Destinations / JOURNEY
archaeological site at the foot of Jebel Barkal, where the
ruins of 13 temples and three palaces exist. We visit the
royal necropolis of the ancient city of Napata, the Nubian
capital from 800 to 400 B.C.
The next day we continue on and drive through the
Bayuda Desert. Here we meet groups of Bisharin nomads
who live in familial groups in small huts made of intertwined branches close to the rare water wells. With them
are their caravans and herds of camels and cattle.
In the late afternoon we arrive at Meroë, where we stay
in a wonderful tented camp with an incredible view of more
than 40 pyramids that are located on top of a hill. Some of
the perfectly preserved pyramids belonged to the Royal
Necropolis of Meroë.
It is nearly a full moon, and since I cannot lie down and
sleep, I walk outside my tent to watch the incredible night
sky in the desert. One of my travel mates, Amelia from
London, is outside as well, and we have a very deep conversation about life and travels to exotic places. Interesting how
the desert and sky open your soul.
We visit the pyramids the next morning. It is wonderful,
and since no other foreigners are there, it feels how it must
have for a traveler in Egypt in the 1920s. Several pyramids
stand out with sharp shapes against the clear sky. Each one
has its own funerary chapel, with the walls fully decorated in
bas-reliefs showing aspects of the king’s life and his offerings
to the gods. There are more pyramids in Sudan than in Egypt.
Our trip draws to a close, and we drive back to
Khartoum. On the way we find time to visit a few wonderful archaeological sites in Naga. Included is a visit to a
temple from the first century A.D. dedicated to the Nubian
warrior god Apedemak. It is a wonderful building with
bas-relief decorations depicting the Meroitic deity with a
lion’s head, the pharaoh, noblemen and several ritualistic
images. Then we visit a large bazaar in a city in the middle
of the desert where we are told by authorities not to take
pictures. The government does not want to show the rampant poverty in the country.
We arrive in Khartoum in late afternoon, and at midnight I board my plane armed with strong pain medication.
During the long flight to Frankfurt the accident plays in my
mind over and over in slow motion and something I read
long ago creeps into my mind: “Live today, because you
never know what can happen in the future.” Whether you
find yourself in a dangerous situation or not, it seems like a
phrase worth considering. M
We stay in a wonderful tented camp
with an incredible view of more than 40
pyramids that are located on top of a hill.