Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Luxor, Sunday, August 12, 2012 continued
I forgot to mention, that on the way to the Valley of the Kings, we passed Carter’s headquarters that is open for visits….maybe next time.
So, after lunch it was off to the Temple of Karnak.
Luxor is a lot cleaner than Cairo, but it also doesn’t have the same crowds.
We passed the Winter Palace where many rich and famous people have stayed. It was gorgeous.
As we passed Luxor temple, I couldn’t help but notice a McDonalds on the other side of it. Almost seems sac religious.
Karnak is awesome. It covers a lot of area (if memory serves me 200 acres). It was built and added on to by many dynasties. Each addition seemed to be bigger than the last.
Graham said it reminded him of the 21st hall of Moria from Lord of the Rings. If it wasn’t so hot outside, I could have stayed for hours.
Dogs laid in the doorway of the temple. Sayed said they were the guards at night…I think he was kidding.
We passed through the walkway of Ram/Sphinxes to get into the temple. Back in ancient times, this Ram walkway went for miles between Luxor temple and Karnak temple.
We walked through a forest of tall columns. The tops of the middle columns were shaped liked open lotus flowers, representing the Nile and life. The columns at the side were closed lotus’.
We saw obelisks (one whose twin is in Washington) and amazing hyperstyle hall. So many wonderful details and things to see at Karnak. There are even carvings of a face that looks exactly like Obama (Obama thought so too). That face apparently is a sign for power.
Sayed showed us a scarab beetle by the pool. He said there is a legend that if you run around it three times and make a wish, it will come true.
The boys and I ran around. I ran around it three times twice.
Sayed gave us free time to roam around the temple, then next it was off to Luxor Temple.
There is another part of the avenue of Rams leading up to this temple.
Luxor Temple is much smaller than Karnak but is still really interesting. It is made up of so many different time periods and even has Christian paintings in it from later periods.
In the front is one obelisk. Its twin ended up being given as a gift to France, who gave the Egyptians a broken clock in return. (which is still at the Citadel in Cairo). The clock still doesn’t work.
When you first enter the temple, you cannot miss a whole lot of huge statues of Ramses II. A number of them lost their heads in the earthquake in the early times just before BC became AD. The reason why those heads fell off so perfectly at the neck was because originally those statues were of other pharaohs, but Ramses had their heads removed and his put in their place (after all, in Ramses mind, one can never have enough statues of Ramses). So there was a weakness where they had reattached Ramses heads, so when the earthquake hit, they broke off at the neck.
There was also a pretty hefty phallic symbol carving in the back part of the temple. The male member is a lot darker than the parts around it because people keep rubbing it for help with fertility.
Totally exhausted (but happy), we all went back to the boat. We watched the sun go down from the sun deck along with a lovely couple and their daughter from Maryland.
Graham was so tired, he didn’t do supper.
We packed up because we were to leave for Hurghada the next morning.