Wednesday 9 November 2011

Traveller to an Antique Land

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away".

Friends, Romans, countrymen, as some of you clearly know, Ana is off on another adventure! I leave for Egypt on Saturday morning and will be away until close to the end of the month; so this is my last post for a bit. I've still got a huge amount to do, the usual last minute panic. Have I got this, have I got that, is my sun screen strong enough, should I take my shorts and risk another Egyptian revolution? My, my, the perils of travel. :-))

This is another important goal for me, planned now for an age. I have it all worked out, the best laid scheme of mouse and woman, which I really hope will not go askew! The political situation in Egypt earlier this year was a bit of a worry (how dare they plan a revolution around my travel plans?), but things seem to have settled down.

So, it’s off to Cairo initially, a few days there, first to say hello to Tutankhamen, thus avoiding the mummy’s curse, as well as having a peek at the Great Pyramid at Giza. Oh, how much I would love to shuffle my way to the top, just like Harriet Pringle in the televised adaptation of Olivia Manning’s Fortunes of War! Will I be allowed? Possibly not, but interdicts and barriers are there to be overcome…in one way or another.

After Cairo we fly south to Aswan, our base for some further explorations: to the temples of Karnak and Luxor; to the great temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel; to the temple of Horus, the falcon god of the pharaohs, at Edfu; to the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens; to Thebes, the ancient religious capital of Egypt, and the city of the dead; to here and to there and to everywhere. Can I get there by candle-light? Yes, there and back again, because my heels are nimble and light.

That’s it, then, for another few weeks. Look for me again, when the candle burns low.


  1. Enjoy yourself Ana and Godspeed your return!

  2. Have a great time in Egypt, Ana, but be prudent!

    Prudence is a great virtue, one that makes possible other virtues--and one's preferred vices, as well. It's important to live to tell the tale . . .

  3. Have a wonderful trip, Ana! I expect The Valley Of Queens will recognize one of its own.

  4. Well, I agree, revolutions are bad for travelers!
    Anyway, be very careful! And have a wonderful time to ponder the riddle of sphinx!

  5. Egypt?
    I wish you well there.
    Take care.

  6. Ana have a fantastic holiday. Don't drink the tap water.

  7. How exciting! Have an amazing and safe trip! Bring us back some remains:)

  8. Hi Ana,

    I'm reading about the protest in Cairo. Hope all is well there (for you).

    Best Regards,

  9. "how dare they plan a revolution around my travel plans?"

    You are hilarious. I don't know where that opening poem is from....did you write it or is it an obvious one that I am totally missing?

    Well, hello fellow Vagabond. Why do you travel? I'm curious about the heart of world travelers. I'm working on making a breakdown of "Types of Vagabonds" for my own bloggie, which has got me on the topic. What type are you?

  10. Wow - enjoy your trip.

    Best wishes,

    P.S.: I hope you didn't forget to switch off the stove ;)

  11. Thanks everyone. You are all so sweet. :-)

  12. Chris, prudence may be a virtue but adventure is a buzz. :-))

  13. Richard, I even use bottled water to brush my teeth!

  14. Kevin, I left Cairo a day or two before the trouble began. Many thanks for your concern.

  15. Vagabondexpress, the poem is Osymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelly. Why do I travel? Because I love it and because I am able; I have no better excuse than that. That's the 'type' I am. :-)