Egypt
Ma‘bad al Karnak

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13 travelers at this place

  • Day6

    Will this day end?

    March 9, 2020 in Egypt ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    So we had a very early start - up by 3am, off to the airport at 4pm for the 7am flight to Luxor where we are to join a cruise on the Nile for the next 4 days. So far so good... arrived in Luxor about 10am and as our boat not ready until 1pm, we visited the Karnak and Luxor temples.

    Karnak temple complex is very impressive, especially the massive decorated columns - there are 134 of then, most around 10 metres tall while another dozen are 21 metres tall. Many of the large wall paintings depict stories about people from ancient Egyptian times and it was amazing to see how well preserved they are considering they are thousands of years old.

    The Luxor temple complex was constructed mainly under Amenhotep III & Rameses II, added to by Tutankhamun & others. The front gate has many statues of Rameses and there are several obelisks which really serve the same purpose as a church cross on top of the building or tower, or a minaret on a mosque.

    From here things went a little pear shaped. We headed back to the ship for what was supposed to be a late lunch. Unfortunately, the presence of coronavirus on another Nile cruise ship has meant screening for the virus on other cruise boats. So, back into Luxor while the tour director is hastily trying to organise lunch for us. We finally got lunch at around 3.30pm after not really having anything much to eat all day. Finally we were able to board around 5pm and we all had our temperature taken and a small sample had swabs taken to see if the virus was present.

    After Egypt we go to Jordan (and then Turkey), but some of the tour group were supposed to go to Israel after Jordan. This portion of the tour has now been cancelled. Still going to Jordan at this stage but borders are being closed or restricted every day. No news on Turkey yet but there is a risk they may deny us entry there. Shall cross that bridge if we come to it.
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  • Day2

    Hello Egypt

    January 6, 2020 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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  • Day9

    5th tour day - Karnak temple

    January 16, 2019 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 8 °C

    Es gibt weltweit einige wenige antike Bauwerke, die ausnahmslos jeden Besucher, beim ersten Anblick in atemloses Staunen versetzen.

    Dazu zähle ich beispielsweise das Colosseum in Rom, Ankor Wat bei Siem Reap oder die Pyramiden von Gizeh. Das vierte historische Bauwerk das in dieser Aufzählung fehlt, haben wir heute besucht - den Amun-Re Tempel von Karnak!

    Bis zur römischen Kaiserzeit im dritten Jahrhundert n. Chr. wurde immer wieder daran umgebaut und erweitert. Es gäbe unzählige, interessante Informationen über die größte Tempelanlage Ägyptens zu berichten, aber ich möchte heute nur über den Teil erzählen, der mich persönlich am meisten fasziniert - die große Säulenhalle!

    Ich kann mich noch sehr genau an die ersten Bilder dieses "architektonischen Wunders" längst vergangener Zeiten erinnern - das war vor mehr als 40 Jahren in Kornwestheim, bei einem Kinobesuch des James Bond Films "Der Spion der mich liebte", mit Roger Moore in der Rolle des Geheimagenten Ihrer Majestät. Schon damals als Jugendlicher, wollte ich unbedingt einmal diesen "Säulenwald" sehen - mittlerweile hatte ich das Glück, drei Mal die gewaltige Tempelanlage besuchen zu dürfen!

    Vor rund 3300 Jahre wurde mit dem Bau der einzigartigen Halle begonnen. In ihr stehen 134 Papyrus-Säulen ( ein in der altägyptischen Architektur weit verbreiteter Säulentyp, der eine Papyruspflanze darstellen soll ) mit über 20 Meter Höhe, die früher ein Holzdach getragen haben.

    Ob man sich nun für die längst vergangene Pharaonenzeit interessiert oder nicht, einmal durch den Wald aus Säulen zu laufen, bleibt in lebenslanger Erinnerung!
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  • Day30

    Day 29: Ballooning & Karnak Temple

    April 3, 2011 in Egypt ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    Super early start this morning, as we did a hot air balloon ride over the city at dawn! Amazing experience and very smooth - I was expecting it to feel unstable or perhaps even a little unsafe, but it's honestly like riding an elevator! We drifted eastwards over the Nile and then over the city proper, eventually landing in a small field - the captain joked whether we wanted an American landing (smooth), or an Egyptian landing (plonk)! Thankfully it was pretty smooth.

    The rest of the day was spent at Karnak Temple, which is the largest and best-preserved of all the ancient temples. It's absolutely enormous, and still in pretty good shape which is nice! But at this point it had been several straight days of ancient temples, and as beautiful and amazing as they are, it was definitely time for a break. Which was exactly what we were getting!

    Late in the evening we boarded an overnight train bound for Cairo, where we would pick up a minibus to Alexandria the following morning.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Ma‘bad al Karnak, Ma`bad al Karnak, معبد الكرنك