Wednesday, August 23, 2006
As a teen in Cairo, I grew up knowing the area called Ramses Square. At that time the statue of Ramses II could be seen from miles away and was one of the city center's attractions. Over the years the king became surrounded by fly-overs, steel walkways and an underground station.
It got to the point where you really had to know where the statue was to see it. A year ago scaffolding appeared around the statue and rumors abounded that the statue was suffering from the pollution and was being restored. The rumors turned out false -- the granite statue was going to be RELOCATED. What?! How?! Just getting the statue out of the labyrinth of bridges and walkways would be a feat of engineering.
Turns out some smart engineers work for the transportation contractor: they used Google Earth to plan the route, made the decision to move the 3200+ year-old statue -- and will do so this Friday, August 25, 2006. Walkways, cables, fences and road dividers are being brought down to make way! Trials and tests have been done to ensure the roads can handle the load, and now Ramses II will embark on what is most probably his last journey. Seeing is believing, so I got together with the Earth team and came up with this KML overlay showing the complete route of the journey from downtown Cairo to the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) out by the Pyramids.