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Stairmaster tour - west bank of the Nile

Man, this trip is work. This morning it was a 6 am wakeup call and 7 am on the bus. By 9 am we'd already made it to the Valley of the Kings (tombs of Ramses 1, 2 , and 3) and were on our way to Queen Hapshepsut's Temple (see picture). Then it was the Valley of the Queens (tombs of Amen Khopshef and Queen Titi) and after LUNCH we're going to Karnak. Jesus. All the stairs are evil and are killing Jason. Tonight we're catching the _sleeper_ train (asked early enough this time) to Cairo. We should have a little downtime before we leave; J will be spending it with his foot elevated while I go buy some appliqued pillowcases next door. Seriously, we're seeing a year's worth of sites in a day.picture.jpg

Last night we went to the temple of Luxor, which was one of the coolest places we've been to since we got here. We'd finally made it to a proper "old old" temple (even though, I think, it was "New Kingdom"), not the "new old" of the Greek/Roman (Ptolemaic?) era temples we saw earlier in the day. The pillars were swollen at the bottom and capped with closed lotuses; the heiroglyphs were more angular and energetic, somehow. In front were giant statues carved from single blocks of granite, as was the obelisk (twin of the one at Place de la Concorde). Oddly, there was a (thousand year old) mosque tucked inside behind the left front wall. In the back, behind a Roman emperor cult building, were series of carvings of sacrifices: bound ibex, oryx, cattle; and scenes featuring the one-armed god of fertility, whose "member" was burnished by the many hands of women hoping to get pregnant. The thousand year difference between this temple and the ones we'd seen earlier were noticable; it [text lost here, need to add in later]
was old, at night. I just wish we could go back today and sketch for a while ...

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( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
robot_mel
Jan. 25th, 2008 12:55 pm (UTC)
Queen Hapshepsut is Bill's favorite!

We are very jealous!
thewronghands
Jan. 25th, 2008 03:01 pm (UTC)
Mine too. I read a book on her when I was eight or so, and it made a lasting impression. I did the grownup version in my Archaeology of Egypt class in college.

This part of your tour totally sounds worth the discomfort of getting there; how fantastic. Thanks for sharing.
oldmangrumpus
Jan. 25th, 2008 02:35 pm (UTC)
Who's the clown at right?

Well, if you liked Luxor, Karnak should make you flip. I look forward to your impressions.

The first time I stayed in Luxor the hotel was right next to the Temple; it really is centrally located (they did tell you the mosque was built prior to excavation, right?)
irrationalrobot
Jan. 25th, 2008 04:49 pm (UTC)
This trip sounds pretty darned great. The last time I saw the Luxor, they had "Margaritas by the yard" for something like $5.00. Viva!
oldmangrumpus
Jan. 25th, 2008 05:00 pm (UTC)
You do know you're a snot, right?
webcowgirl
Jan. 28th, 2008 11:25 am (UTC)
The clown on the right was one of my fellow tour members. I think he was about to walk in front of the camera and then was like, "Whoa, sorry about that!"

No, we didn't get much info about the mosque.

What hotel did you stay at? It wasn't the winter palace, was it?

Edited at 2008-01-28 11:25 am (UTC)
oldmangrumpus
Jan. 28th, 2008 09:06 pm (UTC)
The Mosque of Abu Hagg - the "hanging mosque" - predates excavation of the Temple of Luxor, and was actually the center of an old celebration which is a survival of the carrying of the solar boat from Karnak to Luxor.

I'm not sure what the name of the hotel was, but whatever it was, I stayed in a hotel that was right next to the Temple of Luxor - I think- to the east of it. I DO remember being east of the temple, though there may have been a Mosque in the way....
irrationalrobot
Jan. 25th, 2008 04:48 pm (UTC)
Queen Titti? AWESOME
webcowgirl
Jan. 27th, 2008 11:21 am (UTC)
so many bad things
And the menu at the restaurant last night had a "cock menu available" and some dessert that had "chopped penis" or something as a filling.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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