Part three: Temples of Luxor and KarnakMay 15, 2019 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 40 °C
After the Valley of the Kings, we headed back to the boat to rest up and eat as it was very hot - 40 degrees by then. The first stop was the Temple of Luxor, started by by Amenhotep II in 1400BC, and continued by Rameses II. It is an amalgamation of many cultures, with Egyptian, Roman, Muslim and Christian influences. One big feature is the large obelisk on the left as you enter. The identical twin was taken from here, and we have seen it years before - it is at the Place de la Concorde in Paris, apparently a gift by the ruler of Ottoman Egypt in 1833. There is a big statue of king Rameses II here which is very impressive. There is a long avenue of sphinxes leading toward the Temple of Karnak 3km away.
From Luxor we went to the Temple of Karnak. This is a shrine to Amun-Ra, the supreme god of Egypt, and is a huge area. There is a 3km Avenue towards the Temple of Luxor, and they are in the slow process of restoring it. The avenue of sphinxes here are different, in that instead of a human head on the lion’s body, there is a ram’s head. There is another impressive obelisk here, dedicated to Queen Hatshepsut, who crowned herself Pharoah of upper and lower Egypt. The carving of the hieroglyphs on this is so precise and clear, it could have been laser cut recently! The obelisks are fascinating, in that they are cut in a single block from the ground, horizontally, and lifted into place by a series of sand and mud ramps. Amazing!
By now ‘twas 43 degrees, and we all, including our guide Hany who is fasting for Ramadan had had enough, and headed back to the delicious airconditioned boat...Read more