Discover travel destinations of travelers writing a travel journal on FindPenguins.
Add to bucket listRemove from bucket list
Travelers at this place
    • Day 6

      Gazali Monastery

      January 4, 2022 in Sudan ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

      Gazali (which means gazelle in Arabic) is a monastery begun around the end of the 7th century and was active for several centuries. Nubia was a Christian nation until as late as the 14th century as the fortress at Old Dungala (see another post) was not defeated by the Muslim armies. Conversion to Islam came through gradual assimilation of Arab migrants who intermarried with the locals and finally a king converted.
      The 1st picture is of the main gate. The 2nd picture is along the front wall and out into the Wadi Abudoun. At that time this wadi had a perennial stream. The monks were able to grow their crops near that stream out front of the monastery. The 3rd picture is of a tank not far from the main gate that may have been a baptistry.
      The 4th picture is the monastery church. The 5th picture is the refectory. Notice the circle. These were the seats where the monks sat in a circle around a central table. There are several of these eating arrangements here.
      The last picture was taken from part way up the remains of the bell tower and looks over a portion of the monastery. This was a complex of building housing many activities including smelting iron.
      Read more

    • Day 3

      El Kurru

      January 1, 2022 in Sudan ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

      El Kuru is one of the 4 royal necropolises of the Nubian kings/pharaohs. The Meroitic pyramids at Jebel Barkil is another of the 4 (see another post). The 1st 5 pictures are all in the tomb of the Nubian pharaoh, Tamuk Amun.
      The 1st picture is a painting of the pharaoh. The 2nd picture shows the 4 sons of the god Horus. The 3rd picture shows the procession to the ritual weighting of the pharaoh's heart to determine if he is fit to enter the afterlife.
      The 4th picture is after the pharaohs heart has been weighed, and he is proceeding to the afterlife.
      The 5th picture is of the sisters Isis and Nephtis assuring the pharaoh that they will take care of him. These paintings all depict the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead.
      The last picture is of the mortuary temple at this necropolis.
      I note that this site has no pyramids like those near Jebel Barkil. They were here but the stones were reused for other purposes over the centuries. Pyramids like those at Jebel Barkil would have been placed over the tomb, and tombs like this would be under the pyramids.
      Read more

    • Day 3

      Jebel Barkal, Karima, Sudan

      January 1, 2022 in Sudan ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

      This is the ancient holy mountain of Nubia, Kush, and all the other names for ancient Sudan. It was believed that the ancient God Amun-Ra made his home here. As such, it is a significant holy site with numerous temples and tombs in the immediate vicinity.
      The 1st 2 pictures are of the mountain itself. Notice in the 2nd picture the natural pinnacle to the left. The ancients saw that as the cobra standing to protect Amun-Ra, as that was the cobra's role in the ancient mythology. That is also why there is a cobra depicted on the Egyptian crown, and there are 2 cobras on the Nubian crown
      The 3rd picture is the broken altar of the Nubian pharaoh Piankhe. His cartouche is at the left end. He is the Nubian pharaoh who conquered Egypt and established the 25th dynasty. It is located in the temple to Amun-Ra, the principle temple here.
      The 4th picture is the temple of Hathor that is excavated into the mountain. It is currently under restoration. The 2 columns are interesting in that they are shaped as the goddess Hathor.
      The 5th picture is a small Sufi shrine built with blocks of sandstone recycled from the older structures. This is something that happened regularly.
      The last picture is of Meroitic pyramids here. There were originally 40 of them at this site. There will be more posts about royal necropolises later. It turns out that there were more pyramids in Sudan than in Egypt, more than 200, I'm told.
      Read more

    • Day 3

      Museum at Jebel Barkal

      January 1, 2022 in Sudan ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

      This museum houses artifacts from the region around Karima, mostly at Jebel Barkal (see another post). The 1st picture is just inside the front door and is of a ram carved as the Nubian representation of the principal God Amun-Ra. Missing is the stature of the pharaoh that was between the feet and below the head of the ram, showing that Amun-Ra protects the pharaoh who is also worshiped as the son of Amun-Ra. The 2nd picture is a series of terracotta jars of the traditional type that every home and other buildings has set outside. They are kept full of water for anyone passing by to drink.
      The 3rd picture is of 3 lions. The local god that predates the Egyptian incursion bringing Egyptian religion was a lion god.
      The 4th picture is a recreation of a Christian era grave with a naturally mummified body..
      The last picture is of the altar of a pharaoh found in a local temple. The engraved figures are of Hapi, the god of the Nile.
      Read more

    • Day 5

      Karima, Sudan

      January 3, 2022 in Sudan ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

      Karima is the city in the north of Sudan where Jebel Barkal (see another post) is located. The 1st picture is at the port on the River Nile. As you can see in the 1st picture, it is a small, informal river port where locals bring products to the market here in small boats. Products are loaded from the boats to donkey carts as in the 2nd picture. Those sacks are dates. The Sudanese are a warm, welcoming, fun loving people.
      The 3rd picture is the main market street looking from the high point at the river above the port. The market actually covers several blocks like this plus an area around the market where folks who don't not have shops set out their goods on the ground The 4th picture is an example of a seller and his stall.
      The 5th picture is taken from atop Jebel Barkal looking over the town. The last is the entrance to the compound of the Nubia Rest House, our hotel. Thus is typical Sudanese architecture. The door is made of acacia wood
      Read more

    • Day 5


      January 3, 2022 in Sudan ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

      This is the 2nd royal necropolis (chronologically) of the Napata Kingdom whose capital was at modern Karima near Jebel Barkal (see another post) but moved to Meroe about the 3rd century BCE. These 2 cities we're important throughout the Napata/Meroe period. Jebel Barkal was the religious center while Meroe was the economic center of the kingdom. The capital was where the ruler was, and that changed over time.
      These are 3 pictures of the Nuri necropolis.
      Read more

    • Day 5

      Nile cruise

      January 3, 2022 in Sudan ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

      This boat ride was on the Nile at the 4th cataract. This stretch of the river diverts into numerous channels in such a way that water flows over rocks, making sections of the water surface navigable. Some of the pictures show examples where the water breaks over the rocks and rushes down to the next level. Others look at the river above those falls and in some, you can find side channels hidden in the background. The last picture is of the main channel of the Nile in this section.
      This is only a small portion of the area of the 4th cataract. Sudan has built a hydroelectric dam upstream from here, flooding part of the cataract.
      Read more

    • Day 6

      Desert Well

      January 4, 2022 in Sudan ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

      Now for a few pictures from the Old Testament. Some things haven't changed much in 3,000 years and probably longer.
      The 1st.picture is of a stick built structure that holds the pulleys on which animal skin bags are dropped into the well on hand made leather ropes made from the skins of their slaughtered flocks.
      The 2nd picture shows a team of donkeys pulling the rope to lift the bay full of water.
      Once the skins reach the surface, one of the herders carries the bag to a small basin that drains into a watering pool. The 3rd picture is the herders pouring the water into the basin, and the 4th picture is one of the basins and drain pipe to the watering pool. They also fill jugs and small tanks for the herders to carry home.
      The 5th picture is a wide look at the congregated flocks and herders while the last looks out to another flock heading to the well. A few of the goats recognized where they were a ran ahead to get to the water.
      Read more

    • Day 8


      January 6, 2022 in Sudan ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

      Naga was an important trade center of the Meroe kingdom as it sits in a location on many trade routes. What remains today are 2 temples from that period. One is dedicated to the Lion god the other to Amun-Ra. The lion god is an African indigenous god who was the center of the worship life of the bulk of the population. Amun-Ra was the god of the elites.
      What is especially important here is the many cultural influences evident in the temples reflecting the many cultures that mixed here for trade. For example, one representation of the lion god at the lion temple in the first 3 pictures has 4 arms, reminiscent of India. The 1st picture is of the front building which has Roman design elements. The 2nd picture is the front of the temple, an Egyptian ate pylon with lions guarding the door. The 3rd picture inside the temple, even though it's hard to see, has a representation of Zeus, a Greek god.
      The Amun-Ra temple in the the rest of the pictures is approached through a ceremonial way bordered by sphinxes shown in the 4th picture. In this case the statues are rams which is the animal representation of Amun-Ra in Nubia. The 5th picture is one of the exterior walls showing both Egyptian and Nubian gods together with the king and queen. The last picture is part of a pylon with a carving of a serpent coming out of a lotus, and it has a lion head. This is a representation of the joining of the 2 kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt.
      Read more

    • Day 4

      Old Dongala

      January 2, 2022 in Sudan ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

      Old Dongala dates to the 5th century CE built as a citadel and royal residence. This is the citadel that stopped the Muslim invasion and kept Nubia Christian until a king converted in the 13th century. The 1st picture is of the citadel wall that they couldn't overcome. Some of that is likely due to the Nubian archers who were famous in the ancient world. Many Egyptian tombs show Nubian archers in their decoration, and Land of Bows was an ancient name for this region.
      The 2nd and 3rd pictures are of the ruins of 2 of the many churches located here. The columns are the original granite. The floors are protected by replacing the sand.
      The 4th picture looks out from the citadel over the "suburbs" outside the wall. Many of these houses are said to have been large, suggesting wealthy nobles and merchants.
      The 5th picture is the Throne Hall, built on a rock outcrop east of the citadel in the 9th century. It is 2 stories with the throne room upstairs.
      The last picture looks over a graveyard from the Islamic period. Those structure are Sufi shrines/tombs. These date to the 17th century
      Read more

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Republic of the Sudan, Sudan, Soedan, ሱዳን, Sudán, السودان, Судан, Sudaŋ, সুদান, སུ་དཱན།, Soudan, El Sudan, Súdán, Y Swdan, Sudan nutome, Σουδάν, Sudano, Sudaan, سودان, Sodan, An tSúdáin, સુદાન, סודן, सूडान, Szudán, Սուդան, Súdan, スーダン共和国, სუდანი, Sudani, ស៊ូដង់, ಸೂಡಾನ್, 수단, سوودان, Sudania, Sudaani, Sudá, ຊູດານ, Sudanas, Suda, Sudāna, സുഡാന്‍, सुदान, ဆူဒန်, सुडान, ସୁଦାନ୍, Sudão, Sudäan, සූඩානය, Suudaan, சூடான், సుడాన్, ประเทศซูดาน, Sūteni, سۇدان, سوڈان, Xuđăng (Sudan), Sudän, סודאן, Orílẹ́ède Sudani, 苏丹, i-Sudan

    Join us:

    FindPenguins for iOSFindPenguins for Android