After flying from Athens to Cairo yesterday, today we booked a private tour from Cairo to the World Heritage site of Memphis and the Saqqara Archeological Site and Museum.

The major metropolitan area of Cairo has over 20 million people.  The traffic lanes on the highways are merely suggestions because the cars weave back and forth between lanes,  drive in between the lanes, and in some cases even drive in the wrong direction honking their horns as they go.  Add to that the occasional horse and buggy, donkey, heard of goats and sheep and the ride is truly treacherous.

The city is absolutely filthy.  Everywhere we looked there was trash and layers of sand and dirt.  In the city everyone lives in high-rise apartments like in many cities, but many of the buildings are unfinished, covered with dirt and looked like slums.  I am looking forward to seeing a broader view of Egypt when we start our group guided tour on Friday.

On the way to our first stop in Memphis, we saw the following interesting sites!IMG 9174

Herding sheep and goats along the road!

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A donkey pulling a load of grass down the road.

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Pigeon sanctuary

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Fruit for sale

Memphis, Egypt

Memphis was the ancient capital of Inebu-hedj, the first territorial division of Lower Egypt. Its ruins are located 12 miles south of Giza on the west bank of the Nile.IMG 9185  
The alabaster sphinx found outside the Temple of Ptah. The carving was believed to take place between 1700 and 1400 BC, and is 26’ X 13’.IMG 3301

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A 3,200-year-old figure of Ramesses II was discovered in 1820 by Giovanni Battista Caviglia at the Great Temple of Ptah near Memphis, Egypt. It is made from red granite.  It is over 36 feet tall and weighs 83 tons.IMG 3463

IMG 3305The lid of a sarcophagus which was used to protect the coffin. (The bottom was plan and shown separately)

Saqqara Archaeological Museum Site and the Imhoteb Museum

Saqqara is a burial ground for the ancient Egyptian Capital of Memphis. Saqqara features numerous pyramids, including the world-famous Step pyramid of Djoser and is located 19 miles south of Cairo.  Saqqara covers an area of around 4.35 by 0.93 miles.  The Step pyramid is the oldest complete stone building complex known in history.

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At one time the entire area of the great pyramids were surrounded by this wall.

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The walkway past the wall toward the pyramid.

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Original wooden beams extending from the side of the pyramid.

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The entrance into the pyramidIMG 3464

When we peaked through the holes in the wall of the pyramid near the entrance, we saw this statue inside.

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Inside the tomb of the wet nurse of the pharaoh. The other pictures are from this tomb and one other.IMG 3394IMG 9209

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After our visit to the museums and archaeological sites, we enjoyed a wonderful buffet lunch at the Saqqara Palm Country Club.

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We are staying at the beautiful Conrad Hotel across from the Nile River in Cairo.

Conrad Room

Bathroom at Conrad