Dashur, Memphis and Sakkara

This was our first day of wandering through the desert sands. We saw the Bent Pyramid of Seneferu (and the Red Pyramid -- which is made of crumbling red limestone); both were in Dashur. Since it is not a location that most other tour groups visit, we had that part of the desert all to ourselves. The wind from the south blew at very high velocity. It was very cold – for Egypt.

I found my second statue of Sehkmet in the bazaar in Memphis near the gigantic statue of Ramses II. I discovered that merchants keep their really interesting items in little lockers located behind their tented display cases. My search for an acceptable statue yielded several more male bodies depicting the goddess, but eventually a vendor did bring out a fair representation of the bare-breasted and seated female Sehkmet carved in soapstone. Azza (our Egyptologist) who is also a fan of Sehkmet broke my haggling impasse with the vendor who offered the acceptable merchandise by yelling in Arabic at him (at which point he accepted my price). Azza seemed to be irritated that the merchant had told me that the statue was made of basalt (and that he started his bargaining at a very high price level). Perhaps she was simply reminding him that she did not expect any kickbacks for taking her clients through the marketplace.

The funerary complex of Djoser at Sakkara – which we viewed after a very large luncheon -- was a huge complex of mastabas and smaller pyramids. There were very irritating vendors there who followed the group around from point to point. I think that Azza reprimanded the vendors several times for blocking areas of interest with their stacks of inventory and interrupting her commentary concerning aspects of the site. The most pleasant surprise was the luncheon at the Sakkara Palm Club which was truly an oasis in the sand – complete with pool. The social club prepared a beautiful buffet for us complete with three types of grilled meats and thick Turkish coffee.
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