Saturday, August 7, 2010

Welcome to Kemet

Although the trip has only just begun, it has already become one of the best experiences of my life. In the first two days, I have climbed, ducked, and sweated my body to near exhaustion and would do it all over again if given the opportunity. I warn you, “amazing” will be used way too many times throughout this blog.

It did not hit me that I had actually arrived in Africa until we rode past the Nile River and the Great Pyramid on the way to the hotel. A few months ago I never expected to see these treasures and here they were on the other side of the window. It was amazing and I could continue to see the pyramids from our hotel, Le Meridien Pyramids.

The next day we had our first excursion. It was rough, yet unforgettable. We visited the Mit Rahina Museum where the huge statue of Ramses II lays in the same spot where it was found. I could only think of how incredible it must have been to discover this 14 meter statue in the sand. We continued our journey to the sacred land of the westerners better known as Saqqara. There we visited the first pyramid, the Step Pyramid. It was extremely hot outside and we were ambushed by vendors. I wasn’t expecting to use my bargaining skills so soon. The Giza pyramids were next on our visit. They were so much bigger than expected. They are breathtaking now; I can only imagine how grand they were when the limestone was smooth and glistening in the sun. I climbed up and down semi-steps and ducked through narrow corridors in the Second Pyramid. It was a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget. It’s amazing that the Egyptians of the Old Kingdom could be so passionate about their religion and culture that they would create such magnificent structures that last for millennia. Will the structures we’re making last so long?

After a short rest, we visited the Citadel of Salah Al-Din and the Egyptian Museum on Thursday. So many artifacts were in the museum. How many more monuments of our ancestors will we find if we were able to dig under all the Nile communities?

I can’t wait to see what treasures the rest of this visit to Kemet will bring. Reading about these monuments in books is nothing compared to seeing them in front of my eyes.

Until next time,

Michelle Ricks

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