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by Viv

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I'm here because it's a place where I want to be.

What do I do with my life - still pondering that, keep exploring the possibilities I suppose...

I do have another more personal moblog Vivupclose

Take a look at my daughter Beth's website...

food for thought...

Everyone, in some small sacred sanctuary of the self, is nuts. -Leo Rosten, author (1908-1997)

We think caged birds sing, when indeed they cry. -John Webster, playwright (c. 1580-1634)

There are two kinds of light -- the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures. -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)

The artist brings something into the world that didn't exist before, and he does it without destroying something else. -John Updike, writer (1932-2009)

Some people become so expert at reading between the lines they don't read the lines. -Margaret Millar, novelist (1915-1994)

There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. -Elie Wiesel, writer, Nobel laureate (b. 1928)

from A.Word.A.Day with Anu Garg

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Temple of Hatshepsut the only female pharoah.

Think we did our visit in the wrong order I would have been more engaged if we had started here, then Valley of the Kings, (where you are not allowed to take photographs) and saved Karnak which was by far the best until last.

Looking at the website below, I can see that I should have looked closer at the statues. What was amazing was how modern it looked. Pictures of the hills around show caves which are also tombs.
14th Mar 2012, 16:56   | tags:comments (0)

Karnak Temple

Unfortunately I misuderstood the guide and thought we had stopped for toilets. The bus had to come back to bring my sun cream and insulin and in my rush to get them (worried about keeping people waiting) I left my camera on the bus.So any pictures I post here are from friends.
The temple is really quite amazing.
1. Is looking back at the sphinx avenue leading up to the temple.
13th Mar 2012, 12:09   comments (7)

Luxor - Sphinx alley & Karnak

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Only recently recovered and renovated I just got the view from the right hand side of the bus. My friend took the one to the left where many more sphinx remain.

The Kabash path connects the vast Karnak temple in ancient Thebes to the Luxor Temple.

It marks a route that ancient Egyptians promenaded along once a year carrying the statues of the deities Amun and Mut in a symbolic re-enactment of their marriage.

Amun was ancient Egypt's supreme god king, while Mut was a goddess worshipped as a mother.

The road was later used by the Romans and is believed to have been renovated by Cleopatra, the fabled Ptolemaic queen who left her cartouche - an inscribed hieroglyphic bearing her name - at the temple in Luxor.

Read more:

The bottom picture is the view across the road from the Karnak car park - note how quiet it is - I think it might be tourists only.

The journey from Qena to Luxor - security

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Each town has police men with guns in boxes, some high like this, a police security post and serious traffic bumps to make sure you can't speed past them. The roads to the villages are protected too by policeman often not in uniform, but still with guns as in the last picture.

Barbara's (slightly edited) comments on this...
There are chicanes built into the route so that everything has to slow down in order to pass through, and of course there were guards with guns, some even in turret type of brick built watchtowers on very spindly legs. Most of the cross roads and bridges were guarded by armed policemen both in uniform and native dress..
All the time extra traffic joined the road and by the time we reached the outskirts of Luxor the convoy included wagons with crates of caged chickens, huge trailers with sugar cane,lorries heaving with tomatoes and aubergines amongst everything else you could imagine. Our progress became slower and slower until, at a large " roundabout" we had to peel off into Luxor itself. Here we were engulfed by local traffic consisting of men on phutphut bikes,donkey carts and the most amazing horse and carriage taxi system. All black/ dark leather very shiny and brightly polished with amazing chrome work decoration.( you know don't you that the Elizabethans thought the dark Romany people came from Egypt and that's why they were called "Gypsies") just like the gypsy caravans travelling up to Appleby Fair!
It wasn't an organised roundabout just horns blaring, men shouting and postulating really more like mayhem than anything you can think of. Fortunately our driver knew the road, or just closed his eyes..... Whatever , we were round and on our way once more. Still very slow though.

After 5 hours travelling we arrived at the Temple at Karnak.
12th Mar 2012, 00:57   comments (6)

The journey from Qena to Luxor... 9.58- 10.15

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There were lots of these colourful vans, the back doors were often open and the van full of people. The whole journey was along the canal with bridges across to villages and fields. Sometimes there were boats and lines across the water - I think these were ferries.
12th Mar 2012, 00:31   comments (2)

The journey from Qena to Luxor 9.40 - 9.45

Construction similar to other countries abroad, in that you get your plot of land build so far and add more as the family grows and as you can afford it.

Last pic a very poor one of our tour guide Gerges who was lovely and determined to fill us in on the biblical history from Joseph to Moses and the escape from Egypt. In this picture he was probably going over one of the many suspension wrecking speedbumps!
12th Mar 2012, 00:18   comments (2)

The journey from Qena to Luxor...9.22 - 9.24

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These are all through the bus window. Seeing the countryside and the people was more of a highlight for me than the antiquities.

Barbara's comment...

Eventually we reached the lush green vegetation of the irrigated farmland. It was as if the desert had been cut off with a pair of scissors. It just stopped and the farmland began.I must admit I was disappointed not to see the shadoof in action but there were plenty of pumps lifting water onto the fields,it's just the technology that has changed I suppose.
Of course there were farmers in the fields but no tractors, just donkeys tied up at the side of the field patiently waiting till they were needed, poor little beggars! Standing all day, no visible sign of a drink. I have to say though that they were not all neglected. We do have a completely different outlook when it comes to animal welfare.
The fields were full of all different kinds of crop including purple blue alfalfa which just looked like a haze in the distance in some places. I did actually see one or two ancient tractors pulling carts of sugar cane and trucks with mountains of clover piled high.
We didn't see any women in the fields but again very intensive with men. It looked as the main cashcrop in that area was sugar cane. There was even a rail track along the side of the road/irrigation canal, complete with tiny loco and high sided open wagons, which went directly from the field to the factory. I noticed men at the side of the road chewing raw sugar cane. Poor teeth!

On my side of the bus I did see a couple of women in a field and as you can see captured an ancient tractor.
11th Mar 2012, 23:59   comments (2)

Qena 9.15

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Barbara's description of the journey from Stop 75 to Qena.

So we set off again through the mountains which by now were more like enormous quarry heaps with the gullies but not as smooth and definitely shaley with flat valley bottoms widening out into the yonder. Obviously evidence of former lake or sea bed from prehistory. Very interesting to actually see wadis when you've taught it. These mountains did not gradually get smaller they just stopped as if someone had just switched the Mountain Machine off and we came out onto a very flat desert plain. The Eastern Desert. This dry landscape went on for about 20 km and the road was unmade. There were men in tanker sprayers squirting water over the road to keep the dust down and further along from that they were actually laying Tarmac and making a very fast dual carriageway highway. Everything was extremely labour intensive.

Our first encounter of city traffic, total madness and a lot of horn honking.

This is an important mosque in Qena...

The Maghrebi Abd el-Rahim settled in Qena upon his return from Mecca and founded a Sufi center here. Upon his death in 1195, the mosque was built above his tomb and became a place of pilgrimage. There is a huge modern mosque of Sheikh el-Qenawi in the main square which attests to his importance.
11th Mar 2012, 19:49   comments (2)