“You don’t go around the world and not take the last two steps.” –Dr Carr. This quote resonated throughout my head the entire first day we actually ventured out and studied. Our day started out at 7:45, so that we could beat the heat. Our journey took us to Memphis where we visited the Mit Rahina museum. Here we saw numerous statues of Ramses II. My favorite statue and the most awe-inspiring one was kept inside for display. We had to walk up the stairs just to take in the full view of the statue. This statue is 100 tons, and 14 meters high, made out of a limestone block. The details on this statue were immaculate. Every outline, all of his facial features, even intricate details woven inside of the statue were simply amazing. It had me speechless. To think that this great piece of art was crafted with no technology and simple hand tools was astonishing.
After we left, we headed to Sakkara, where the step pyramids, and the first stone tomb are located. We had the opportunity to walk through the tombs, and had our first taste of dealing with a “crocodile alley” which is a place filled with people trying to sell us souvenirs. The weather started to turn toasty quickly. I was ready to leave, but I didn’t want to miss anything, so I stuck it out, and I am glad that I did because everything was worth seeing. To get into the tombs, we had to crouch down, and I was glad that I wasn’t claustrophobic. Everything around us was filled with such rich history and culture.
Our journey also took us to Giza where we had the chance to visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Great Pyramid, aka the Pyramid of Khufu Khafre. They are working on restoring it, so we didn’t get to walk through his pyramid. We walked through the Cheops boat museum, which houses the 140-foot boat of Pharaoh Khufu, which is also the oldest surviving ship in the world. Near the pyramids is where a lot of peddlers wait, and bombarded us with trinkets and souvenirs. After a while it got annoying because it was hot, and I hate being harassed. We had to rush after we left the second Pyramid so that we could make it to the Sphinx before it closed. We had to rapidly take a group picture in front of the Pyramids, and quickly sped to the Sphinx. We barely made it, but we got to see it and learn its history. We boarded the bus to head back to the hotel, and then it was dinner time. We were all drained, but we learned a plethora of information, and I think that we all felt as if everything was so surreal. After dinner we had to attend class. I wanted to skip it, but again, Dr. Carr’s words resounded through my head. “You don’t go……” In class we learned about the other places we were going to visit, and about honorific transposition. Dr. Carr and Dr. Beatty didn’t want to keep us since our day was long, and for those of us who wanted to stay, Dr. Beatty was offering a class on uniliterals, which includes the main hieroglyphics, and their transliterations. We even went over the pronunciations, and how to draw the characters. I was glad that I stayed, because this was an important lesson. We stayed for about an hour, and afterwards I raced back to my room to reflect on the wonderful day we had, and then I was off to sleep.