Friday, February 16, 2018


I first became aware of Karnak through the James Bond film, the Spy Who Loved Me.

However, Karnak is an enormous temple and one of the real wonders of Egypt. Only Angkor Wat in Cambodia is larger. Over 30 Pharaohs contributed to the construction of Karnak.

The entry is lined with Sphinxes.

Inside one of the courtyards.

The right hand column has been left to show how the columns were constructed. What a great idea.

And then you enter the Great Hypostle Hall with 134 columns with some of them supporting architraves.

It's quite confusing wandering around the columns.

Cartouches are everywhere.

I think this scene depicts a successful growing season.

There are two obelisks outside.

At the bottom of one of the obelisks, Ramesses II sits watching the wall opposite him.

On the opposite wall are his defeated enemies tied up. A similar scene was in the Luxor Temple. This is common that the same story is repeated in many temples which is similar to stained glass windows and statues in Christian churches.

There are lots of tourists of all nationalities touring around but I continue to be intrigued by the young Japanese ladies who wear these long white dresses that have to be very difficult to keep clean. I suppose it is a fashion statement.

There is another granite obelisk that is lying down. Look how sharp the edges are and consider how long ago it was constructed.

It broke off near the base.

However it is now possible to get close to the carvings in the granite.

A result of the lack of tourists. Much of the restoration work has stopped.

Paintings visible under the architraves.

Looking west to the hills on the west side of the Nile. I was really impressed by Karnak.

It takes a while to sink in, but eventually you start to recognize patterns and when I get home I will look for a website that teaches how to read them.

We piled back onto the bus and headed off to Hurghada where we would stay for two nights at a resort by the Red Sea prior to heading back to Cairo.

Egypt seems to grow a lot of sugar and here is a sugar train that runs on a very narrow gauge.

The journey by the Nile to Qena is very slow with lots of afternoon traffic and speed bumps every mile or so. There are also police inspection barriers at each town or major intersection.

A donkey for Marianne.

Eventually we left the Nile valley and headed east across the desert.

In places the road is built up above the desert floor to stop sand encroaching onto the highway. Incidentally, the road was a proper freeway with two lanes in each direction. 

There was even a railway line but it looked like it hadn't been used for years. 

We arrived at Hurghada about 8 pm and had a pretty good buffet dinner. Beer and very ordinary wine are available free. Our entertainment after dinner was a fire eating performance which was good but once you have seen one fire eater I suspect you have seen them all.

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