May 6, 2012

Celebrating on High, 1843 | Walking Through Egypt

Celebrating on High, 1843
Dr. Richard Lepsius

Great Pyramids
Yesterday, the 15th October, was our king’s birthday, and I had selected this day for the first visit to the Great Pyramids. We would there, with a few friends, commemorate our King and our Fatherland in a joyous festival. . . .

The morning was beautiful beyond description, fresh and festive. We rode in a long procession through the yet quiet city, and through the green avenues and gardens which are now laid out before it. Wherever, almost, that we met with new and well carried out works, Ibrahim Pasha was named to us as their originator. He seems to be doing much in all parts of Egypt for the embellishment and improvement of the country.

[The German party arrived at the Pyramids and pitched a tent] About thirty Bedouins, in the meanwhile, gathered around us, and waited for the moment when we should ascend the Pyramids, in order to raise us, with their strong brown arms, up the steps, which are between three and four feet high. Scarcely had the signal for departure been given, than immediately each of us was surrounded by several Bedouins, who dragged us up the rough, steep path to the summit, as in a whirlwind. A few minutes later and our flag was unfurled on the summit of the oldest and highest of human works that is known, and we greeted the Prussian eagle with three loyal cheers to our king. Flying towards the south, the eagle turned his crowned head towards our home in the north, from which a refreshing wind blew, and diverted the rays of the mid-day sun from off us. We also looked homewards, and each one thought aloud, or silently in his heart, of those who loving, and beloved, he had left behind.

After a prolonged tour around Europe and the Middle East, Mark Twain and his party reached Egypt and, on their way to the Pyramids, made their presence loudly felt.

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