Travel experiences

The curse of Tutankhamun

I arrive in London and spot Tutankhamun’s death mask at one of the London Underground stations. This is where I’m going today – Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh exhibition at Saatchi Gallery

The exhibition seems promising with more than 150 original artifacts from the Pharaoh’s tomb, some of which have never been seen outside of Egypt before. Unsurprisingly it’s popular and long lines are expected. I have all the time in the world and am unaware that I will need it today.

I need a specific time slot to visit the exhibition. However, the ticket page malfunctions and it takes me an hour to buy a ticket. Not a big deal, I’ll be there soon.

As an avid walker, it’s not uncommon for me to walk 1.5 hours one way. It rains, but I am determined to walk around and explore. According to Google Maps, it shouldn’t take me more than 50 minutes to reach the gallery.

December in London is gray and glamorous at the same time – rain and dark skies contrast with glittering festive decorations. It’s crowded, people rush in and out of stores, Christmas markets tempt with local arts and crafts.

My phone dies within 10 minutes of walking despite being connected to a charger. I don’t know where Saatchi Gallery is located and I need a map to continue. The rain intensifies. I walk into a sandwich shop to kill time while my phone charges. Probably the slowliest phone charging one can witness. Unable to browse the Internet and having left my book at the hotel, I have the option to stare at the wall in front of me. Then I sneak into a store and look around with disinterest. Finally, after two hours, it’s time to hit the streets again. 

To my relief, there is no 100 km long line of people waiting to see Tutankhamun’s possessions in the afterlife. The place is crowded but bearable. Mystical music enhances the exhibition. I get into a morbid mood and would love to enter an Egyptian pyramid and explore the tombs. 

Unfortunately, Tutankhamun’s original 3000 years old gold mask is not on display. Due to its fragility, Egyptian authorities didn’t allow it on the world tour. This is one more reason for me to visit Egypt.


The journey to Tutankhamun’s treasures took me no less than 4 hours. Needless to say, it was all worth it.



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