Egypt - Present of the Nile
A journey to Egypt is a journey to the cradle of our culture. Egypt has left the highest ethical and intellectual achievements as an heir to the world.
The imposing buildings from the early cultures excite deep respect with every traveler certainly today.
The countryside at the nile turns just the same like the fascinating world of the Middle Eastern markets
Starting point of our journey is Luxor which is built up on the remains of the former capital Theben. Shortly after we have set up each other in the cubicles of our ship, the journey starts up the nile. First mooring is the little place Esna. After a short walk by the bazaar we reach the temple of Khnum. It had been spilled almost completely by the centuries. It has been dug up again now. Flower motives at the capitals show the elegance and imagination of the former artists. By the nile sluice we go to Edfu. By a horse-drawn carriage we come to the Horus temple. The temple is regarded as the best received one in Egypt. One can most likely think himself back here to the old days. The ceilings are blackened by the soot of the campfires which were lit by cattle guardians with their herds.
The double temple of Kom-Ombo is located directly on the shore. It is dedicated to both the crocodile God Sobek and the falcon God Haroeris.
In a chamber crocodile mummiesis are issued.
On the third day we reach Aswan in the south of the country. We go by bus to visit the granite quarries with the unfinished obelisk. It would have become the highest of its type with 42 meters which prevented its raising if rips hadn't formed before the completion.With a felucca we go to the Kitchener island to admire the unusual botany which was laid out by a British Lord.
The ascent to the Aga Khan mausoleum provides us with a lovely look over Aswan and the desert being located in reach. After this we go for the inspection of the "big dam" and further to the island of Agilkia which we reach with the motorboat. The Philae temple is located here.
It is dedicated to the goddess Isis. We spend the sundown on the Terasse of the "Old cataract hotel". We experience a wonderful composition of colors, the dark blue of the nile, the replete green of the shore and the warm yellow of the desert.
The 290 km long journey by the desert to Abu Simbel starts early in the morning the next day. The sunrise is lovely in the desert and we experience even a Fata Morgana later.
The gigantic rock temple is an impressive sight. Rameses II has had it built completely from the rock. This is unique for the temples in Egypt. The same style was used also for the smaller temple. It was built in honor of Nefertari which was the favorite woman of Rameses. It is dedicated to the goddess Hathor.
Deeply inside the large temple we see four statues in a sedentary attitude. They are lit up by the sun only twice in the year.
In the evening of this day we start the journey back to Luxor with the ship certainly. The next day we leave our ship and go to a well-appointed hotel.
We then can find out Luxor and its historical surroundings from here.
Luxor offers the greatest collection of historical buildings in Egypt.
The Luxor temple with its enormous columned halls was dedicated to the God Amun. It offers primarily a marvelous sight at night. It is connected to the temple complex of Karnak over a three kilometers long sphinx avenue. By different Pharaohs this plant was replaced and extended. It is dedicated to Amon Ra. We enter the first temple section by a rams avenue and a great pylon. We further go by a columned hall with 122 columns.
They are 16 meters high and marked with hieroglyphics and offer an overwhelming impression. Also the obelisks, the gigantic scarab and the remaining shrines are overwhelming.
A special experience is the sound and light show in the evening. It is also offered in English.
With the ferry we cross the nile to Theben west.
At the Memnon giants we stop briefly.
Our journey then goes to the valley of the kings. The Pharaohs were buried here in richly adorned graves.
It was tried to protect the graves from grave robbers.
Unfortunately, many graves were looted already at this time. Fame attained the grave of Tutankhamun which was discovered by Howard Carter in 1922 and which was still intact.
If one sees which treasures were enclosed in the grave of this young, insignificant Pharaoh, one can suspect which riches must have been contained in the burial chambers of the great pharaohs.
The valley of the nobility and the valley of the queens also holds remarkable graves. We find the most beautiful wall paintings in the valley of the craftsmen. The paintings seem so fresh as if the artist had finished his work only a few days ago.
The mortuary temple of the Hatschepsut in Deir El Bahri is situated in front of a steep rock face. She was the daughter of Tutmosis I and ruled for over 20 years.
The temple was scenery for the performance of the opera Aida of Verdi at one of my visits. It was a breathtaking performance with international artists before this architectural masterpiece at which president Mubarak was present also with his family.
We still make an excursion to the Ramesseum on the way back to the hotel. It is the mortuary temple of Rameses II. The next hold is Medineth-Habu, set up by Rameses III.
The end of this fascinating journey by the history takes place for us in Hurghada which we achieve by bus convoy by the desert. At the warm, clear water of the red sea we let work the impressions of the last days.
Certainly this won't have been my last stay in this country so steeped in history.