The state of preservation of the Egyptians’ vestiges is quite remarkable considering they’re over 3 thousand years old. This phenomenon is likely due to the fact that most of the pyramids and temples were buried in the sand and therefore protected from the elements. In some places, the frescos are still beautiful with vibrant colors and the hieroglyphics clearly defined—this is most evident inside the tombs of the Valley of the Kings.
The temples and pyramids are so impressive in size and incomparable to anything we had ever seen in Greece, Italy or Mexico. The Great Pyramid of Giza, Cheops’ pyramid is the most monumental. It’s also one of the 7 old wonders of the world and the only one still standing to this day!
Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to go inside the great pyramid on our visit but we did go inside a much smaller one in Saqqara. This is the site of the oldest pyramid still standing, Djosers’ pyramid. Inside with the darkness enveloping us, we couldn’t see anything—it was total darkness until we reached the inner chamber where a light had been installed for the benefit of visitors. There were frescos on every wall and even stars on the ceiling. Astonishing!
Our guide pointed out the most amazing thing about painting those frescoes in the dark was how a long line of people with reflective surfaces would use these to channel the light down the corridor and illuminate the small portion of the wall the artist was painting. That in itself is miraculous.
Cruising along the Nile…
While visiting ancient monuments is a must in Egypt, no visit would be complete without a ride in a felucca, the traditional sailboat. Be sure to sail down the Nile and visit Nubia.
The Nubian village we stopped at was so unlike anything we had ever seen. We were invited into a home where tea and sweets were served. This family kept crocodiles in a basin in the house and we got to hold one of the little ones. They are feisty and if you’re not careful you can easily get bit. I was surprise at how flexible they can be, twisting at almost a 90 degree angle to try and take a nip, best to hold them close to the head to avoid mishaps!
We were fortunate enough to visit Egypt before much of the recent unrest and challenges. We do hope it remains accessible for people from all over to see, truly miraculous and it left a huge impression on us.
Note: We do not have any pictures from inside the temples, simply because photos weren’t allowed inside and we always respect this policy.