Early morning starts are not an issue, on holiday I typically wake at random intervals and look out of the window. Rosemary is
We walked out of the boat before 7.00, clutching our bottles of water. The hour’s drive to the pyramid was through many villages and fields, on a very hazy day. The pyramid was not in sight until we were right on top of it. Loads of three-wheeler taxis, donkey carts etc. Quite fascinating looking at the crops being grown. Alfalfa for the cattle, oranges, bananas, wheat, and masses of garlic. The cultivated area here extended a long way West of the Nile with some large irrigation canals. The roads were mainly tarmacked dual carriage, with speed humps every mile or so. The pyramid was on higher ground, in a dry area. Nearby, there was construction of new factories. LG has a factory somewhere, and we saw a Samsung factory being built. Egypt is trying to encourage construction in the desert instead of the green Nile belt. Crop production needs to increase as the population of Egypt increases.
At this pyramid there was masses of security. The road had barriers, so the buses had to zig-zag down the entry road, police here had solid metal, floor mounted shields. We were the only tourists at the pyramid. Apparently, there are perhaps a couple of
As well as the pyramid, there were some tombs of eminent nobles. The chamber tombs were built of mud brick, some going back to the 4th dynasty of the Old Kingdom
The strangely shaped Maydoum Pyramid was started by King Huni at the end of the 3rd dynasty. King Sneferu, 1st pharaoh of the 4th dynasty, is said to have completed it. The height is about 70 meters. The entrance is on the North side and leads to a 57 meter long passage where there are two small chambers and the burial chamber. We were able to walk down a staircase deep into the pyramid to the burial chamber. Well worth the walk down. Steep, cramped, not for the tall bod, and definitely warm down there. Ended in a climb up two wide-runged vertical ladders. With no free hands (my two were clutching my camera & my phone which I was using as a torch), I did find it a tad tricky.
Soon we were back at the boat, which immediately set sail for El Minya. We took the opportunity to investigate the on board shop where we purchased ourselves some traditional Egyptian clothing, for a dinner to be held on some future night, and a stone cat from Sinai (an essential, R told me). Lunch today was huge, an Egyptian lunch. Chicken, beef, lots of salads, dips, sesame, aubergine, tomatoes etc. Small dishes placed on the table for sharing. We’d managed to sit down with two semi-vegetarians. so were rather overwhelmed by the the quantities of meat dishes. One chap had kidney stone problems, so had learnt to avoid raspberries, chocolate, tomatoes and spinach. He said it really helped him avoid the stones forming.
The afternoon was spent recovering from the indulgence, lying around like dead sheep, but we still managed a cup of tea at the appropriate time.
When we returned for lunch, there was usually a towel construction on one of our beds – an animal, flower or human. Do not understand why, but it seems to be standard for cruises.
Today was Friday, the holy day. The calls to prayer appear to be a competition. You are in view of several mosques at the same time, all with slightly differing clocks. At dawn, midday and sunset the call to prayer was particularly vocal, with each mosque appearing to compete with the neighbouring mosques for their congregation. I was not aware of the afternoon and evening prayers. We had another George Hart lecture This time on Pharaohs and Nomarchs (sic, Nomarchs) covering the Middle Kingdom and a preview of the tomorrow’s sightseeing. I do admit that Heavy Eyelid Syndrome does come with these talks.
Then it was time for preprandials and dinner. (We seemed to have abandoned our no-drinking-on-a-school-night rule.)