There are three kinds of intelligence: one kind understands things for itself, the other appreciates what others can understand, the third understands neither for itself nor through others. This first is excellent, the second good, and the third useless.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Egypt - Luxor

A tourist Mecca but so so beautiful. Here the Nile is thick and lush, you can sit on a felucca an watch the kingfishers dive. Nature just thrives around the riverbanks, it’s simply gorgeous.
My favourite moment here was sitting in a felucca, having a traditional Egyptian lunch and watching the sunset. It’s almost a relief to watch the sun fall to the horizon line, and you breath a sigh of relief as the heat suddenly subsides, replaced by the warm, but bearable, still night air. It was hear that I had my dragonfly encounter. The Nile has the most awesome collection of dragonflies you could possibly imagine, they are huge. I was lucky enough to have one land right on my arm. Apparently letting it crawl all over me made me very brave.. right. I was also lucky enough to have my camera next to me so I hurriedly took a picture before it flew off. Turned out to be the best damned picture of the entire holiday!

The suset was simply stunning as well, all kinds of burnt hues filled the sky as the sun fell.

If I could ever recommend one place to go in Egypt it would be Luxor.

Valley of the Kings,
The Egyptian belief that "To speak the name of the dead is to make him live again" is certainly carried out in the building of the tombs. The king's names and titles are inscribed in his tomb along with his images and statues. These catacombs were harder to rob and were more easily concealed. Construction usually lasted six years, beginning with the new reign. The text in the tombs are from the Book of the Dead, the Book of the Gates and the Book of the Underworld. The tombs themselves are stifling and amazing, cut into living rock they follow the pattern of three corridors, an antechamber and a sunken sarcophagus chamber. Inside the air is hot and still, but despite being terribly uncomfortable, you cannot help but be awestruck by the sheer feat that building them must have take.

Traversing the valley on a donkey.

Karnak Temple
Ancient temples were considered to be the residence of the god. The Karnak temple was the dwelling place of Amon-Re, his wife Mut and their son Khonsu, the moon god. Construction continued on this temple for more than two millennia under the belief that once building ceased, the temple "died." This temple was my favourite, it’s huge and imposing and excellently cared for. The huge walls of hieroglyphics really bring home just how skilled the ancient builders of the past must have been.


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