Today started early by getting picked up by Osman, our driver for the day at 0630. We needed a driver as there is a minimal amount of public transport going in the direction of the pyramids and none on the return. The pyramids themselves are about 3 hours drive out of Khartoum, it took a while to actually get out of the city but then we were on our way, we stopped to pick up some water and sesame seeds oil and got to see how it was traditionally ground with a camel walking around.
The Meroe pyramids and surrounding temples and ruins are from the same period a lot of the Egyptian pyramids and temples were built, the two countries share a lot of history. The first site we visited was the Royal City, a collection of buildings, now just ruins, which was once a nice of activity during the Nubian period, kings and queens would spend a lot of their time here.
The next thing we visited were the pyramids themselves, they’re split over two sites, the East and west. Both are very impressive, some are half submerged in sand and all of them are lacking their tips as German explorers blew the tops off in search of treasure. There were a couple of dozen at each site and we were the only people there exploring them, they exceeded my high expectations.
We then drove for about 2 hours to the next site, Naqa, which was in the middle of the desert and required had an hour of off leading to get there. It was definitely worth the effort. There were 3 temples, all of them amazingly preserved as they had spent much of their time hidden under sand, when German archaeologists first rediscovered them they could only see the very top of one of the temples and slowly removed the sand to reveal the remainder. There was a local who had worked with the Germans and spoke food English so was ble to tell us more history about it, this was Nick’s favourite site, mine were the pyramids.
Musawarat was our last destination which consisted of a small temple which had been totally reconstructed, it was interesting to see what it would be originally looked like however both Nick and I agreed that we would’ve rather seen it in a more ruined state with just the original Stone and no modern additions. The second ruins was a huge complex which would be once have held loads of animals and there is some evidence to suggest the king would come here to fight certain animals in a displaying his strength.
It was a long, hot day exploring but such a fun, interesting one and totally worth visiting Sudan for, in my opinion it was better than the Egyptian pyramids. On our drive black to Khartoum we had a puncture so we helped Osman change the fire at the side of the road which meant we got back after dark but it was worth it.