The Adventures of CleoPetra in the Land of the Pharaohs – Karnak, Egypt
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to the latest Spiritual Manifestation of my Heart’s True Desires – the Art of Traveling through History and Space with Style and Grace – dedicated to my beloved Egypt and all of its majestic Greatness. It is the second Day of Christmas of the Holy Jolly season and the most auspicious time to channel my Time, Attention and Energy through the Gift of Writing – one of my Divine Passions – and Spread the Sacred Feeling of Love to embrace my beloved audience.
I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the Sacred Land of the Pharaohs in October 2k17 although it has fascinated me from a very young age – the prosperity, the abundance, the mystique and the art of Ancient Egypt have left an everlasting imprint of how I perceive the World today and have leveled my imagination to new heights in depicting the Life of and among Gods, Royalty and all that is Beautiful.
For many centuries, the Knowledge in regards to the Egyptian civilization was incomplete, depending largely upon accounts left by Greek historians in classical times, and mystery surrounded the pyramids and other relics of Egypt’s distant past. However, late in the nineteenth century, after much study and immense dedication, the curious hieroglyphics left behind by ancient Egyptians in tombs and temples were successfully decoded, opening the Door to Perception and the Great Understanding of a society renowned for its richness in cultural and scientific achievements.
In order to provide as much valuable information as possible to inspire my audience to pursuit the discovery of Egypt’s cultural heritage wholeheartedly, I will wisely invest my experience into two parts dedicated to this mystical land: Luxor and Cairo.
As I solely allow myself to share Words of Wisdom through writing in order to keep my audience both inspired and informed, I will share a few details regarding the worldly aspect of the trip, which is the tourist safety and wise accommodation.
Fact: never have I ever felt in danger or at risk in any place I have traveled through Egypt, in spite of warnings and amateur attempts to spoil my Amazing Grace, those coming from people with an appetite for TV drama and lacking spiritual understanding and the privilege of Freedom in Mind and Speech.
Do not fall for that – keep your thoughts as positive as possible as they are rapidly manifesting, especially on this magical land. Independently of your reason for traveling, the last surviving Wonder of the Ancient World is standing high in Cairo and that may be an once in a lifetime opportunity to see. Think about it.
Now, as I understand the fact that safety is extremely important and I had such an amazing time in Egypt, I will provide useful information on how to approach your future trip to the Land of Pharaohs, from the very beginning.
The airport security measures implied the fact that big traveling luggages were not allowed, nor dangerous objects which could harm the passengers (the list of such objects should be provided by the travel agency). Perfectly reasonable.
However, you were allowed to have two travel bags of standard cabin fit size weighting maximum 10 kg each, one to keep on the plane and the other to go cargo. Fit and wit, although this information was not transparent to all tourists embarking on the plane and created a bit of discomfort, emphasized by the early hour of the flight. Please ask as many details as possible concerning your flight from the travel agency facilitating the trip in order to prevent any stressful situations which might occur.
The tap water was not drinkable although a wide variety of bottled drinks were offered from the hotel and sparkling water was available to buy from local shops. The local currency is the Egyptian pound and you are advised to change money prior or at arrival in order to ease minor payments which cannot be done by credit card. 1 dollar is worth 17 Egyptian pounds, while 1 Euro is worth 20 Egyptian pounds although most local people do not make any difference between Dollars and Euros when you are not paying the minor commercial transactions in their local currency.
Due to the obvious change of food and drinks, the specific condiments and hot weather, digestive problems or indigestions might occur, which are generically called the tourist disease and treated with medicines available in the local pharmacies.
Of course this is not my personal case, or of the Royal Family (Queen Mum and King Dad) I travelled with, simply because I absolutely love to try new things to eat and to go wild with the most tasty dishes – the ones that look healthy to me, that is.
Even more, I had the wonderful opportunity to be accommodated in a four star all inclusive hotel called Three Corners Sunny Beach Resort , whose manager, Mr. Gamal Nasser, has introduced himself from day one and checked upon my family every day to see if all our wishes and special requirements were fulfilled. Flawless service and an impressive implication I personally have not seen before. Just because of hospitality and staff dedication, I would give an extra star to this hotel.
The food was simply delicious – as fresh as can be – cooked right in front of your eyes and absolutely tasty. There was an army of cooks delivering culinary journeys each evening with a different country specific and such a variety of dishes that I truly believe this daily feast to resemble the abundance of the Pharaohs’ meals.
In spite of my 42 kilos of Greatness, there is nothing appealing which I haven’t tried during this trip. Moreover, I was treated like a Queen, which led to buying an oversized I ♥️ Egypt tee, apparently unusual given the looks I received.
This fact was well received and locals let me know they love me.
The transportation from the Sunny Beach Resort to Hurghada was relatively accessible – there is no taxi station, yet you can always take one from the streets and negotiate the price of the ride prior to proceeding to destination. The driver must always agree with your offer prior to actually jumping in the taxi, in order to avoid the request of a much higher fee at destination. My personal advice is to ask for a taxi at the hotel’s reception – the prices are fixed, even though a little bit higher than those of a random taxi taken from the street. I will offer a more detailed view on this matter as I go along with my daily schedule in Egypt.
With the exception of restaurants, bars, hotel taxis and pharmacies, the prices are negotiable therefore you can allow yourself the luxury of exercising this skill I am well aware not everybody is a master of. Of course I will not share the How To’s of this Art in my writing, but apart of the negotiation process, please note the tips is a highly valued tradition in the Arab world, a traditional custom which symbolizes the customer’s satisfaction for a job or service well done and a guarantee for the Special Attention and Interest to be received further from the barman, male maid or bellboy, for example.
Please be careful in regards to purchasing the additional trips from random street travel agencies as the tourists leaving the resort through other travel agencies than the one in charge for the overall journey will be returned to the hotel without getting a refund. Please contact your local guide for information on the trips available. Special thanks to Feri Deak, our Romanian guide, who was so dedicated in assuring we had the best trip possible and accurate historical information. I was so satisfied with the overall quality of the voyage and organization that I would gladly come again in Egypt! Thank you, Feri!
Another advice to be taken into consideration is the fact the coral reefs and exotic fish species are treasures of the Red Sea.
They can be admired during sea and sailing trips but they are protected by the Law, therefore to collect them from sea or land and the attempt to take them out of the country is strictly forbidden and will be punished accordingly through fines and prison. Nevertheless, numerous species of corals are poisonous and must not be touched. You can still see them by submarine, diving or snorkeling.
As I am now wrapping up the tourist information, I can finally relax and drop my intelligent conclusions on one of my most important trips I have taken.
Contrary to popular belief and fear, I very much enjoy being taken care of and protected by civilians or military forces wearing (or discreetly hiding) guns.
They are present in contexts regarding my Safety and Protection and if guns scare you, than all these fear generating events violently exposed through media with the purpose to frighten tourists and serve as example for the less conscious people who might perpetuate the, are well serving their purpose. Man up!
Please note the trips to Luxor and Cairo will always be accompanied by a military force representative for tourists’ safety reasons.
As you all know by now, fear imprisons the soul and I have not travelled thousands of kilometers just to rest in my all inclusive resort by the beach under the Sun and regulate my vital needs for a week. That’s boring AF. I also did not come to the Land of the Pharaohs to miss the Valley of the Kings, the Temples, the Tombs, the Museums and the Great Pyramids. I came to Egypt to make the most of it and of course, nobody could stop me or even tried to. What’s written in the Stars is for the Taking.
I feel very grateful my parents are free thinkers and prefer to take long walks, discover new places and try new things instead of lying on a beach under the hot Sun, which we all have in Romania. Thanks to my Dad wild ideas, we took the cab a few times to Hurghada, both the old city and the new commercial part, in order to have a taste of the Egyptian way of living. Of course I appreciate the Old City more, as the way of living has not been touched by the “Made in China” trend and the overexposure to touristic and commercial souvenirs. We have tried very hard to find specific Egyptian (hand) made stuff we liked – I now own a Nile alligator handbag.
We arrived in the Old City by taxi and were left by the driver into the custody of a local shop owner who showed us around. Again, having a local guide everywhere you go is a very wise move in order not to get lost and for all the right reasons.
I had only one wish for each day – to enjoy a cup of black Turkish coffee with cardamom, which is my personal favorite. Of course the local guide we were taken to know where to get it. He was also the owner of a tourist shop I have bought myself an Egyptian cotton dressed embellished with beads and a leather stool to show my appreciation for been well taken care of. We had a walk through the food market and I was blown off my feet by the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables so artistically displayed. I am now convinced the Egyptians eat amazing food, carefully chosen and freshly cooked, as there was quite a wild variety of fish and even living chickens you could choose from. Piles and piles of greenery and exotic fruits were placed everywhere around, and Egyptian women were picking them wisely – what a picturesque view – so far from the Eastern commercial perspective I am bored of and so similar to the countryside living in Romania, where everything is home raised, home made and thus, of Best Quality.
Of course, local teas and condiments are another range of traditional products I was delighted to discover and again, I feel grateful we have decided to take this wild trip into the unknown in order to discover what Egypt really has to offer and not only what we are being told. This perspective has dramatically improved my perception of the country, along with honest conversations we had with Egyptians, who have greatly suffered from the tragic violent events which affected their country’s economy and touristic attractiveness. One more reason to visit it – you support the economy of a once flourishing society whose legacy is outstanding in the history of humanity. Being treated like a Queen has contributed to this optimistic view I have on Egypt and I am delighted everywhere I go I am welcomed and accepted for who I am and praised for my authenticity, especially in Arabic countries. If you have the opportunity to walk around the Old Cities in Egypt, my advice is to always smile and be non judgmental to peers having a different lifestyle and perhaps less possibilities than (y)ours. Egypt has a population of 96 million people and most of them do not live the Lives of Pharaohs even though they seem to be content and at peace with what they have. This is also a understandable reason why you are advised to be careful in negotiations and getting change in local currency.
This country has taught me the feeling of gratitude and privilege I have to be living my Life surrounded by Art and Beauty and facilitated the access to a deeper level of Consciousness and Understanding of the Universe.
I will therefore dedicate the following lines to the first important trip taken while in Egypt – final destination: Luxor. First stop: the majestic Valley of the Kings, which is situated on the West Bank of the Nile opposite Thebes and Luxor, and was used as a royal cemetery for 500 years, to visit the tombs of New Kingdom Pharaohs, including that of King Tut, my brother by the Father of astonishing beauty.
I feel blessed I was able to see his tomb, whose discovery by Howard Carter in 1922, funded by Lord Carnarvon, received worldwide press coverage and marked one of the most important moments in Egyptology.
I have visited five tombs which absolutely fascinated me and I praise the glory of all the Pharaohs and the richly decorated legacy (Ramses VI) they have left behind for the later generations to serve as inspiration and prophecy.
The tomb of Tutankhamun (The Boy Pharaoh, 1342 BC) also holds his mummy I was so privileged to see, along breathtaking murals. The burial chamber of King Tut is the grandest room within the entire tomb. This room was colored a vibrant yellow with paintings of Tutankhamun in various representations, and my personal favorite is the Northern Wall, which depicts King Tut wearing a leopard skin across his body which unconsciously inspired one of my shootings done in April this year, even though I do not recall seen it before. If you believe in a Collective Consciousness, that is solid proof. Another fascinating fact is the Anubis statue found in King Tut’s tomb. Anubis is the God of the dead and closely associated with the mummification process. He is depicted with the head (and the body, in this case) of a jackal, which resembles my passed away dog, Bonny, a black pinscher, a lot. The similarity is shocking, yet comforting.
What is important to be mentioned is that ancient Egyptians believed every living person has a Life Force within their body, which they called their Ka – created at birth, so when a person died it went into a state of rest, awaiting its reawakening in the afterlife. The Ka was sometimes depicted in Egyptian funerary paintings as a small figure behind the living person. Each individual also had a Ba, which represents their personality. At death it was hoped that the deceased’s Ba would leave the tomb to be reunited with the Ka and would be transformed into an Akh – a fully resurrected spirit. After death, a person’s Ba was believed to journey through an underworld called Duat. In order to protect the Spirit of the dead person from such dangers as lakes of fire and deadly snakes while on his journey, spells were written on the coffin and later inscribed on papyrus scrolls called Books of the Dead that were hurried with the corpse. By reciting these spells, the dead person would be safe from harm. These being said, the Book of Dead is definitely on my wish list to read. Who knows what secrets I will decipher.
The final, and most challenging test of all came when the dead person’s spirit was examined by the Gods who ruled the afterlife. In the Hall of the Two Truths, the heart of the dead person was supposedly weighed against his or hers past deeds by the jackal-headed God Anubis in the presence of Osiris, the ruler of the underworld, and 42 assessor Gods, each representing a district of Egypt.
The heart was placed on one side of a set of scales and the Feather of Truth on the other, and the verdict was announced by the ibis-headed God of Wisdom, Thoth. If the heart was light, the deceased was admitted to the Kingdom of Osiris, thought to be a perfect version of the World above with green fields and plenty of water, to ‘become an Osiris’ and remain there forever.
Many Egyptians believed that spirits admitted to the Kingdom of Osiris made a final journey to the stars, and they were free to roam the Earth for Eternity. Truth be Told, considering King Tut is actually a Star in his own right and a Living Legend after his short reign of 9 years, and his Spirit is freely roaming on the lips of History as the most famous of all Pharaohs, although in reality it is said his reign was not specially noteworthy. Again, in spite of attempts to erase some Pharaohs from history, the fact we have discovered them is evidence of immortality. Perhaps the afterlife they were so fascinated of is the fact they outlived modern history and given the stars are named by people – everyone of them can actually become a star on the sky.
A kind reminder of my Brother by the Father, Kendrick Lamar’s lyrics in “Birds & The Beez”:
“Live righteous nxgga like my brother said
King Tut, Martin Luther, Malcolm X, but Ima shoota’
Top ramen, knowledge for the noodle
Finally gettin’ praised.”
Another fascinating fact to mention is the Curse of the Pharaohs. It is said the famous Egyptologist James Henry Breasted worked with Carter soon after the first opening of the tomb reported how Carter sent a messenger on an errand to his house. On approaching his home the messenger thought he heard a “faint, almost human cry”. Upon reaching the entrance he saw the bird cage occupied by a cobra, the symbol of Egyptian monarchy. Carter’s canary had died in its mouth and this fueled local rumors of a curse. Arthur Weigall, a previous Inspector-General of Antiquities to the Egyptian Government, reported this was interpreted as Carter’s house being broken into by the Royal Cobra, the same as that worn on the King’s head to strike enemies, on the very day the King’s tomb was broken into.
An account of the incident was reported by The New York Times on 22 December 1922. Howard Carter was entirely skeptical of such curses though but he did report in his diary a “strange” account in May 1926, when he saw jackals of the same type as Anubis, the guardian of the dead, for the first time in over thirty-five years of working in the desert. What does these events tell me personally? Just the fact that Tutankhamun has passed the test of Anubis and gained full rights in the afterlife, to be discovered and praised in all of his glory in modern times thus gaining the immortality all Egyptians hoped for. The cobra was a straightforward message and warning from the Divine in regards to what could happen to tomb raiders/thieves who dared to steal King Tut’s legacy from the records of Modern History.
Given the fact 5,398 items were found in the tomb, including a solid gold coffin, face mask, thrones, archery bows, trumpets, a lotus chalice, food, wine, sandals, and fresh linen underwear, Howard Carter took 10 years to catalog the items, a part of which are now on display in the Museum of Egyptology in Cairo, and subject to my forthcoming blog post. Having this historical mission and smoothing the way of King Tut into our awareness, the curse did not Touch him.
Of course, I must mention the worldly details – you are not allowed to enter the Valley of the Kings with cameras and it is forbidden to take any pictures in the tombs, which unfortunately could alter the current state of the paintings and hieroglyphics adorning the walls. You should definitely have Egyptian pounds on you to pay the entrance or address this matter to your local guide, if not. Tutankhamun and Ramses VI tombs are not included in the basic entrance fee but you can always enter King Tut’s tomb for a very fair equivalent of 5 euros (!!!!). Foreign currency is not accepted in this case though.
Next followed the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, also known as the Djeser-Djeseru (“Holy of Holies”), which is an ancient funerary shrine in Upper Egypt.
Built for the Eighteenth dynasty Pharaoh Hatshepsut, it is located beneath the cliffs at Deir el Bahari, on the west bank of the Nile near the Valley of the Kings. The mortuary temple is dedicated to the sun deity Amun and is situated next to the mortuary temple of Mentuhotep II, which served both as an inspiration, and later, a quarry. It is considered one of the “incomparable monuments of ancient Egypt.”
Djeser-Djeseru sits atop a series of terraces that once were graced with lush gardens and it is built into a cliff face that rises sharply above it. This and the other buildings of Hatshepsut’s Deir el-Bahri complex are considered to be significant advances in architecture.
Hatshepsut – “Foremost of Noble Ladies” – was the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. She was the second historically confirmed female pharaoh, the first being Sobekneferu. Various other women may have also ruled as pharaohs regnant or at least regents before Hatshepsut, as early as Neithhotep around 1,600 years prior. Hatshepsut came to the throne of Egypt in 1478 BC. Officially, she ruled jointly with Thutmose III, who had ascended to the throne the previous year as a child of about two years old. Hatshepsut was the chief wife of Thutmose II, Thutmose III’s father. She is generally regarded by Egyptologists as one of the most successful pharaohs, reigning longer than any other woman of an indigenous Egyptian dynasty. According to Egyptologist James Henry Breasted she is also known as “the first great woman in history of whom we are informed.”
Hatshepsut’s temple is considered the closest Egypt came to Classical architecture. Representative of New Kingdom funerary architecture, it both aggrandizes the pharaoh and includes sanctuaries to honor the gods relevant to her afterlife. This marks a turning point in the architecture of Ancient Egypt, which forsook the megalithic geometry of the Old Kingdom for a temple which allowed for active worship, requiring the presence of participants to create the majesty.
Hyperbole is common to virtually all royal inscriptions of Egyptian history. While all ancient leaders used it to laud their achievements, Hatshepsut has been called the most accomplished pharaoh at promoting her accomplishments. This may have resulted from the extensive building executed during her time as pharaoh, in comparison with many others. It afforded her many opportunities to laud herself, but it also reflected the wealth that her policies and administration brought to Egypt, enabling her to finance such projects. Aggrandizement of their achievements was traditional when pharaohs built temples and their tombs. Fortunately, this fact has both sealed their presence in History and has left an impressive legacy for all of us. I recall being said Humans can last or better said, achieve immortality, lasting through the object of their Creation, a statement scientifically proven by all these ancient Egyptian civilization evidence. What would we have known about our history if it wasn’t for all these Pharaohs inspired by Gods to praise themselves and their accomplishment? Very little.
As you can see, I was wearing my Princess Tee on that particular day so I felt extremely pleased when I have encountered the Sphinxes of Horus were guarding the entrance to the Mortuary temple. Perhaps it was even Hatchepsut personified as Horus. For your kind information, Horus is the son of Isis and Osiris, a falcon-headed Sky God who successfully fought Seth for the throne of Egypt. The Pharaohs claimed to be his reincarnation and were often depicted with the falcon head of Horus. Horus himself was sometimes depicted as a child. My favorite symbol must also come into awareness, which is the all seeing Eye of Horus, an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection and royal power from deities, in this case from Horus or Ra.
The symbol is seen on images of Horus’ mother, Isis – the Mother Goddess and Protector of Children – and on other deities associated with her. In the Egyptian language, the word for this symbol was “wedjat”, inspired by one of the earliest of Egyptian deities, Wadjet.
All this symbolism and solid ancient history I was seeing with my own eyes inspired me to take the Lead in Life – I was thrilled by the offering of a day trip to Luxor and this is certainly not the end of it – we later had a very short visit to the , the two massive twin stone statues of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III, who reigned in Egypt during the Dynasty XVIII. For the past 3,400 years (since 1350 BC), they have stood in the Theban Necropolis, located west of the River Nile from the modern city of Luxor. The original function of the Colossi was to stand guard at the entrance to Amenhotep’s memorial temple (or mortuary temple): a massive construct built during the pharaoh’s lifetime, where he was worshipped as a god-on-earth both before and after his departure from this world. In its day, this temple complex was the largest and most opulent in Egypt. With the exception of the Colossi, however, very little remains today of Amenhotep’s temple.
Last but definitely not least, The Karnak Temple Complex followed, commonly known as Karnak, which comprises a vast mix of decayed temples, chapels, pylons, and other buildings in Egypt. The complex is a vast open-air museum, and the second (some say the first and I tend to believe them) largest ancient religious site in the world, after the Angkor Wat Temple of Cambodia. It is believed to be the second most visited historical site in Egypt; only the Giza Pyramids near Cairo receive more visits. The key difference between Karnak and most of the other temples and sites in Egypt is the length of time over which it was developed and used. Construction of temples started in the Middle Kingdom and continued through to Ptolemaic times. Approximately thirty pharaohs contributed to the buildings, enabling it to reach a size, complexity, and diversity not seen elsewhere. Few of the individual features of Karnak are unique, but the size and number of features are overwhelming. The deities represented range from some of the earliest worshiped to those worshiped much later in the history of the Ancient Egyptian culture.
Of course, the Luxor trip culminated with a bot trip crossing the river Nile, one of the most important geographic features the emergence of civilization in Egypt depended heavily upon. The Nile is the longest river in the world, on the banks of which the first Egyptian settlements and cities evolved and developed. Life in ancient Egypt relied upon the River Nile and its annual flood, which waters the land along its banks and made it suitable for farming. As little rain falls in the north-west corner of Africa where Egypt is located, without the River Nile would be little more than an uninhabitable hot sandy desert, and would never have been and ancient Egyptian civilization, which sprang up along its banks. Furthermore, the Ancient Egyptians understood that their lives depended heavily upon the Nile, therefore in their paintings, Heaven was often depicted as fertile land surrounded by water.
The ancient Egyptians believed that life on earth was only one part of an eternal life which ended, not in death, but in everlasting joy. One was born on earth through the benevolence of the gods and the deities known as The Seven Hathors then decreed one’s fate after birth; the soul then went on to live as good a life as it could in the body it had been given for a time. When death came, it was only a transition to another realm where, if one were justified by the gods, one would live eternally in a paradise known as The Field of Reeds. The Field of Reeds (sometimes called The Field of Offerings), known to the Egyptians as A’aru, was a mirror image of one’s life on earth. The aim of every ancient Egyptian was to make that life worth living eternally and, as far as the records indicate, they did their very best at that.
Curiously, I share their perspective that I came to this Earth to live as in Heaven, to be a luminous globe of Light (Soul – Ba) surrounded by water (Body – Ka) – the essence of a Life, that is. As I have mentioned previously in my writings, if one symbolically achieves through baptism the forgiveness and freedom from the ancestral sin, that means to me his purpose would be to be given the chance to (re)create and live the Heaven on Earth. If the Heart is Light as a feather, one could undoubtedly reach an eternal existence, given Antoine Lavoisier quote in Traité élémentaire de chimie: “Dans la nature rien ne se crée, rien ne se perd, tout change. (In nature nothing is created, nothing is lost, everything changes.)” If the legacy of humans being Co-Creators of the Universe for the humankind stands the test of time, they also become immortals. And this is not the end…
The last stop was at an authentic Papyrus specialized store – the genuine papyrus being monopoly of the state – where I have purchased a manually painted Eye of Horus papyrus to display into my Royal Temple. Contrary to tourist beliefs, the papyrus sold on the streets of Egypt for very appealing prices is far from being original – it is actually an imprinted banana leaf. I am very proud I have decided to add such a highly valued souvenir to my collection, considering the fact the papyrus of ancient Egypt proved to be extremely long lasting, and thousands of such documents have survived to the modern day to tell fantastic tales of a distant past.
This achievement beautifully wraps up a day very well spent following the eternal footsteps of the Pharaohs to Luxor and its fascinating historically impressive surroundings, a majestic Show Off of Power, Abundance and Grandeur, just the way I like it. What an inspiration – to be remembered in history – my Pharaohs predecessors, whose Artful Reign left such an impressive legacy. It always brings Peace to my mind to have the Chance to enjoy the celestial Energy of such ancient civilizations which enchanted me from an early age, especially those I hold in High Regard, such as the Ancient Egyptian Gods and Royal Society. The divine sign of how much I have accomplished by just exploring the Wonders of Egypt and incorporating the High Energy was dropped by the Universe on my way back to Sunny Beach Resort, at evening, when we stopped at the Bedouin coffee place and Drake was playing “Started from the Bottom”. Now I’m here 🙂
What more can you ask for?
Your Supreme Highness in God’s Likeness,