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Old 3rd July 2010, 23:22   #106
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That's a beautiful place surrounded with palm trees. Did you notice the make of the auto rickshaw? Hopefully its Bajaj. And let me also tell you that, in the auto rickshaw pic, if one doesn't notices the palm tree/leaves carefully, it looks like India.

PS - On post #98, you've 3 smiley against the forum rules of 2 per post.
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Old 3rd July 2010, 23:38   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
That's a beautiful place surrounded with palm trees. Did you notice the make of the auto rickshaw? Hopefully its Bajaj. And let me also tell you that, in the auto rickshaw pic, if one doesn't notices the palm tree/leaves carefully, it looks like India.

PS - On post #98, you've 3 smiley against the forum rules of 2 per post.
Yes I think it was Bajaj but not sure.

Thanks for telling me about the smileys. I always keep special care to refrain from posting against the rules. But in my exuberance I think I did it. I would be more careful next time. You have a very good eye for details.
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Old 4th July 2010, 00:15   #108
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Default Nearby Cairo Trip : Memphis

Memphis is believed to be the first capital of Egypt (First Dynasty : Old Kingdom). Its been an important centre throughout the Pharaonic times. It has been declared a World Heritage Site along with Pyramids of Giza. The site lost its significance with the downfall of the Pharaohs. Presently, it houses an open air museum and large number of ruins. It must have been a magnificent city once upon a time.

Ticket : LE 35/- per adult + LE 5/- car.

The open museum is rather small. The main attraction is Colossal of Ramses II. There are two of them. The other one is located in front of Ramses Railway Station, Cairo. Among other things are an Alabaster Sphinx and a statue of Ramses II.

It was a disappointing place. The area was hardly 200m. We spent barely 20 mins there (10 mins at the colossal which is located in a room) and left.

The Entrance

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Souvenir Shop

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Alabaster Sphinx

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A Sarcophagus

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Pillar Base

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Statue of Ramses II

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Last edited by TaureanBull : 4th July 2010 at 00:26.
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Old 4th July 2010, 00:37   #109
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Default Nearby Cairo Trip : Memphis

The Colossal of Ramses II is a really huge. The legs are not complete. It is located in a huge hall. One has to climb to first floor to get a good view. Its difficult to get in camera lens in one shot properly. The features have been carved beautifully and the torso in intact in totality.

The Face

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Compare the Size wrt Egyptian Man Standing

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Daughter's hand with the Colossal

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Old 4th July 2010, 01:36   #110
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Something that really surprises me is, Egypt still has these historic structures after 2 world wars!!! Now sure how they prserved/protecting it still.
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Old 4th July 2010, 02:11   #111
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Originally Posted by aargee View Post
Something that really surprises me is, Egypt still has these historic structures after 2 world wars!!! Now sure how they prserved/protecting it still.
1. For everyone's knowledge Egypt has 1/3 of the total antiquities of the world. Most of them being massive stone structures. Many of the portable items have made their way to museums in Europe. Eg rosetta stone, obelisk etc. However, Most of the antiquities can never be taken out like Pyramids, sphinx, tombs etc. Most of the valuables of pyramids (gold etc) have been robbed off. But that was long long ago. Even newer generation Pharaohs robbed tombs of older generation.

2. The pharaohs also built their structures theft proof. Lots of secret doors, false passages, design features etc. Eg. Most of the Sarcophagus can not be taken out of the Pyramids. Its size is bigger than the passage of the pyramid!!! There were also provisions to block the passages by sliding the boulders. All these places can not be explored until pyramids are dismantled.

3. The pharaohs ruled Egypt for more than 3000 years. Thats a very very long period. Every king kept on building something or other. The tombs/temples can be found from Aswan to Cairo all along the Nile. Thats a 700km stretch!!!

4. As of now they have Tourist and Antiquities Police which is pretty active. Every nook and corner you will find them.
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Old 4th July 2010, 10:15   #112
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Is there any way by which you are allowed to enter the passages and chambers where an ordinary tourist can't go? Just being curious :P
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Old 4th July 2010, 11:08   #113
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Is there any way by which you are allowed to enter the passages and chambers where an ordinary tourist can't go? Just being curious :P
In important places like Giza Pyramids the answer is No. But in other places you can try your luck by distributing Vitamin M. Your chances would be much better at places less frequented, at an odd time and during off season.

I can give you eg of using camera. AFAIK photography is prohibited inside all Pyramids and chambers. But its rampant and almost everyone is shooting around. Of course there is a guard and he expects a Baksheesh.

In the pic above, of Colossal of Ramses II, you can see an Egyptian man standing there in rural dress. He is the caretaker. He uninvitedly got into the pic and then demanded baksheesh for being shot at.

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Old 4th July 2010, 11:09   #114
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Good account. Brings back memories of my visit two decades back. Of course, those days, digital cameras were still not available easily. So we had to shoot on film. The Great Pyramid was under reapair and was not open to visitors. As you have mentioned somewhere, a tip of LE 5 had the effect of Open Sesame. Adding a few pictures of those days for comparison !
It is a fact that many of the valuables in pyramids were plundered. Tut-Ankh-Amen's was an exception. The French helped Egypt a lot in the excavation and preservation and they were rewarded with a good percentage of the relics. France is only next to Egypt in terms of the collection, many of which can be seen in the Louvre Museum which has a separate Egypt section.
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Old 4th July 2010, 12:33   #115
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Default Nearby Cairo : Saqqarah

Saqqarah served as a Necropolis for a long time during different periods of the Pharaohs rule. (as early as 3000BC). It houses the Step Pyramid of Djoser (first of the Pyramids) built by famous architect Imhotep (regarded as father of architecture and brain behind design of pyramids). There is also a funerary complex of Djoser which is reasonably well preserved.

The drive from Memphis took about 15 minutes. Enroute we saw numerous carpet schools.

Ticket :
Saqqarah Complex & Museum : LE 60/- per adult + LE 5/- for Car.
Funerary Complex of Djoser : LE 30/- per adult (available near the Complex).

We headed for the Pyramid of Teti area which also contained mastabas of his Viziers Mereruka & Kagemini. Teti was the first ruler of 6th dynasty. (Approx 2345 BC).

Firstly, we went through the Mastabas which from outside appeared very ordinary but had some wonderful, well preserved fine reliefs from daily life. In some cases, the colour is also intact.

Ticket Office

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Tomb of Mere-Ruka
(Only this gate is closed not the other one )

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Tomb of Kagemini

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Hole Showing Location of Funerary Chamber (25m deep)

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Old 4th July 2010, 13:01   #116
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Default Nearby Cairo : Saqqarah

The Pyramid of Teti looks like rumbles from outside. I did not think that it would be open for entering inside but it was. The decend was short. It led to a chamber and a passage again. There is a Basalt Sarcophagus almost fully intact. The portion of lid broken possibly to rob the mummy. The chamber has pyramid texts carved out which can be seen easily.

The Pyramid from Outside (Entrance from Other Side)

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The Entrance

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The Passage Inside

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The Basalt Sarcophagus

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The Broken Lid

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Pyramid Texts

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Old 4th July 2010, 13:21   #117
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Default Nearby Cairo : Saqqarah

We come out. Its hot outside. I decide to take some shots of the area as seen from Saqqarah. Its desert and wilderness on one side and on the other side greenery and buildings begin abrubtly. Before the Aswan Dam was built, Nile used to be pretty close to the Pyramid area, every year flooding its shores with water and rich soil.

New Excavation

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Giza Pyramids in Background

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Greenery & Desert

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Old 4th July 2010, 13:58   #118
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Default Nearby Cairo : Saqqarah

Now we head for the Step Pyramid of Djoser and Funerary Complex. Daughter and wife are tired as heat is taking its toll. Wife decides to stay inside the AC van and daughter lugs with me. I knew what was coming. I carried her on my back for the 2km circuit for an hour.

Step Pyramid of Djoser

King Djoser of the third dynasty built this huge complex and brought revolution in the architecture design of tombs. From Mastabas he moved to pyramids, from clay bricks to cut stone blocks. There is carving and design on the blocks. The complex consists of the Step Pyramid, cobra wall, entrance colonnade, dummy chapels, enclosure walls and the great court.

Step Pyramid & Its Enclosure Wall (Note the restoration work)

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Entrance to the Funerary Complex

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Side View of the Funerary Complex

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Courtyard (Front Face)

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Other End of Funerary Complex

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Dummy Chapels

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Cobra Wall

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Old 4th July 2010, 15:01   #119
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Default Nearby Cairo : Saqqarah

Pyramids of Unas is another heap of rubble. It belongs to the fifth dynasty king Unas. He is believed to be the last king of this dynasty. He was father of Teti. Archaeologists found portions of a mummy in the burial chamber and some pyramid texts. The pyramid lies very close to the step pyramid.

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Among the another pyramids in rubble is the Pyramid of Userket. Next to the Step Pyramid.

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Some other excavations and a huge pit. About 35m deep.

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Old 4th July 2010, 15:14   #120
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Default Nearby Cairo : Saqqarah

Its 3pm and its hot. We decide to leave. I catch a pic from a height of the ticket office and the nearby greenery. Its amazing to see an abrupt end to the desert.

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We drive back and reach back home after am hours drive. I go to a nearby restaurant to get some late lunch. We settle for our favourite veg stuff. Taamaiyah and Phool. Taamaiyah is a pakora made of dal, besan etc and stuffed in a small roti with vegetables and curd. Phool is like rajmah boiled and mixed with vegetables and stuffed in a roti. They taste very good. You can find them with any restaurant. They are extremely popular and cheap (LE 1/- per piece). Another famous item is Kosharwy which is boiled noodles with vegetables, phool and spices. Again very popular, cheap and good. You can rely on these food any time anywhere in Egypt. In the pic, below is Phool (mashed rajmah) and top one is Taamaiyah.

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