Were the Pyramids everything I expected: Travel Thoughts 5

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The oldest of the pyramids discovered to date are found at Saqqara which is near Memphis – the place that we visited on our first day in Egypt. These we visited in the afternoon after we had eaten lunch. This ancient pyramid (the Pyramid of Djoser )  had a flat top and was stepped in structure. Additionally, unlike the later pyamids it was made from cut bricks and not stone.

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It was constructed between 2630 BC to 2611 BC. To me those times are mind boggling. Further behind Christ than we have gone after him and just look how they have survived. And that is without considering that they constructed them with only the help of the stars and man power and no computers to calculate the maths that must have been needed.

 

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I don’t know if this mound is older, or whether it was  a burial mound but my thoughts are that it must have been something.

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We entered this  pyramid, crowding into the smal space

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and saw the first of many reliefs that were on the walls of the temples and burial places.

These small pyramids awed us

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but our first sight of the Great Pyramid of Giza literally dropped our jaws to the ground as it loomed up before us.

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It was bigger than I could have imagined. Made of granite and limestone each block weighed about 2.5 tons.

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We were given an option of entering but were persuaded that it was very musty inside, would cause us respiratory distress for little gain as the decorations were gone and there was nothing to see. Cameras were not allowed inside and for the price you had to pay to enter it simply wasn’t worth while.

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Three of our party opted to go inside whilst we wandered the outside.  They returned saying it was well worth the experience so I would recommend that if you want – take up that option.

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We were soon tagged by someone we thought was a pyramid official.  He insisted on showing us the best points to take photographs from but when he grabbed my camera off me I became particularly perturbed. The camera around my neck was from one who had gone inside.

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He had us posing  touching the top of the pyramid

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and showing how easy it was to lift a boulder. Then after retrieving my camera he demanded payment. Again this came as a shock but I had put money in various compartments so I could pull out a small amount  and not look as though I had more to spend. We gave him his tip.

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Then happily spent the time taking my own photos.

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The chap with the white turban was the one we thought was an official.

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From the pyramids we were taken to another vantage point but that is another story.

In answer to my question: Were the pyramids everything I expected and to tell the truth probably the main reason we wanted to travel to Egypt – I was not disappointed. They exceeded my expectations and I was surprised at how close to Cairo they were. I would even have considered them a suburb of Cairo. The other surprise, which just shows my ignorance, was the proximity of the Sahara Dessert to Cairo. Although we had only been in the country a couple of days we were starting to learn to not make eye contact with the local people which was sad as it would have been good to have some conversation without pressure to buy with them. That aside – yes well worth the trip.

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Birds at Bird World Maleny: Blue and Yellow: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

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Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World was an unexpected find that I know we will visit more than once. We wandered the gardens before heading to our allocated guided aviary tour at 1.30pm. Whilst we waited on the outside the Macaws waited, seemingly eagerly on the inside.

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I think that they enjoyed our visit perhaps more than we did. Lets face it – we weren’t rewarded with nuts and clothes and buttons (and I believe on the tour before ours – an earring).

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We naturally read the sign and took note. My sister in law reluctantly removed her hearing aid and earrings whilst I packed my sunnies into my bag. My S-I-L protested. Like my husband she is not a rule obeyer but by the end of the tour she was relieved.

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Inside we were met by our guide. She gave us all the rules of the aviary including watch where you walk. In the first enclosure were the small birds and many were sitting on the ground. Without blue and white photos here we moved quickly to the second enclosure which were the smaller parrots. The macaw lived in here. He had lost his flight wings and was now too frightened to fly and was thus unable to be released into the wild.

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The centre takes birds that need rescuing and ones that are endangered with a breeding programme. In the third enclosure were the bigger birds. They were so joyful to see us they immediately flew from whereever they were and landed

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on heads

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shoulders and arms. They were jolly heavy as they landed and one on my arm drew blood as I moved whilst it was landing and it had to claw on for purchase.

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Although there were birds of every colour todays prompt is blue and yellow so I have tried to limit it to those colours with the odd bit of green and black thrown in.

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One of the birds favourite pastimes was unpicking seams

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and stealing hat buttons and they were very good at it.

If you are ever near Maleny this place is well worth a visit.

In response to Cee’s Blue and Yellow Prompt for her Fun Foto Challenge.

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Early Morning Weyba Creek: Wordless Wednesday

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Nubian Curves: Lens-Artists Challenge:

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We approached the Nubian village from the Nile. The houses were quite different to the Egyptian Houses we’d been used to seeing. These ones were colourful and used curves to great effect.

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Vaulted ceilings were common and the houses traditionally were adobe bricks (a brick made from straw or dung that was mixed with water and earth.)

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The Nubian people were a separate ethnic race that had its own country prior to the building of the Aswan Dam. They are more closely related to the Sudanese people. On the building of the dam their country was going to be flooded and the Egyptian government offered them Egyptian citizenship which most of the 50,000 residents took up.

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The Nubians have been very successful business people and the thing that Roger and I appreciated more than anything else was that they did not harrass you when you past them with their wares for sale on  a mat. You could freely look without any pressure. Sadly by the time we had arrived here we were so used to averting our gaze – curving upwards and to the right or left- anywhere we could avoid eye contact that we missed out on interacting with a very gentle people.

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We were invited in and found that the curves were as visible on the inside as they had been on the outside.

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Domed or vaulted ceilings were common and were adorned with the luxury of a fan.

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Curves certainly added interest to our visit to what is known as Old Nubia for in times past Nubians ruled over Egypt. They have come full circle and that itself is just a curve.

For Lens-Artists Challenge Number 28 – Curves. Thank you for hosting this week Tina.

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Weekend Coffee Share started 6th January 2019 and finished 13th Jan 2019

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Welcome and come on in. It is hard to believe that one week of the New Year has already passed and already I’m feeling as though it is going far too quickly. What would you like to drink. Coffee or tea? or perhaps a cold drink. We aren’t getting the heat wave that they are to the south of us but it is still warm. Hot our German visitors would say.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that we saw the New Year in with a bang. We had ringside seats for the fireworks down by the river and as a result I think they were the best fireworks I have seen for years if not ever. It may not have rivalled Sydney and their use of the harbour but we didn’t have the crowds and were right in the thick of it.

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With visitors we are going out and about to some of my favourite places. Noosa Botanic Gardens  which sits on the edge of Lake Macdonald is always appreciated by anyone I take there. Unfortunately (but lucky for me) very few locals know of its existence and you can always be assured of peace and tranquility even in the height of the Summer holidays.

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We’ve walked the National Park, gone surfing, lunched at Cotton Tree visited the Ginger Factory and discovered an unexpected gem at Maleny – the Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World. This is a private garden and aviary and it was spectacular.

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There were ponds and waterfalls scattered throughout the gardens which gave fantastic

views to the Glass House Mountains.

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The Mountains got their names “Glass House” as for some reason Captain Cook seeing them from sea was reminded of glass houses back home in England. I fail to see the similarity myself but they are spectacular to see.

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Turkeys of some type roamed the gardens

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and the flowers were both colourful and sometimes unusual.

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We finished at the aviary where there were parrots and finches to delight.

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My brother-in-law lost his hat button

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thanks to this persistent lovebird.

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The Macaws were something I had not experienced up close before and they were heavy and one drew blood on my arm with its claws. They armed those that did not want an up close and personal experience with feather dusters.

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My niece enjoyed the lovebird

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but was not so sure about the Macaw.

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She did get used to it as you can see.

Having 7 people in the house gave us much laughter and conversation. Meals became an event as Roger served different meals to cater for different tastes despite me telling him it was not a restaurant. He was happy and enjoyed it.I learnt some new internet things such as roblox and tictock. The eleven year old was stuck with all the oldies as we didn’t know any children for her to play with but she managed well despite a tinge of homesickness at times.

The last three left yesterday and the house feels quiet and empty. I hope that I will again have time to be regularly blogging as that took a back seat over the last few weeks. I have a book signing organisied for my book next Saturday and I have a bit to prepare for that.

Now I think I have taken enough of your time –  over to you. Have you read any good books or seen any films that should be seen? Looking forward to seeing how your week has been. Thank you for dropping in for coffee, it is lovely to see you. Thanks to  eclecticali  who is our host of the weekend coffee share.

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New Years Eve Fireworks on the River: Silent Sunday

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On the Lake: Wordless Wednesday

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