We woke up today at 6am to get to the Luxor Temples before the crowds. Our tour company is “Contiki”… so our motto on the trip was to get to the sights before “Antiki” (get it?) lol
Our first stop was the Temple of Horus in Edfu.
It was built in 200BC and is the most well-preserved temple in Egypt because it was covered in sand for nearly 2,000 years.
See the ‘windows’ carved into the sides? These didn’t used to be there. In 300AD, when Christianity was starting to boom, people moved into the temple and cut holes for sunlight.
The temple is really deep, there are several rooms leading down a long hallway.
At the end of the hallway, was a granite shrine that originally housed a boat that would take the god once a year to the courtyard where the people could have a look.
Here is a depiction of carrying the god out of the temple.
Don’t these look like they were just carved yesterday? It’s amazing.
When people moved inside the temple in 300AD, the Egyptian religion had long been forgotten. The new religious dwellers scratched the images of the old gods off the walls.
But even though the faces of the gods are gone, the stories scratched into the walls remain.
Written here is a long play that the people could read.
Back on the boat, we enjoyed another relaxing day of lounging, reading, blogging and sleeping.
Midday, our boats passed through some locks in the River. Because of the Dams, the water level changes and you have to go through like the Panama Canal.
It’s a slow process and as we waited, kids swim along the boat and throw empty film canisters onboard. They want you to put money in it and throw it back to them.
It’s so sad because they are so poor.
In the afternoon, they had teatime on the ship.
In the evening, we went to a Papyrus shop and learned how they make it.
We drove back along the Nile and saw the Valley of the Kings all lit up! (We’re heading to there tomorrow!)
Our next stop was Luxor Temple, built by Ramses II.
The focal point was the pink granite obelisk in front. There used to be two, but the second one was given to France as a gift.
Recently discovered was a two mile row of Sphinxes connecting Luxor Temple to Karnack Temple. One by one they are restoring them.
Inside, the temple was breathtaking.
Since it had been buried under sand for nearly 2,000 years, it was very well preserved. No one knew it was even there, and they continued to build on top of it in the 13th century. When they excavated, they left the Mosque above the temple walls.
On the left, up above, you can see the original door!
There was also lots of color preserved here as well.
Me and Ramses II.
I wonder how many more buried temples and treasures they’ll find in the next hundred years. This stuff is amazing!
Stay tuned for the Valley of the Kings, King Tut and Karnack!
And don’t forget to enter the contest!