A wake-up call, breakfast and then out to see a couple of temples on the East side of the Nile. First stop was Karnak Temple. The walk from the visitor centre to the temple had been made spectacular with open paved space from the Nile to the Pylons. Lighting had also been placed in the tiles in a long strip to the temple. But…. as George commented, the temple is thousands of years old and much is still standing, the modern tiled area, perhaps 20 years old, was already falling to pieces. The day was cloudy as well, so no beautiful blue skies to set the monuments off.
The columns were magnificent, as were the needles. We liked the ‘spreadsheet’ (of numbers of offerings) where the columns were added up, and then there was also the grand total. Lotus and Microsoft eat your hearts out, spreadsheets were invented a long time ago.
Rosemary liked the graffiti on the columns; old graffiti is good and historical, while modern graffiti is a scourge. She started googling the names when she was back on the boat. Examples were 1850, K.Wroblewski; 1857, F.C.Drake; 1804, John Gordon; A.L Corry (she’d hoped for an “H Carter Wos ‘Ere” type one, but no). Another observation was the graffiti was always high up, out of modern-day reach, a testament to the sand which used to cover the site and has since been removed. You could also see on many monuments the lack of vandalism by the Romans at low levels, but higher up, the chipped out faces. Again the sand protected the lower levels of the monuments.
Back on to the coach and a short drive to The Temple of Luxor. On the way, we made a short detour to see the Papyrus Institute, a short demo of Papyrus making, and then the hard sell of art painted on Papyrus. We resisted.
At Luxor, there was a long alleyway lined with sphinxes going in the direction of Karnak. Originally, the two temples had been joined together by a 2 Kilometre sphinx-lined alleyway.
Outside the pylons of the Temple was a row of colossal statues of pharaohs, even now a new one was being restored and rebuilt. Inside the temple was a Mosque which had been build on top of the temple. It looked incongruous so high up. Again this was because of the sand which had entirely filled the temple at some stage. The entry to the mosque was from higher ground on the street side of the temple. After renovation began, it was decided the mosque could stay.
Lunch beckoned, amazing how hungry one gets with regular feeding. We arrived back for lunch, and the Misr immediately set sail for Edfu. We apparently passed through the Esna Lock on the way. This must have happened when we were partying because I never saw it.
Another lecture by George Hart this time ” An Artist on the Nile: The legacy of David Roberts”.
Dinner, a good Egyptian buffet, was after the fun of everyone dressing up in their Egyptian costume of Galabyia for the Crew Show. There was some dancing and embarrassing photographs were taken. R had said when I booked the trip that she could already feel a headache coming on for that night.
Finally there was also a quiz evening on Egyptian history, sadly our group did not win, despite the best endeavours of our note taking American.