Day 7 (continued) Nimrud
We drove onto nearby Nimrud past vast tracts of rubbish, dust, dirt and some of the ugliest towns I’ve ever seen. Possibly one of the most depressing journeys I’ve ever done.
Nimrud is absolutely stunning. We were only allowed to visit the NW palace domestic wing (where the queen’s tomb was discovered in 1990. The jewellery is now in the Baghdad Museum, rarely seen by the public).
Our escorts fanned out, above and behind us, while I took dozens of photographs, unable to believe that I was finally here. The magnificent lamassu guarding the two gates are virtually intact, and I allowed myself to finally touch their flanks, overcome with sheer, breath-taking, wonder.
Beautiful carved reliefs are in situ in some rooms, plus cuneiform slabs in the walls and floors. There is evidence of attempts by looters to chainsaw some pieces out.
The Captain became a real pest, following me around wanting to talk about how he could get into the UK. He then called his girlfriend and asked me to talk to her because she didn’t believe that he was escorting Western women.
We had tea at a miserable excuse of a town (no women in sight), filthy, dirty and flyblown, where we stopped so that our escorts could eat a well-earned lunch in a separate restaurant to us, leaving us totally unguarded!
[Since this was written, Daesh has used sledgehammers to destroy the lamassu and have used explosives to blow up large areas of the palace in 2015]