In January 1869, exactly 150 years ago, Miss Riggs joined Thomas Cook’s very first tour to Egypt and the Holy Land. Travelling overland, the journey would take three months, there and back. Miss Riggs kept a diary of her adventure and I am going to be posting from it over the coming weeks. This is day twenty-eight.
Sunday, 21 February
Spent the morning on the Benha. Beeley and others had come on saying they did not wish to start for Assouan till Monday at noon; we said we should go at 6 in the morning. In the afternoon took donkeys again to Karnac – more surprised this time at the colossal magnitude of proportions than at the first time – most delightful wanderings at leisure though these old ruins. Labyrinths of ruins – blocks, columns, pillars, granite, limestone, sandstone – the Sanctuary red granite.
In the morning a scotch gentleman and 3 friends had shown us over their dahabeah, commodious with 4 nice cabins – anti parlor at the end and lavatory beyond – the crew outside with oars. Met these gentlemen again in ruins – one of them could read the hieroglyphics. Returned to 7 o’clock dinner. In evening on shore again saw a congregated mass of women at a funeral, all singing and dancing in a most curious manner.