December 5, 1961 – Egypt

Nile Hilton Hotel, Cairo, Egypt – Cloudy, foggy

     Edith and I succeeded in getting up at 3:30am and were waiting for the others in the lobby before they got there at 4:45am.  It was still quite dark outside as we left the hotel and said farewell to Cairo.

     Once we got to the airport, we checked in and made our way to the gate.  After a little bit of a wait we boarded our plane and settled into our seats.  Our flight time came and went and when we asked the stewardesses why it was delayed we were told that we would need to deplane while they resolved the problem.  Several people on the flight argued about having to get off because of how cold it was outside.  Once one or two got upset about the delay several others joined the chorus to stay on board too.  Our group asked to be allowed to stay on the plane too.  After a discussion between the pilot and stewardesses all those that wanted were permitted to stay on the plane and in an effort to make up for our delay the stewardesses served us a wonderful breakfast.  After an hour delay we’d finished our meal and the plane had been repaired.  Our United Arab Airlines flight took off for the two hour flight to Luxor. 

     Luxor turned out to be a wonderful place.  We arrived at the Winter Palace Hotel for our overnight stay at 9am.  The hotel was quite nice and located right on the Nile.  Our room was beautiful and once again we had a terrific view.  I used the remainder of my morning until it was time to go to lunch to wash out some clothes and to get organized.  The food served for lunch turned out to be very poor.  I was disappointed since I’d expected more after seeing how nice the hotel was.

River Nile Winter Palace

View of Nile River from Hotel

Another View of Nile River from Hotel

     After eating we took a ferry to the western bank of the Nile which used to be part of Thebes so we could see the City of the Dead.  Our trip today was fascinating and I only wished that Ramona could have been here with me to see everything.  She had always had an interest in archeology so I knew she would have loved all of it.  We saw the Valley of King’s with its tombs including King Tut’s which we went to see.  The walls and ceilings of three chambers of his tomb were adorned with religious scenes full of wonderful colors and inscriptions.  There were also paintings on the walls in bas and high relief that were colorful and showed aspects of gaiety instead of what you would have expected to find in a tomb.  Ali told us that minerals were ground to a fine powder and then mixed with oil to create the rich colors.  I loved the hieroglyphs a lot.  The tombs had many rooms where they had stored treasures.  We also saw the final resting place in the valley of the great Ramesses VI.  His tomb had similarly painted walls and twelve arches that separated several large rooms. 

Colossus Entrance to Valley of Kings

King Tut's Tomb

Another View of King Tut's Tomb

Ramesses II, 66 Feet High

     I was especially excited to see the decorated Karnak temple.  It was magnificent.  There were 137 eighty foot pillars that still stood and many gigantic statues.  Ali made sure to let us know that Luxor was still being excavated and was full of ruins and excavations currently underway. 

Karnak Entrance


Karnak Heiroglyphics

Karnak Obelisks

     I wound up taking a lot of pictures of the various monuments.  I had trouble fitting the one of Colossus’ in one frame because it was 62 feet high.  I found it hard to believe it had been standing there since 1400 BC. 

     When we made it back to the hotel I was pleased to find out I had received a letter from Pat.  I decided to sit in the lobby because I couldn’t wait to read it.  I loved hearing all the descriptions about Patrick, Penny, Liz Anne and even Sammy the dachshund.  I decided that I really needed to write them another letter soon.  After I finished reading I went back to my room and freshened up for dinner.

     Dinner turned out to be just as poor a meal as our lunch had been and I got even more disappointed.  I left the dinner table still hungry since I hadn’t been able to eat much of what I’d been served. 

     After eating Edith and I joined Flo and Curt to play cards.  It was nice sitting there playing cards and having a drink to relax.  We laughed and talked and compared notes about what we’d seen that day.  By the time we went up to our room Edith and I were both quite relaxed and ready for bed.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Alison Casson
    Dec 06, 2010 @ 03:33:08

    wow just started reading today!! Loving the photos and her letter!! im gonna have to do some back reading to catch up on her trip! its pretty great you taking the time to go thru all the family stuff and record and preserve everything you can! just wanted to say thanx! love you xoxo


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