Day 9 - Luxor and Karnak Temple
Daytime High - 49 C
It has been a busy last few days between travel and visits...so I apologize for the lack of postings, especially since it is difficult to get wi-fi while on board a sailboat!!! Vince has been diligent in writing the blog in word pad, so please scroll through and see the last few days (if you haven't already). I have given him a much-deserved writing break and decided to do a few postings!
We awoke from the feluca wide eyed and bushy tailed at the crack of sunrise. You try sleeping through Ra as he blasts his rays of light on your face...even through my eye patch I couldn't escape the sun...and with the sun, came that ever lasting feeling that you could fry an egg on my forehead...my god is the sun smoking hot here.
On another note, I am not the best Morning Person, in fact, I always care to describe myself as an "Afternoon Person" when asked: I am at my prime somewhere between noon and 3pm...after that, all you get is an ornery, stubborn b*tch. Needless to say, you can imagine how P.O.'ed I was when I opened my eyes to view the glorious sunrise, that I had positioned myself to see the evening before, and all I can see is a big, wide fleshy back.
Turns out, Vince, who had slept perpendicular to me and about 5 feet away, had somehow in the middle of the night slugged his way over to me and decided to lie right in front of my view. After a few whacks on the back (why should I move??? I was there first!) he moved forward a few feet so that I could enjoy the sunrise from my prone position as well.
*Editors Note: Sherrill was especially ornery in the morning since they fired up the generators to start cooking, so there was no way she could sleep in.
After the sunrise, we got up for some breakfast (bread) and passed our Captain who was still smoking his sheesha. Pretty sure he had smoked it all night and that it was now welded to his lips. We waved goodbye to our felucas and set off by vehicle to the famous city of Luxor!!!
Once in Luxor, we immediately headed to the Karnak Temple. It was early in the morning, and it was already hot - at 8:00 am the town clock read 42 C. We asked our Tour Leader to not let us know how hot it was...we were going to slug through it, but nothing diminishes the spirits then to know that you took years off your brain from frying it in the sun for a 3,500 year old temple.
The Karnak Temple was amazing. Built for the King of all Gods - Amun Ra, it is a huge complex of structures comprising of artifacts that were built over multiple generations (30 Pharaohs I believe?). What is especially cool is that some of the oldest sections of the temple still has the original paint showing on the walls and columns. You can almost teleport your mind back 3500 years and envision a glorious temple structure, filled with colors and carvings. It was great.
Gates of Karnak
Karnak Temple - Note the Vivid Colors UNDER the roof (original)
S&V in Front of the Obelisk
I have also always said that my history lessons have come mainly from movies (Troy, Gladiator, Naked Gun, etc), and I would like to point out that I believe the Karnak Temple was depicted in Dreamwork's "Prince of Egypt" animated cartoon...check it out! (that and "The Mummy")...
After wandering around this vast complex in the scorching sun and learning only a fraction of its teachings, we encountered "The Scarab". The Legend of the Scarab is that if you walk around it 7 times counter clockwise, your wish will come true. Vince, ever the opportunist, immediately starts thinking of "the best" wish to wish for - you know, the one that starts off with "I wish for 1000 wishes", etc. We then start moving around the scarab - and start realizing that some people are INSANE...there are some guys running and sprinting around this thing - meanwhile, my wish is just "I wish I don't get heat stroke while I walk around in the 49 degree sun..." and wouldn't you know it - it worked! I managed to complete my seven turns without getting heat stroke...while I be dammed...maybe there is something to the legend...
Vince around the Scarab - I am scared to see what he wished for...
At dusk, we crossed the Nile to the West Bank to start our second camel adventure. This time, we were taking the camels into the villages and farmlands. It was peaceful and a great opportunity to see village life, but nothing screams "tourist" more than riding a camel passed someone's house...needless to say, I am finetuning my camel riding skills in the event it becomes an Olympic Sport.
Vince on the Camel
Sherrill - Pro-Rider in Camel Sport!
The evening ended with a walk around the Luxor Temple - directly in town, I was half expecting a Las Vegas style hotel with a big strobe on the top, but it was absolutely amazing. The temple was lit up with lights and illuminated at the columns. It was beautiful, and with the wind off the Nile, the "49 degree Celsius" heat was almost forgotten...well, almost...
Luxor Temple - at Night