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Most tourists seem to make a beeline straight for the Step Pyramid and maybe one or two of the other monuments, getting taken from one to the next in coaches. We found that one of the nicest things, probably because the site is so large, was that you can wander out into the encroaching desert sands, and stumble across half-buried temples and tombs that aren't even marked on the map.
Written Dec 10, 2008
The road passes by different aspects of rural Egyptian life: agriculture, shops, new buildings, animals, and canals. The people go about their traditional daily life in spite of tourist buses coming in droves down the road.
I am fascinated by the dove cotes and the decorated walls along th road.
Horse and donkey carts are still in use. Palms are everywhere, and fields are planted with a variety of crops and vegetables. All this greenery is in stark contrast to the concrete jungles of suburban Cairo. Yet, similar scenes can be seen on the temple walls.
Written Dec 10, 2005
The Pyramid of Userkaf dooesn't look much like a pyramid - more like a mound of bricks abondoned by Djoser's pyramid. But a pyramid it is, and not even an ugly one: it looks like Saqqara would have looked like while the desert was eating it away. Basically its how the necropolis would have looked like, before it started being excavated.
Who was Userkaf? The name might not tell much, but he was a pharaoh, too: the first pharaoh of the 5th Dynasty. He ruled between 2494 and 2487 BC.
Written Mar 20, 2005
One of the most interesting mastabas of Saqqara is the mastaba of Ti. A mastaba, by the way, is nothing more than a tomb. And what a tomb this is!
The structure is quite simple: a courtyard, a storage room, a chapel and a serdab. What's not simple is the hyeroglyphs inside: so rich and precise. They really give you an insight of what ancient Egypt would have been like.
You seen the animals, the crops, how daily life was - the habits and clothes of the peope who used to live here. And then there are the hyoroglyphs with what Ti would have needed to travel to the afterlife.
The central piece of the tomb is the serdab, where Ti's statue is. Actually what you see is a copy, since the original one has been moved to the museum in Cairo - but unless you know it, it can fool you into thinking it's the original one. It fooled us, for sure.
Written Mar 20, 2005