5 Reasons Why Egypt Is the Best Place to Travel For History Lovers
Updated: Nov 15, 2021
The history of ancient Egypt is an up-close and personal experience
Welcome to Egypt! Wait, you haven't bought your ticket yet? What are you waiting for? It’s time to travel to King Tut’s hometown! From the pyramids of Giza to the Great Sphinx, here are the top 5 reasons why Egypt is the best place to travel for history lovers. Let’s dive in! Yalla! That’s Arabic for let’s go!
1. The Sphinx
The Great Sphinx of Giza is one of Egypt’s grandest mysteries. Pronounced Sffinks, not Spinks, the massive limestone statue of a lion’s body and the head of (some say) King Khafre, inspires delicious awe and wonder. It likely dates from around 2500 BC, and some say it served a celestial purpose - to resurrect the pharaoh's soul by channeling the sun’s rays.
With countless theories, the riddle of the Sphinx remains unsolved.
It’s also said that prince Amenhotep took a nap near the Sphinx and had a dream that the mythical creature urged him to clear away the sand; if he did, he would become pharaoh. The prince indeed became pharaoh and consequently initiated a Sphinx worshipping cult which became a royal symbol. There are no inscriptions to explain the presence of one of the most famous structures in the world. The riddle lives on!
2. Artistry & architecture
The artistry of ancient Egypt captivates all who cast their eyes upon such vibrant, magical, and lavish creations. You may not be able to read the hieroglyphs or understand the entire history of Egypt, but it still speaks to your soul. The ruins are a visual language unto themselves. The Great Pyramid of Giza speaks to the part of us that wants to live for eternity and be resurrected to the heavens.
Ramesses the Great built a temple for his beloved Nefertari at Abu Simbel and elevated her status to equal the pharaohs. He loved her so passionately he ordered her likeness to be the same height as his, alluding to total equality by ancient standards.
Egyptians mastered the art of communing with their gods by building temples and obelisks in hopes of gaining favor and closeness. They left a vast, detailed history for us to explore on their temple walls - ancient hopes, dreams, and prayers to the gods.
We can't talk about ancient Egypt and not talk about mummies. The first time I saw a real live mummy (ha! See what I did there?) I was visiting the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. I saw cat mummies and people mummies, and therein lies the beginning of my Egyptomania.
Ancient Egyptians believed the body must be preserved for the afterlife, and mummification is how they did it. It’s the reason we have kings and queens so well preserved. We know what they ate, how they died, what color their hair was, and what they were wearing. The mummification process took 70 days, where the body was embalmed, and the organs were removed, except for the heart, which was considered the center of intelligence and feeling.
Gods and Goddesses of the Nile
There’s a reason Isis, the goddess of love, motherhood, magic, death & rebirth, was still worshipped 200 years after Christianity took over. What she symbolizes resonates on a universal scale. There’s also a reason why Egyptians returned swiftly to worshipping many deities upon the death of Akhenaten. Not even the pharaoh who banished all gods & goddesses except for Aten, (the sun god) could keep the people from their beliefs.
Each deity had a special function in Egyptian society. They were the personification of man, beast, and magic on Earth. Nut, the sky goddess, swallowed the sun (Ra) every night as he traveled through her and gave birth to him every morning. Ma’at was the goddess of justice, truth, and order; she helped play a significant role in the universe's balance. She was vital to Egyptian society in maintaining order. The gods and goddesses of Egypt tell the story of how the ancients lived their daily lives.
The discovery of the boy-king’s tomb by Howard Carter is the greatest archaeological discovery in modern times. The innermost coffin is made of solid gold; preserved for 3,300 years with over 5,000 treasures, including jewelry, weapons, furniture, clothes, chariots, and a throne chair. The boy-king was wearing over 150 items, including daggers, collars, bracelets, rings, necklaces, and amulets; nearly all of them gold.
It took 10 years to catalog every item from the tomb of Tutankamun, with every piece more exquisite than the last. It’s the only undisturbed royal tomb of its kind, and to see it up close is to be connected to antiquity as you’ve never experienced.
Carter wrote of his first look inside the tomb upon discovery:
At first I could see nothing, the hot air escaping from the chamber causing the candle flame to flicker, but presently, as my eyes grew accustomed to the light, details of the room within emerged slowly from the mist, strange animals, statues, and gold—everywhere the glint of gold. For the moment—an eternity it must have seemed to the others standing by—I was struck dumb with amazement, and when Lord Carnarvon, unable to stand the suspense any longer, inquired anxiously, 'Can you see anything?' it was all I could do to get out the words, 'Yes, wonderful things.
Egypt, a portal to antiquity
Legacy was a primary instinct in ancient Egypt. On a human level, people relate to what it is to be remembered. It means you live through the annals of time, and that hasn't changed. Egypt gives us a close-up experience of what the ancients built, what they cared about, and how they lived.
Book your ticket now if you are an adventurous traveler searching for stunning ancient temples, rich cultural history, and intrigue. You won’t regret it. I’m crazy about Egypt for every reason you can think of. But most of all, for its magnificent past.
Egypt feeds your thirst for adventure, mystery, and pharaohs in history, but the Egyptian people will steal your heart. The blood of the Nile runs strong in Egyptians, and you are sure to experience their legendary hospitality 4,000 years in the making. You may not come back, but if you do, you will never forget your time in the land of the pharaohs. Travel well & safe!
If you're ready to book your trip check out this article on the pros & cons of booking a tour or navigating on your own!
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