Now, regular readers of my blog know I love a bit of Vintage. Forties and Fifties Clothes, accessories, bags, hats and gloves….. you name it, I lust over it.
But my real longtime love is even more Vintage than that!
Something not many people know about me is that I have a huge interest in Ancient Egypt. Well, it doesn’t get much more vintage, does it?
I have loved Egyptology for many years, since I was around 11 or 12 when I went on my first school trip abroad. Now, most school trips involve a week in France, or skiing in the Alps. However our school trip (and yes I went to a normal comprehensive) was a Mediterranean Cruise!
Epirotiki Lines ran a cruise sailing from Athens, visiting numerous Greek Isles including Rhodes and Crete, Turkey, Israel, Egypt and sailing back up the Adriatic coast taking in Yugoslavia before returning back to Greece.
I was already interested in these Countries and their history and so I went to my parents and asked if there was any chance we could afford it. Dad told me that my Grandad had already told him that if a school trip came up, he would be willing to help. But I had to go and plead my case to him.
I was so desperate to go, I went straight to him and told him all about the trip and how desperate I was to go on it. He immediately told me he would help, so we filled in the paperwork and applied to go.
Several months later, my excitement was palpable, as I walked up the gangplank in Piraeus Harbour.
I was off to see some of the most amazing Ancient Wonders and cultural sites of the World. I could not believe what a lucky girl I was. For me, Ancient Egypt and Greece with all its Gods and Goddesses, was just fascinating and I was going to walk where they had walked.
Going to the Palace of Knossos where Daedalus had built a labyrinth to house the Minotaur was so very exciting. The coloured columns and frescos are as vivid today as when they were first painted.
One of my favourite parts of the trip was visiting Istanbul. The sights, sounds and smells. The bustling City and it’s smiling inhabitants. Walking around the Grand Bazaar was so exciting to a girl who had lived in a small village all her life and never seen anything like it!
We visited the Hagia Sophia Mosque which had been turned into a Museum and had the most amazing artefacts. I will never forget seeing a rotating black velvet cushion which held the biggest diamond I had ever seen. It looked like the size of my small fist. I wandered around entranced by everything. Suits of armour, clothing and jewels beyond your wildest imaginings. Simply Stunning.
We also visited the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, the most beautifully designed building I think I had ever seen in my life. To hear the call of the Muezzin ringing out over the city caused goosebumps to break out. I had never seen something so exotic and beautifully decorated.
In fact, of all the places that I have visited in the World, Istanbul is the one place I want to return to and spend longer than just a day. I know there is so much more for me to see and I hope to make this happen sooner rather than later.
We went to several sites where the original Seven Wonders of the World were based; The Colossus of Rhodes, The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, The lighthouse at Alexandria and of course The Great Pyramid at Giza
Of course that was going to be one of the highlights of the trip for me. We eventually arrived in Egypt and I was in my element. We went to the Pyramids and to the Cairo Museum. I saw the treasures of Tutankhamun and I was hooked.
Since then I have had an avid interest in the Ancient World. I have returned to Egypt and sailed the Nile, visited Aswan, Luxor and more. I travelled on a train down the length of the Country, and it was simply wonderful. I cannot even explain how in my element I was!
So why is it I have never visited The British Museum in London? Especially as I spend a lot of time in London itself.
The museum houses a massive collection of Egyptian artefacts, including Mummies, wall murals, Papryii, and more. There are several rooms featuring everything from everyday life to the most richly decorated sarcophagii. Yet I have never been to see them.
This is something that needs to be rectified. But whenever I go to London, there always seems to be so much I have on my agenda that there never seems to be time.
I have visited The V & A, The Natural History, The Science, The Imperial War and the Wallace Museum. But never the British Museum.
I had a chance to change this recently after a recent trip to Town. Sadly we only had a small amount of time in the museum before it closed as our other errands took us too long. I did get to see The Rosetta Stone and some amazing Egyptian sculpture which soothed my craving for culture and education a little.
We plan on going back and having a proper good look around. If I have my way I will be there when the doors open and they will have to kick me out when it is time to close!
I have to be honest. If I had enough money or won the lottery, one of the first things I would do would be to enrol in University studying Archaeology and also the Ancient World. I know it doesn’t seem like something I would be in to. However I am fascinated and want to learn more.
I know it sounds a bit daft, but when I walked into the Egyptian Sculpture room it was like I had come “home”. My smile was huge and I couldn’t stop snapping photographs. Literally my heart was happy and it felt like where I needed to “be”.
Maybe when I am old and retired that can be my new hobby. Can you imagine me swanning around archaeological digs in my big skirts and turbans? I know I can!
Did you expect I had this side to me? I would love to know your thoughts
Till next time,