As a bit of a prelude to this post, here’s a
ridiculously long Rick Steve’s video (who I have a love/hate relationship with) about the history and architecture of Egyptian culture over the past few millenium:
Four score and seven years ago–okay it’s actually six years but who’s counting–I went on a school trip to Egypt over spring break of my sophomore year. I had been fascinated with the history of Egypt and pharaohs for as long as I could remember, so I was beyond stoked to get the chance to travel to the land of mummies and pyramids. We traveled all around the country over the course of six days, sightseeing in places like Gizeh and Alexandria. Although the quality is terrible (we’re talking ca. 2008 photographs), I meticulously recorded the trip through photographs, a travel journal that I had to keep for a grade, and videos.
I hadn’t really thought about the trip in these last few years until we started studying Egypt in my ‘Ancient Art & Architecture’ class this semester. Curious, I back-stalked myself on Facebook to find my pictures from the trip. The result was nostalgic as well as mildly embarrassing. As anyone who has seen my middle school and early high school yearbook picture can attest to, I was horribly awkward back in the day. I had braces for what felt like forever and was constantly suffering from one terrible haircut to another. But I wasn’t going to let that stop me from reminiscing on the days of riding camels and exploring ancient tombs with my classmates. Although I still have a bone to pick with the leaders of the group who took us to eat at McDonald’s twice during that week….
We spent the beginning of the trip in Cairo before trekking north towards Alexandria, making stops along the way to see famous sites such as the Valley of the Kings and Imhotep’s Stepped Pyramid. An especially fond memory of mine from that spring break was the day we rode camels through the valleys and hills up to Mount Sinai, where we got to visit the spot where it is believed that God spoke to Moses through the burning bush. We were forbidden from taking photographs inside of the monastery, but I just remember being so overwhelmed by the gold and mosaics that covered the interior walls. Another great memory was on one of our last nights when we took a dinner cruise down the Nile River.
So, without further ado, here are just a few pictures from my trip that aren’t totally blurry and don’t feature an appearance of my fingers (my photography skills have thankfully gotten better over the years!).
A picture of me obviously having a wonderful time (and a wonderful hair day) while riding a camel around the pyramids of Giza. I actual did have an incredible time–getting to see the pyramids up close was beyond wow–but I remember it being super windy that day and I’d forgotten to bring a hair tie. Riding a camel is surprisingly comfortable and I could see myself commuting to work on one! Jokes, jokes.
The Great Sphinx! Does anyone know if Napoleon Bonaparte actually blew the nose off or if that’s just a myth? Anyways, although you can’t get close to Khafre’s likeness, it’s so impressive to think that actual people constructed this monumental sculpture without modern technology or anything. I felt so small just standing in it’s presence.
And here, in all of it’s glory, is a picture of myself at the Valley of Kings looking like I’m missing an arm. Venturing down into the tombs of the New Kingdom pharaohs was unreal and although I wouldn’t recommend it for those of y’all who may be claustrophobic, I still can’t believe that I had the opportunity to walk through thousands of years worth of history. May or may not have fan-girled internally.
10/10 would definitely recommend taking the 14 hour flight to one of the most fascinating places in the world. The Great Pyramids of Giza aren’t one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World for no reason!!