April 2003
Egypt
From 18 April to 2 May 2003 we went to Egypt and visited Cairo, Aswan, Abu Simbel, Luxor and El Minya. We saw many ancient Egyptian temples, pyramids and tombs.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
1/32 The first day in Cairo we visited the Egyptian Museum.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
2/32 The highlight of the museum was the Tutankhamun collection. We saw the famous gold mask and his sarcophagi, such as this one.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
3/32 After the museum we walked through Islamic Cairo to the Citadel. We visited the Mohammed Ali mosque.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
4/32 In the evening we went to the big souk (market/bazaar), the Khan el Kalili. We had a drink at the tea house El Fishawy.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
5/32 On our second day in Cairo, we had an excursion to Memphis, the ancient capital of Egypt, Saqqara, and the Giza plateau. At the open-air musuem in Memphis we saw this fallen colossal statue of Ramses II. The statue was found in this position and the building was erected around it to protect it.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
6/32 In Saqqara we visited the pyramid of Teti (Sixth Dynasty). The interior was covered with beautiful hieroglyphic texts.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
7/32 Here we stand in front of the step pyramid in North Saqqara. This is the pyramid of Djoser (Third Dynasty, 2635-2561BC), and the first pyramid, built by the royal architect Imhotep. The pyramid is part of a large funerary complex which includes a large temple.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
8/32 Our tour arrived at Giza in the afternoon, too late to visit the inside of the Great Pyramid. Instead, we rented horses and rode through the desert.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
9/32 When you stand in front of the great pyramids of Giza they look a bit two-dimensional. Going completely around the pyramids on horses gave us a great perception of how big they really are.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
10/32 On the third day we took a 13-hour train ride south to Aswan. The next day we drove with our group to the Aswan High Dam, which created Lake Nasser and allows Egypt to control the level of the Nile.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
11/32 We visited the temple of Philae on an island that was moved from it's original location. It would have been completely submerged by Lake Nasser after the building of the High Dam. It is one of 22 monuments that were moved with aid by Unesco.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
12/32 The next day we took a short plane ride to Abu Simbel to visit the Sun Temple of Ramses II and the temple for his wife Nefertari. We had a good view of the mounument from the plane as we approached the airport.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
13/32 These two temples were also moved from their original location before the High Dam would have completely drowned them.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
14/32 Back in Aswan, we took a ride through town on a caleche. Our Nubian driver showed us parts of the city many tourists never visit.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
15/32 We spent our last day in Aswan on a felucca (Egyptian sailboat) with our group. It was very relaxing. Unfortunately there was not much wind so the captain had to get help from his friend to tow us with a motor boat once in a while.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
16/32 We docked the felucca on the west side of the Nile to visit the Monastery of St. Simeon. While the rest of our group sweated their way up the hill, we rented camels for a more relaxing journey.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
17/32 From Aswan we traveled by bus to Luxor. On the way we stopped at Kom Ombo and Edfu to visit two temples. This is the temple at Kom Ombo, dedicated to the gods Haroeris and Sobek.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
18/32 This is the temple of Edfu, which was dedicated to the god Horus. This is the most complete temple in Egypt. That is Amy in the bottom left of the picture.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
19/32 The sunset in Luxor.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
20/32 On our first day in Luxor we went to the Valley of the Kings where we visited three tombs: Ramses III (#11), Ramses VI (#9), and Ramses IV (#2).
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
21/32 We visited Deir El-Bahri, the temple of the female pharoah, Queen Hatshepsut.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
22/32 The Colossi of Memnon, which were the entrance to a large temple, now almost completely destroyed.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
23/32 This is the entrance to Luxor Temple. There used to be two obelisks before the first pylon, shown here. One of them now stands on the Place de la Concorde in Paris.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
24/32 Here we are at the huge complex of Karnak that covers seven temples.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
25/32 On 28 April we got up really early to do a hot air balloon ride over Luxor. We saw the sun rise and travelled 15 kilometers in 45 minutes from the west bank to the east bank of the Nile.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
26/32 The Valley of the Kings as seen from the balloon. You can see how the green Nile valley abruptly stops and there is nothing but desert in the far distance.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
27/32 We rented bikes and rode around on the West bank for about 6 hours. We visited Medinet Habu, the temple of Ramses III, and the Tombs of the Nobles. Here we visited two tombs: Sennefer (#96) and Rekhmire (#100). Afterwards we biked through farm land and small villages, where people happily greeted us as we passed.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
28/32 After Luxor we took the train to El Minya where we visited some Middle Kingdom tombs at Beni Hassan under heavy military and police guidance. Note the seven armed men behind our group.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
29/32 On the last day of the trip we went back to Giza to go into the Great Pyramid of Cheops. We had to be there at 8 am to get tickets as they only give out a limited amount of tickets every day.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
30/32 We also went back to the Sphinx at Giza which we hadn't looked at very well before.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
31/32 We took a long taxi ride to Dashur to see the Red Pyramid and the Bent Pyramid. Here we are inside the Red Pyramid, which was very strenuous. We had to crawl through a corridor of 60 meters. Our knees still ached 3 days later.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
32/32 In the late afternoon of the last day we visited Coptic Cairo. There was a lot of activity because it was a feast day of the area's patron saint, Saint George.