food in the afterlife. So basically if you were an animal you may be mummified for one reason or another. They had in the exhibit several examples of crocodiles, dogs, baboons and cats that had been mummified and they looked terrifying. I thought I'd have nightmares for days. Which reminds me, we've been taking these malaria pills for almost 2 weeks now and the only side effect I can definitely tell it has is that it gives you the strangest and scariest nightmares ever. I can't recall any of them at the moment but they have been pretty bad. Andrea too has been having nightmares. She says that sometimes she'll wake up and I'll be covered in sweat and shaking from a nightmare...incredible huh???
 
Anyways, after seeing the animal mummification we decided we had seen enough dead things for one day and decided to leave. We picked up our camera and to our surprise it was still there...what a bonus!!! I decided that we could take a shortcut back but in the end I just got us really lost and we took a cab back to the hotel. On the way home as I got us more and more lost we passed through some very tight spaces filled with hundreds of vendors. Most of them were selling shoes but really it depended on the area. One area we passed by was a souk dedicated to car parts. It was really weird seeing all these random car parts scattered over tables and sheets on the floor. I took a few pictures and we continued on till I gave up and finally called a cab. That was about all the excitement for today because at 9pm we took a taxi to the train station and got on our 10pm train to Luxor.
 
We did meet a rather pessimistic school teacher from the US that was traveling alone. She told us a little about all her travels around the world and told us that she had a boyfriend but that she had decided to take this trip without him. She seemed like a loner but was desperate to speak to anyone who spoke English. She talked our ear off but once the train started moving she quieted down and I read a ton in my new book "Red Strom Rising" and then passed out. Andrea was put to sleep by the woman before we had even left the station and she didn't move until we arrived in Luxor. So with that I will say Goodnight.
 
Love,
 
Jose and Andrea
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Comments

marwilt
marwilt on

King Tut's Stuff!
Isn't it awesome? We saw the original tour when it came to Toronto about 30 years ago. I've never seen anything like that gold mask. The exhibit that was here last year was such a disappointment--hardly any bling! Sounds like you better have your wits about you to survive in Egypt. We are always amazed at such brazen corruption. We leave for Paris tomorrow through the chunnel on a high speed train. Talk to you soon. love you!

julier
julier on

King Tut
I am so glad you got to see the exhibit. Even though it is not upto standards the exhibit has to be incredible. I took you sister, abuela and Tia to it last year when it came to Fort Lauderdale. Even though it was a small exhibit the artifacts were incredible. I love your random thoughts. That is what makes the blog so interesting. I do not know about the Baboon as a pet but I was wondering since you love Cinderella so much would you do something to her when I am gone.??? Ha ha!
Besitos

romero
romero on

Re: King Tut
mumufication of cinderella is out of the question unless of course she is going to be my food in the afterlife...haha
Love you

Jose

tracy24
tracy24 on

Amazing!
Probably couldn't climb on those statues like the ones we did in Vegas! :)

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