S: Egypt 2011
1: Amanda Fencl Dan Grayson Zac Cicala | December 25, 2010 - January 9, 2011 | Egypt!
2: Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx (Abu al-Hol) | Giza
3: Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops) Pyramid of Kafhre Pyramid of Menka
8: In a tomb!
9: Hilltop Restaurant dinner Al Azhar Park, Islamic Cairo
10: Snofru's Red Pyramid is believed to be the world's first successful attempt at constructing a "true" smooth-sided pyramid | Snofru, founder of the 4th Dynasty (2612-2588 BC)
11: the Dashur Pyramid Field | Descending for 68m at 27 degrees in a .9 by 1.2 m passageway | Height 104m Base 220m | * | * Dan's pointing at me because I just sat in vomit... | Dashur
12: Sex and the City | inside the Red Pyramid | massive corbel-vaulted ceiling, main burial chamber | All of the burial chambers remained unused | The Red Pyramid was built after the Bent Pyramid, by Snofru, and slopes at 43 degrees from its base.
14: Sex and the City style | Zac v. the Bent Pyramid | Also Zac | The Bent Pyramid represents a transitional form between older step pyramids and the smooth-sided "true" ones. The base was constructed at a 54 degrees incline while the top is at 43 degrees. It's Snofru's 2nd pyramid, and final resting place.
15: The Bent Pyramid, Dashur
16: The Bent Pyramid has a small satellite pyramid that was the final resting place of Snofru's queen; there is a 25m connecting tunnel so he could visit her in the after life.
17: Height 101m Base 189m
18: The Step Pyramid Pyramid of Djoser, Saqqara | Pyramid complex: enclosure wall more than a mile long and 10.5m high, covers 37 acres, 3.5 miles of underground tunnels. | The Start of the Pyramid Age
19: Djoser was the first king of the 3rd Dynasty of the Old Kingdom (2686 - 2613 BC)
21: Wandering the massive funerary complex
22: King Djoser commissioned his chancellor Imhotep to build the first pyramids. When the Step Pyramid was raised in the 27th c. BC, it was one of the largest structures ever built in stone. | Statue of King Djoser (Netjerikhet) at the Cairo Museum
23: Height 62m Base 140x118m
25: The Hanging Church, Coptic Cairo | The church is suspended over the gatehouse of Babylon Fortress | The history of a church at this site dates to the 3rd century AD
26: 24hr Cairo - Luxor - Aswan Overnight Train
30: Elephantine Island, opposite Aswan in the Nile.
31: Sunset at the Nubian House, on Elephantine.
33: Welcome to Aswan | pigeon for dinner? | Evening stroll in Aswan
35: Dawn at Abu Simbel and Lake Nassar
41: The twin temples were originally carved out of the mountainside during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II in the 13th century BC. They were relocated in 1968 on an artificial hill to avoid being submerged during the creation of Lake Nassar by the Aswan Dam.
43: Aswan Dam, Lake Nassar
44: Philae was dismantled and relocated to a nearby island in connection to the UNESCO project started because of the construction of the High Dam, after being partly flooded by the first Aswan Dam for half a century | Ferry to the Temple of Philae
52: felucca: a traditional wooden sailing boat used in protected waters of the Red Sea and eastern Mediterranean, particularly along the Nile in Egypt and Sudan.
53: the River Nile
63: Temple of Kom Ombo
64: Temple of Kom Ombo is an unusual double temple built during the Ptolemaic dynasty (305-30 BC), the 32nd and last dynasty of ancient Egypt.
66: Hopping the train from Kom Ombo to Luxor! | The entire train station at Kom Ombo was focused on a train bearing nothing but dozens of cars of sugarcane. Every person in sight began pulling 3 meter stalks right from the moving train to indulge in a snack. Minutes later, freshly chewed cane, strips from stalks, and hyperactive boys littered the platform. One guy snatching sugar shoots from the moving train and handed them to us.
68: View of the Valley of Kings from the hotel roof! | Luxor (ancient Thebes)
69: Temple of Luxor on the East Bank of the Nile | Kafta for dinner | Thebes was the capital of Egypt during the New Kingdom. During the Roman era, the Luxor temple and its surroundings were a legionary fortress and the home of the Roman government in the area. Now known as Luxor, there are six great temples, of which Luxor and Karnak are widely known.
70: Watching tourist hot air balloons over the West Bank of the Nile and Valley of the Kings.
71: We spent the morning bicycling to three thousand year old tombs in the desert. The Valley of the Kings is where, for a period of nearly 500 years from the 16th to 11th century BC, tombs were constructed for the Pharaohs and powerful nobles of the New Kingdom. The Valley became especially famous after the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun.
72: We returned our bikes to the hotel, and took the National Ferry across the Nile to the East Bank en route to Karnak; our trip conveniently timed with the end of school day.
73: Karnak Temple
74: Karnak, a complex so large that its relief covered columns resembled redwoods in form more than stone. A few well placed bribes (and faked French, because it keeps the bribes cheap if the bribee can't ask for more) secured entry to areas closed to the public, or rather to the public that won't/don't bribe guards. This led to a guided tour done in French (or the French this guard had at his disposal: mostly just the word magnifique) of two temples within Karnak, several beautifully painted rooms in renovation, and a rooftop where we ran from pillar to wall crouched, special ops style, so as not to be seen by other guards....
75: Our Private Tour (notre visite guidee privee)
76: ... I believe the baksheesh given to our "guide", who specifically told us we hadn't seen any temples and definitely didn't have a guide who showed us those temples that we didn't see, may be the best 93 cents I have ever spent. (baksheesh being the tip or bribe, depending on your point of view or degree of cynicism, that everyone constantly expects of everyone else in exchange for doing nearly anything) -Dan
77: The Karnak Temple Complex comprises a vast mix of decayed temples, chapels, pylons, and other buildings. Construction of temples started in the Middle Kingdom; around thirty pharaohs contributed to the buildings, enabling it to reach a size, complexity, and diversity not seen elsewhere. Few of the individual features of Karnak are unique, but the size and number of features are overwhelming
81: Late night / last minute shopping in Luxor.
82: The Great Desert Circuit JEEP TOUR
85: Western Desert Oases: Kharga and Dakhla
87: The Farafra desert (Sahara el Beyda)
92: Tonight we dined courtesy of a gas stove and a wood fed fire pit in a mostly moonless night under the lights of the milky way. The meal was stewed vegetables, rice pilaf, soup, and roasted chicken. Getting to tonight's place-setting required off road driving through sand dunes and a huge flat expanse of what used to be the sea floor, but is now one of the most moistureless environments on earth. As it turns out, a jarring shift in sea levels results in white rocks, the corpses of innumerable sea creatures compacted over thousands of millennia, to stand dozens of feet into the air over otherwise flat ground. -Dan
95: Bahariya Oasis