Skip to main content


Ventana - An Enchanting Resort in BIg Sur

Summary: I love Ventana. I highly recommend visiting  and exploring the landscape at Lime Kiln and Andrew Molera State Park which I've blogged about here. Please note this is #notsponsored . Yes, that means we paid our own bill! Lots of details in the following review. including a Post Ranch vs Ventana comparison.  Can you tell there's something exciting beyond this beautiful gate? There's something special about Big Sur, a magic in the light, the presence of the Pacific, the cliffs, beaches, redwood forests and the murmur of the surf. It's one of my favorite places in California. I couldn't think of anywhere else I wanted to be to celebrate turning fifty, because it's a place where there's a sense of nature, space and light and a wide horizon. We've been to Big Sur many times and for a celebration there are two fantastic hotels vying for your attention. The exclusive, modern and very private, cliff top Post Ranch Inn and on the other side of the road the …


The Ramusseum or (Rhamesséion in French) was identified and  named by the decipherer of hieroglyphics himself, Jean-Francois Chamopollion - who accompanied Napoleon on his conquest and cataloging campaign in Egypt. The Ramusseum is the mortuary, or memorial temple, of Ramses the Great . All of the tombs and memorial temples associated with death and the after life (including the Ramusseum, Medinet Habu and the Valley of the Kings) are found on the West Bank in a large areas recognized by UNESCO and known as the Theban Necropolis. The temples associated with the religious practices and rituals of the living pharaohs, such as  Karnak and Luxor temple, are found on the East Bank, within the contemporary city of Luxor. Thus the different sides of the river bank represent death and life, you see this same division over and over in Egypt with tombs or memorial temples located in the west, whether you are in Cairo, Luxor or Aswan.

As we entered the Ramusseum a small group was leaving and we had it all  to ourselves, quickly passing by the famous fallen colossus as we entered the silent temple. The opportunity to have such sites to yourself is reason enough to visit Egypt right now. The Ramusseum is a very atmospheric place and in it  you feel the power and hubris of Ramses which transcends  the over three thousand years since his death.  I couldn't begin to compete with Shelley's famous lines, so I'll  add only pictures to complement his poem.
I met a Traveler from an antique land,
               Who said, "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
          Stand in the desart. Near them, on the sand,
               Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
           And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
          Tell that its sculptor well those passions read,
                    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
                  The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
    And on the pedestal these words appear: 
    "My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings." 
     Look on my works ye Mighty, and despair!

     No thing beside remains. Round the decay
       Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
    The lone and level sands stretch far away. 
 Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)
 As you can see the pillars are also heavily inscribed.
The temple lies in an open valley close to the Colossi of Memnon. Interestingly there are ongoing excavations in this area. 
Tip: We had a busy day of sightseeing and almost passed up the visit to the Ramusseum because I wasn't sure I could absorb much more. However, we were both very glad we went and it was among the most memorable temples for the romantic atmosphere, highly recommended for any West Bank itinerary.