A 29-day adventure by skip's retirement travel
  • Day15

    El Alamein

    April 23 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    The site of the major battle of WW II where Rommel's advance across north Africa was stopped by the British army under Montgomery. The pictures are taken at the memorial cemetery.
    The 1st 4 are of different parts of the main portion of the memorial and cemetery. The 5th picture looks across to the separate Australian memorial. The last looks out over what had been a part of the battlefield, now with buildings developed.
    This area is developing rapidly as I'm told that current Egyptian President al Sisi será Alamein developing to be "the Dubai of Egypt." In fact, mist of the way from Alexandria to Alamein is developing, looking like it wants to the "Riviera of Egypt "
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  • Day14

    Montazah Palace

    April 22 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    This is one of the royal palaces of Egypt, last used by the last king of Egypt, Farouk, who abdicated in 1952. For centuries, Alexandria has been a favorite summer retreat for wealthy Egyptians, royalty included. The palace is on high ground along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, east of downtown Alexandria. The buildings and much of the compound are under renovation, which is visible on most of the pictures. So access inside the buildings is closed.
    The 1st 2 pictures look at the main palace building from 2 sides that look toward the Sea. The 3rd & 4th look at bits of the gardens and park like setting of the palace complex. The last 2 are of the waterfront over which the palace looks.
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  • Day14

    Library of Alexandria

    April 22 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    This is a spectacular library with a museum below. It opened in 2002. While I knew that this is a modern, beautiful and hi tech library in it's own right, I kind of the expected some sort of remembrance of the ancient library. I did not see that, thought there are some manuscripts on display in the museum that are old enough (eg, picture 5).
    The 1st 2 pictures are of the main reading room. It really is that architecturally stunning. The 3rd picture is a replica of the Rosetta Stone that made translating hieroglyphs possible. 4th is an early gospel manuscript, and last is a coptic primer. Coptic is the language of Egypt prior to Arabic, and it is still used in the Coptic Orthodox Church.
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  • Day13

    Qsar Qaroun

    April 21 in Egypt ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Qsar Qaroun is a well preserved Ptolemaic temple, probably from the latter part of the 4th century BCE. Of particular interest is the solar alignment of the temple. On the winter solstice, the sun directly shines in and illuminates the holy of holies, shown with artificial light in the 2nd picture.
    The 1st picture is the entry gateway into the building that looks like a large sandstone box. The interior, pictures 3&4, is a warren of nooks, corridors, and underground storage spaces for valuables. The 5th picture is one of the few engravings here, this one of Sobek, the crocodile headed god. The last picture looks from the roof over the desert to the edge of the Fayoum oasis.
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  • Day13

    Wadi el Rayan

    April 21 in Egypt ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    A natural area 25 to 30 meters below sea level where a mix of agricultural drainage and springs (some sulphur) are formed into 2 man-made lakes. In between there is a waterfall that is said to be the largest in Egypt. The 1st 2 pictures look at the double waterfalls. The 3rd picture looks out from the top of the waterfalls toward the lower lake, while the 4th looks at a bit of the surrounding desert. In the 5th picture are a couple of natural formations sculpted by sand. The last is an information sign at the parkRead more

  • Day10

    Temple of Luxor

    April 18 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 37 °C

    Perhaps also known as the Precinct of Mut, part of the Karnak complex. Mut is the wife of Amum-Re (See post about Opet).
    The 1st 3 pictures are of the temple complex. The 3rd & 4th are of a bit of the decoration, with the 4th being some of the best preserved hieroglyphics. The last is Rameses II seated and is among the best preserved likenesses of Rameses the Great, as he is also known.Read more

  • Day10

    Opet

    April 18 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 36 °C

    Probably the most important annual festival celebrated in ancient Thebes (modern Luxor). This festival celebrated the rebirth of the son of Amun (ie, the pharoah) as a fertility rite and to reaffirm the pharoah's divine right to rule.
    The events consisted of the statue of Amum-Re being carried from the inner sanctuary out along the axis of Karnak (see another post), through the gate to a boat in the canal, then along the river to the Temple of Luxor (see another post). Then Amum-Re and Mut spend the time of the festival on an annual "honeymoon" as part of the fertility rite. At the end, the statue of Amum-Re is carried along the Avenue of the Sphinxes, about 3 km back to Karnak.
    There isn't much to show here as the festival is no more, and the statues are not here. However, the ancient Avenue of the Sphinxes has been rediscovered and is being restored. The 2 pictures look along the route from opposite ends, the former from the Temple of Luxor; the latter from Karnak. This is the direction Amum-Re is said to have traveled along this route on his way back home each year. In the latter picture, you can make out some of the sphinxes.
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  • Day10

    Karnak

    April 18 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 33 °C

    Considered the oldest, largest and most important temple in ancient Egypt. Construction is said to have begun about 2,000 BCE, with work continuing until near the end of the 4th century BCE. Each pharoah felt the need to add to or modify the temple to make their own statement. The temple is primarily dedicated to Amum-Re, the creator deity and chief god among the Egyptian gods.
    The temple is entered along what had been a canal up to an access marked by ram headed sphinxes (1st picture) with small statues of the pharoah between the forelegs (2nd picture) indicating that the pharoah was protected by Amun.
    The 3rd picture is in the large courtyard looking at statues along one side.
    The 4th picture looks from the sanctuary back along the main access, through the gates to the entry where the former canal came in.
    Probably the most famous part of the temple is the hypostyle hall. This consists of 134 columns, most about 15 meters tall and 3 meters in diameter. The most central pair are over 20 meters tall, creating a clerestory roof. The last 2 pictures are of the hypostyle hall, with a detail of part of the original roof and of some of the original paint
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  • Day9

    Collosi of Memnon

    April 17 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 37 °C

    The colossi are a pair of statues of pharoah Amenhotep III, dating to about 1350 BCE. These were originally placed as guardians at the gate of Amenhotep III's mortuary temple, some remains of which are visible in the background of the photos.Read more

  • Day9

    Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut

    April 17 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 36 °C

    This is the famous temple, dedicated to Amun, of Hatshepsut, the 2nd historically confirmed female pharoah to rule Egypt, reigning in the 1st half of the 16th century BCE. This is a unique and stunning temple. Unfortunately, it was defaced be her successor, Thutmose III.
    Each of the columns on the 2nd level had a statue of Hatshepsut. These were taken down and buried by Thutmose III, but they were found and some were restored. As this suggests, much of what we see today is a restoration.
    All the paintings, however, are original. The 5th picture is of a section of the original ceiling/roof in blue with golden stars.
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