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  • Day2

    Hello Egypt

    January 6 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    So this is a long entry. I’m mostly using this app as a personal diary and to let our mums know we are alive. But if you like reading lots - yalla!

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    After a massive number of hours, we have ARRIVED! A brief stopover in Cairo and we have made it to Luxor (locals say it more like Lure-xor).

    We met Medhat, our Egyptian local guide - we remember his name by saying Medicine Hat, and also Michelle. She is from Australia but lives in Cairo.

    As we were driving to our boat, Medhat taught us a few key words in Egyptian Arabic and started to learn all our names! At the moment I’m Gordon mostly - but that’s okay. We glimpsed Luxor temple as we drove on and I think I almost cried. It’s so surreal seeing the real deal! It’s almost strange how the modern city just exists around it. There are buildings, homes, shops literally next door to an ancient temple.

    Our cruise down the Nile started with boarding. There are approximately 10 ships lined up, side by side. To get to our boat (third boat in) you just walk the foyer of boats one and two. Straight through. They mostly line up with each other to create a crooked sort of hallway.

    Lunch. Delicious. Lots of little bits and pieces to enjoy. And then the best shower I’ve ever had. Or maybe after 36+ hours of travel any shower is amazing.

    There aren’t enough words to describe Karnak. I guess that’s why travel is so popular. You can’t describe how you feel walking up to something so overwhelming. It’s not just how big it is, or that it’s ancient or that it’s an incredible engineering feat - especially for an ancient city. We took a short bus trip from our boat to visit.

    I’d either forgotten, or just didn’t know, that Karnak is a bit of a smorgasbord for Egyptian history. It may have been started by Ramses II, but the walls were started (and not finished) by the last Pharaoh ever. Almost like everyone had a little go at adding to Karnak.

    There is something incredible about moving around in a place that had so much life in it. People, real people, spent years here making every single engraving, painting, crafting. And that’s almost eerie but mostly impressive.

    Our highlights:

    - seeing Shishak’s (spelling is 100% wrong) wall. This corroborates the Egyptian part of the story in which the Pharaoh helped Jereboham run away from Rehoboam and gave him shelter. The pharaoh then went and plundered Israel and Judah. One of the kartouches actually says “Megiddo”

    - we couldn’t believe there actually was some COLOUR on some of the hieroglyphs! Mostly it was the pieces that made up the roof, or out of the sun. But it was incredible to imagine the columns covered with bright paint

    - battle of Karnak wall. Classic. Love when Egyptians make themselves giant and then put their enemies in as tiny people underneath the chariot wheels. What a power move.

    - the sacred lake. Talk about a big romantic gesture. Seti I built a lake, in the desert, for his wife Tuya/Tiya. A lake! Apparently they would put little papyrus boats with little candles on the lake and watch them sail. Cuuuuuuttte.

    Dinner. Delirious. Rolled straight into bed. Sleep schedule is working (I think).

    Tomorrow we do Luxor temple and set sail along the Nile!
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