I am over halfway through my trip down Memory Lane, re-visiting my photo albums and looking at the fabulous archaeological sites in Egypt that have provided settings for some of the key scenes in my travel-mystery series following Meredith Pink’s Adventures in Egypt.
In book 8, Nefertari’s Narrative, my central protagonist, Merry, is enticed to return to Egypt after a spell back at home in England. She’s lured by the opportunity to search for some fabled stone tablets purported to tell the origins of the famous Queen Nefertari, Great Royal Wife of Ramses II (The Great).
Her latest adventure in Egypt begins in Cairo where she is granted the rare opportunity to climb (lawfully) to the top of the Great Pyramid. Climbing the pyramids has been forbidden since the mid 1980s, although some still take the risk. As you might expect, things don’t go entirely according to plan and Merry & Co’s time at the Giza Plateau is not without incident. Here are a few pictures of the Pyramids. The one taken from the top of the Great Pyramid is not mine, so appears courtesy of Wikipedia and Google images.
Having cruised up the Nile from Cairo to Luxor … (I feel I should clarify that you cruise UP the Nile as the water flows DOWN from its sources deep in Africa to spill into the Mediterranean) … Merry is caught up in a mishap while visiting the Ramesseum on the West Bank of the river. This was the mortuary temple, or “Mansion of Millions of Years” of the Great Ramses II. Today, it is a picturesque ruin, and one of the less-visited tourist sites on Luxor’s West Bank. This is where the head-and-torso-bust of Ramses II, now on display in the British Museum, was discovered. Giovanni Belzoni, Italian adventurer and explorer arranged for it to be dragged across the agricultural land to The Nile and onto a boat for transportation to Alexandria.
Of course, a novel about Queen Nefertari wouldn’t be complete without a visit to her stunning tomb in The Valley of the Queens. This exquisite ancient Egyptian work of art was closed to the public for decades while The Getty Institute worked to conserve and restore its beautiful wall reliefs. Only recently re-opened to the public (although numbers are limited) it is a highlight on any visit to Luxor, and rates one of the top experiences of my life.
Speaking of tombs, one of the key scenes in the book takes place inside the spectacular tomb of Seti I. Even though I have already featured this, here are a few more pictures. Another highlight of any trip to Egypt … although perhaps not for Merry, given what happens while she is here.
The dramatic action concludes in the Theban hills. These are criss-crossed with ancient footpaths which wind their way across the barren landscape between The Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut’s Mortuary Temple and the ancient workmen’s village of Deer El Medina. In this adventure, Merry is here at nightfall – a dangerous time to visit. Here, you can see what it looks like during the day.
I hope you have enjoyed looking at this selection of photographs, which have provided the backdrop for one of my adventure stories. If you are interested in finding out more, you might perhaps consider reading the series. If so, I suggest you start with the first of Merry’s adventures from which all the others flow, Carter’s Conundrums.
Fiona Deal, Author of Meredith Pink’s Adventures in Egypt, fiction books all available on Amazon. To join Merry on her adventures please click on each picture for the link.