400 Route 5. TELL EL-MASKHUTA.
a large and interesting block of granite, on the front of which is a re¬
presentation of Ramses II., enthroned between the gods Ra and Turn.
The figures were once elaborately executed, but have suffered much from
exposure to the air, particularly the heads. On the back of the mon¬
ument the name of Ramses is inscribed six times. Lepsius is probably
right in identifying this spot with the Ramses of the Bible, and his
opinion is corroborated by the existence of huge bricks of Nile mud in
the enclosing wall of the buried city, which still contain an admixture
of chopped straw, recalling the sacred narrative (Exodus, i. 13, 14): —
'And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour:
And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar, and in
brick, and in all manner of service in the field'. — 'And (Exodus, v. 6, 7)
Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and
their officers, saying, Ye shall no more give the people straw to make
brick, as heretofore; let them go and gather straw for themselves'.
Beyond this point the train runs through an entirely desert
track, passes the small junction of Neflsheh, and reaches —
991/) M. Stat. Isma'iliya (p. 421), where the blue Lake Tim¬
sah (p. 421) presents a beautiful and striking contrast to the de¬
sert just traversed, especially if some large sea-going steamer
happens to be passing, with its masts overtopping the low houses
of the town. Isma'iliya is a terminal station. To the right of the
station lies the Arabian quarter of the town.
The Suez train returns by the same line of rails to stat. Nefisheh
(good refreshment-room, embellished with antlers, stuffed birds,
and other curiosities), and then turns to the S. (left). On the
right we observe a large nursery for trees, the property of the
Khedive's mother. The train traverses the desert, frequently skirt¬
ing the fresh-water canal, which it crosses immediately beyond
Nefisheh. This canal runs between the railway and the great Suez
Canal, and is navigated by a few small craft only. The Suez Canal,
connecting the Mediterranean and the lied Sea, and traversed by
large sea-going steamers, and the extensive Bitter Lakes lie on our
left (comp. p. 420). Towards the S.W. rises the Gebel Geneffeh,
or Gebel Ahmed Daher, with its productive quarries, which yielded
material for the construction of the canal. Beyond (108 M.) stat.
Serapeum (p. 420) we obtain a fine view of the bluish green Bitter
Lakes (p. 420) on the left. Farther on, the heights of the Gebel
'Uwcbid rise on the right. The next station is (118 M.) Fdyid.
Near (127 M.) stat. Geneffeh we reach the S. end of the Bitter
Lakes. On the left again stretches a vast sandy plain. On the
right, above the lower hills, tower the dark masses of the 'Atdka
Mts. (p. 401), the outlines of which stand out very prominently
by evening light.
Near (141'/2 M.) stat. Shaluf (p. 419) the canal is visible for
a short time. Then (153 M.) Suez (see p. 401).