Scotsabroad's Weblog

May 30, 2009


Filed under: Cairo — scotsabroad @ 4:39 am

Postcard band

I can’t remember the last time I wrote and actually sent a postcard. We have bought a lot during our travels but they never get used as intended.

On Thursday we visited the Egyptian Museum. The boys were keen to go back and see the mummified crocodiles. Lucas remembered that while preparing the crocodile for the mummified animal room they had discovered a baby crocodile in the jaws of the larger one. The museum was mobbed with busloads of tourists and school parties. Somehow the museum just seems to be able to swallow them up. The original Egyptian Museum, located in Bulaq, was founded in 1863 by Auguste Mariette. The new museum at Midan al-Tahir is huge. In the future, it was scheduled to open in 2009, the Grand Museum of Egypt is due to open on a site between the Giza Pyramids and 6th October City. This one will be massive. Tutankhamen will be moving. The old museum will continue to be used to house art works but perhaps the buses will no longer visit.

We made a point of visiting the Amara Room which contained bits from the city of Tell al-Amarna in Middle Egypt. The city was built by the pharoah Akhenaten. Akehenaten was Tutankhamen’s dad. Big story behind Akehenaten but basically he pissed everyone off. Tutankhamen re-established the capital at Luxor while picking up the pieces – including his old man’s remains and buried them in the valley of the kings ( No. 55) inside a woman’s sarcophagus. You couldn’t make it up. We did pop upstairs to check on the young Tut’s mask and treasure.

In the shop on the way out I got to thinking about postcards. Why does a museum shop never have a card with a picture of the exhibit you were most interested in? While in the Greco-Roman rooms we came across an amazing statue. It was of a mother, her young son and a goose. They had all been decapitated. However, the body language was wonderful and it looked as if the boy was pleading for the bird’s life. I couldn’t find a postcard showing the sculpture. While in the shop I overheard two young lads as they browsed through the postcards. ” There you go,” said one as they looked at a black and white row of shrunken heads, ” we might not have paid to go inside the Royal Mummies room but now you can say you’ve seen them!”


Bulaq has been an area I have wanted to explore since getting an email from dad. Attached was a letter from his brother in Canada. Miller writes that my grandfather was in Cairo during the Great War. He stayed in the Bulac Palace Convalescent Hospital. My grandfather climbed to the top of the great pyramid while on an afternoon’s leave. I wonder if he managed a visit to the museum? Were we walking on floors walked on by my grandfather’s army boots? I wonder if he wrote any postcards? The old postcard above and the photograph of an army camp at Mena House I found while looking for information on the internet. They  belong to Matthew King, who seems to be much more knowledgeable about his grandfather’s exploits during World War 1.  I hope he doesn’t mind me using them. I still can’t quite believe I didn’t know all this before.


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