Friday, January 21, 2011

A jump to Luxor - trying to catch up with the Band!

Another early morning as we left the airport in Sharm El Sheik for Luxor at 7:45 a.m.   This meant we were to depart promptly at 6:00 a.m. (which we did) and we did make our flight despite the fact that our bus broke down three separate times on the way from the hotel.   We could “see” the airport….we just couldn’t quite “get” there!   No worries though, our driver quickly made a fix each time, and we made it to check in with time to spare.

The flight from SES to Luxor was a quick 50 minutes, and before we knew it, we were safely in the tour bus with Ahmed.   He claims to have missed us as much as we missed him………but I think he probably enjoyed his break from us!  J

Full moon rising over the Red Sea and our hotel.  mmmm, nice!

So, from the airport, we headed to the amazing Temples of Karnak that were described so well for you yesterday by Meredith.  It really is an extraordinary complex of temples,  and seems to go forever.  One cannot help but be amazed by the hieroglyphics which adorn every pillar, wall and courtyard – and the cool thing is that we are beginning to recognize the stories and figures!  Karnak was the most important religious place in the Pharaohic era. In fact, nearly every Pharaoh had left some kind of influence there, and the Great Hypostyle Hall is chock full of 134 Papyrus-shaped pillars full of the history of Egypt (at least the history of the period(s) around 1300 BC!    Simply overpowering.  You could spend days here and never see it all.

Inside Karnak Temple

"The gang" in the Temple - and that is NOT
Washington Monument behind them.

There the are again!!!

In the Hypostyle........

Series of Sphinx' (with heads of sheep)

Departing Karnak, one sees the Nile flowing nearby and then the memorable shapes of the Luxor Temple come into view.   The mayor of Luxor is doing quite a re-do on the Corniche  (the sreet along the Nile) and at some point, it appears that they may have the entire way from Karnak to Luxor temples completely excavated and lined with “mini-sphinxes” over the course of the mile-plus stretch of land between the two.  The Luxor temple is not quite as grand as the Karnak one, but it contains many more fine statues of Ramses II as well as an area which show Christian influence therin.   Note in the photo below that the men (in color and representing the apostles) were painted on plaster that was laid OVER the original Pharoahic times.  Lucky for us that they covered the original with Plaster – this was we know what actually happened!

Entrance to Luxor Temple, on the banks of the Nile River.

 Christian colorings on plaster placed over the
original Pharoaic walls within the Temple.   

Nadine, Robert and John posing for somebody....but who?

Sometimes its a bit hard to imagine them with full parts.

Atta boy, Ben.  This is good for Alumni Relations!
Ellen, Mary, Ben and Verlene at Luxor Temple.

New sculptures located within the past ten years along the
stretch of road from Luxor Temple to the Karnak Temples.

We checked into our hotel (the same one the Band just checked out of!)  and are enjoying a few hours sitting along the shores of the Nile,  gearing up for the remainder of our trip.    It’s a gorgeous day here……….hope it is warming up at home!

From the balcony in Luxor.  No river view, but a nice one nevertheless!

1 comment:

  1. Yes Brad. It warmed up to a balmy 9 degrees today here in SF. And it is supposed to get up to 15 tomorrow. Enjoy the weather while you can.