Monday, May 3, 2010

Food for the soul and for the stomach: a wonderful weekend!

My weekend was wonderful!

Woke up, as always, around 9.30-10.00 and had a nice and long breakfast. On a 1st of May in Romania I would have went out in the park, to the seaside or to have the traditional grill. But I had been told and had also seen on TV that people here avoid going out this day as some,...or better said many, violent protestants are on the streets throwing with things, putting cars on fire, destroying the city. I wonder why! Another "tradition" from here is to dance into the May. But the news which followed on Sunday did not mention any dance, but rather just violence. This didn't stop me from having a good time.

On Friday I had gone to a shopping mall in the search for a special something to buy. Unfortunately it was sold out, so I had to eat my frustration into some other goods (gosh,...consumerism is mean sometimes to your bank account). I came back home with two types of cake, a DVD containing a Gregory Peck movie ("The Million Pound Note"), a book for learning a language (not going into more detail as I have not started the DIY-course yet), a 12 CD collection about all a person should know ("Bildung. Alles was man wissen muss") and some ingredients which I used on Saturday for some cooking.
As I have mentioned, Saturday started really nice and quiet. After breakfast I talked to a friend I hadn't seen in a while. Then I opened my collection of CDs and explored it like a treasure which I had just found. They really cover everything. Or better said, everything important. So I took out the first CD and started hearing to happenings from the past. The Greek. It's funny, I thought for a moment, how they have influenced the world and Europe, and how they do it even now, but unfortunately it's on a financial level now rather than an intellectual one. But this blog is not on politics. It was around 14.00 o'clock when we decided "to have coffee". Of course, this means we are engaging in a ritual from here, serving cakes and cookies with coffee. I still sticked to my tea, you cannot bring me to drink the other liquid! While having the most amazing chocolate cake I have found here, we watched the DVD and traveled through time. I always have to say, when I see movies like this one, that "they don't make men like that nowadays". No offence! There is a certain way of the gentleman which is getting lost in the high-speed era of multiple gadgets. There is an attemp to a prank in the movie concerning someone's honesty, but when the tailor threatens to take the suits away, the one making the joke thinks he has gone too far. Imagine how important a tailor and the place you bought your clothes must have been at that time. Now it's a bit different, even if brands's another way of counting!

Later in the afternoon I started making some puff pastry filled with goat cheese. The first time ever I tried this, and I must say, I did it well! Great job it was, it was tasty and no filling had dropped, no pastry had cracked, nothing got burnt. I was missing this kind of snack from home, here I haven't found it, unfortunately. Only thing you might find is tasting sweet, such as croissants.

The evening came and, as usual on weekends, we ate snack-like dinners. This doesn't mean that we reduce the pleasure of our taste buds, on the contrary, we indulge in more tastes in small bites. For example here you can see a ciabatta on the left with a shrimp-garlic salad, further on the right a ciabatta with river crab salad and so on... . I also prepared a fresh salad for myself with a sour cream dressing.

Sunday I woke up to the usual brunch. But we did not have the English bacon and eggs but had a special treat: scrambled eggs with smoked eel. A combination I first tasted here, in Hamburg, but which is so delicious due to the eel which simply melts once you eat it.

I took then my backpack and embarked into a journey I will probably remember all my life. A journey which made Horward Carter one of the most famous people of his time. He was the one who, after a search of more than five years revealed the lost tomb of Tutankamun (Tutanchamun, Tutankhamun or other variations...).

It was located in the Valley of the Kings under the tomb of Ramses as seen below. When he first opened the tomb he took a small candle to look inside the opening he had made and what he saw inside he described as "a lot of beautiful things".

Number 10 from this representation of the tomb is where the mummy of Tutankamun was found.

The exhibition showed some movies in which the genealogy of Tutankamun was presented as well as his short life history. Then we (the visitors) were asked to go to the next room where the treasures which were found in his tomb would be revealed to us, exactly in the same way as Carter and his team got to see them when they made the discovery. Of course, the pieces in the exhibition were not the real ones, but extremly well done replicas. Carter had made drawings of their positions and pictures also documented the treasure, so that it was possible for this project of reconstruction to be created. 2002 was the year when the recreation began, and now, 2010, the exhibition is in Hamburg.

The following 2 pictures are of two chambers. Burglars had also been in this tomb, but they took very little. Unfortunately they creatd mess and distruction.

In this picture, the middle sarcophagus of the pharao is being shown.

The minute someone becomes pharao, he starts gathering things and preparations start to be done for the after-life. In the case on Tutankamun, the time was too short, as he died when he was around 18ish. This is why his two outer sarcophagi were wooden and not solid gold as the inner one. Nevertheless, they were gold-plated, as we can see on the bigger one, or plated with gold and coloured glass (a real treasure at that time).

The inner sarcophagus contained the jewelry decorated mummy. Being made of solid gold, this sarcophagus only weighs around 115kgs.

One of the pieces which remains symbolic and is of great beauty is the mask of the pharao.

One of the most valuable findings in Tutankamun's tomb was this collection of Gods. From any other pharao there hadn't been a full collection found like this one. Each God had a purpose for the pharao's transition to after-life. Nevertheless, he had to pass a test. His heart would be weighed by a God and if the good deeds would weigh more than the bad ones, then he would be accepted. Apparently Tutankamun passed the test.

One of the treasures also found was the collection of his inner organs. Only one was missing, as it would have been thrown away by the priests: the brain. Apparently, for them there was no function more than just the filling of the skull for the brain. It was picked through the nose and thrown away. The heart was for them the center of both feelings and thoughts.

Another amazing finding was this one which you can see in the picture below. It represents "the people who answered to questions", as translated from their Egyptian name, better known as workers. Normal people could affor 2-3 of those in their tombs, Tutankamun on the other hand had more than 400. 365 for each day of the year, plus 12 superiors, one for each month, plus some others. This also described his wealth and power.

This is what he used to wear! These sandals are so amazingly fashionable nowadays...I wish i could have taken them home ...

Then there was a throne which captured my eyes. The small chair for the pharao's feet had drawings of asians and other enemies. He would so symbolically step on them.

After such a long and interesting travel through the luxury of the past, I returned home and smile at the wonderful pink flowered tree in fron of our balcony. It was getting dark and I wanted to go again, slowly in my mind, over all the impressions I had gathered this weekend.


  1. Beautiful journey into history!

  2. This great insight.....loved alll that you had for the for the princely slippers.....what is your it to me


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...