Delenda Est Carthago

Why not delve into a twisted mind? Thoughts on the world, history, politics, entertainment, comics, and why all shall call me master!

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

I plan on being the supreme dictator of the country, if not the world. Therefore, you might want to stay on my good side. Just a hint: ABBA rules!


Our Adventure in Egypt, Part Six: Karnak and Luxor

As you can tell, Saturday, 11 November, was a big day. So big I was foolish to think I could fit it into one post and not go insane. So after lunch on that day, we went to Karnak and Luxor temples. Holy crap, was Karnak cool. And huge. If you click on the link there, you can see an aerial picture showing how big it is. It was one of the highlights of the tour. Luxor wasn't as big, but it was still pretty neat. We got there at twilight, which lends our pictures of it some nice air of mystery, I think. I'm just going to put up pictures and comment about them, because they're so neat. Sound good?

The pylons marking the entrance.

Ram sphinxes along the entranceway.

Big-ass columns. That's me and our guide, Mourad, behind us.

Guys like this were ubiquitous at the sites. They would lurk around, offer to take your picture, or tell you something "secret" about the site. And then expect a tip. Krys and I became very good at avoiding them. In another section of Karnak, Krys was wandering around in a relatively secluded area when the group that had also been in there and was distracting the old men left. I rushed over to Krys and told her it was red alert - we needed to get out of there, as it was a cul-de-sac and we were trapped! Luckily, another group came in, and we sneaked out unnoticed. It was all very cloak-and-dagger!

More context to show how big these freakin' columns are. My wife is wee!

I took this picture because we were amazed by the older Russian women. Not "old," just middle-aged, I guess. So many of them had that magenta-tinted hair. In fact, whenever we saw women with magenta-tinted hair, they were invariably Russian (or, I guess, Slavic). What the hell? It was strange, and should be the subject of some sociological experiment.

This is Min, the god of fertility. You'll notice he's, um, very happy to be featured on a column!

I have mentioned that at every site, a bunch of merchants set up shop. This is a typical example. Unlike a lot of other sites, however, you didn't need to go by them to get to Karnak. So that was nice.

I love this sign at the ticket booth. If you can't read it, the windows are for "foreigners" or "f. students," which means, I guess, foreign students. Are Egyptians not welcome at Karnak? That's awfully bizarre.

It was getting late in the day, but we pushed on to Luxor temple, which is right downtown and not that big, so we decided to visit that day instead of the next morning, because if we missed it the next morning, that meant we could sleep in! So we drove to the temple, and I noticed some strange street signs. In sections of town, you could not, apparently, use your horn - the signs had horns with lines through them. That was easy enough, but some signs were triangular with an exclamation point on them. I have no idea what that meant! Suggestions would be most welcome.

We got to Luxor as the sun was setting, about 4.30 or so in the afternoon. It's a nice temple, but not as impressive as Karnak. Still, lots of pictures. Soak them up!

Every Egyptian temple has pylons like these at the entrance. Some have statues in front of them, some don't.

This is kind of neat. Sand from the desert covered up the temple for centuries, and no one knew there was anything there. So the Muslims built a mosque on top of it. That was originally the front of the mosque, but since they uncovered the temple, it's been moved to the other side, and the back of the mosque is now way up there. There are a lot of buildings like this in Egypt, where the sand gets everywhere and builds up a lot. So people were always building stuff on top of other stuff. This is just a dramatic example.

We left Luxor and headed back to the boat. Along the way we saw many, many busses. Mourad told us that the tourists come to Luxor from the Red Sea, across the desert and the mountains, and they have to travel in packs, with police escort. Not for the first time, we were very glad that we were in a small group (if four people can even be considered a group) and that we weren't on a bus a lot. The coast was about four hours away, and this was getting on to six o'clock, so these people had an even longer day than we had!

That night we collapsed. The next morning we left Luxor on our boat. Sunday was nice and lazy. We enjoyed it. But that's the next post!

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Blogger Nik said...

Man, I wish my name was Karnak.

Nice pics!

11/12/06 1:14 PM  
Blogger Thomas said...

Officially. Jealous.

11/12/06 8:29 PM  

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