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Columns in the burning sun

Luxor Travel Blog

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Entrance to Karnak. Behold the size!
The experiences of travel can often be classified under two categories: great moments and awesome moments. Those awesome moments are the rarest kind, happening only a few times or only one time during a trip. Today, I had an awesome moment.

We had spend the night on the train from Cairo to Luxor. Here we would stay for two days. Our hotel in Luxor we had booked yesterday, while in Cairo. I hadn't slept much, and so far the entire trip was great, but exhausting. Luxor has a lot to offer, so we distributed its sights over our two days. Today the east bank of the Nile, tomorrow the west bank.

In the morning, while the sun was not at its hottest, we took a taxi to the Karnak temple compex.
Massive!
This was the awesome moment I was talking about. It was so impressive! (I would visit the piramids later on, but they could not compare with karnak.) It is vast conglomeration of ruined temples, chapels, pylons and other buildings and its size is just overwhelming.

Consider just the entrance: you enter by a road with rows of sphinxes on your sides. This road used to continue for a few miles, all the way to the Luxor temple. Then you pass the entrance between two massive walls, and step into a hall of 134 massive columns arranged in 16 rows. These columns are 10 meters tall, except for the columns in the middle, which are 21 meters tall and have a diameter of over three meters. The columns are largely (and used to be totally) covered with hieroglyphs.

Thats just the beginning! Walking Karnak front to back is about half a mile, and changes every hundred meters or so.
Nile at sunset.
And that is just the part that is open to visitors. I saw building cranes in the distance, still reconstructing huge ancient walls. And the walls that enclose Karnak are also - completely - covered with hieroglyphs. Those ancient egyptians must have done nothing but building, building, building! And they claim to have found the foundations of an even larger complex at the west bank.

Alright. Now. There is another temple in Luxor, as I mentioned. The Luxor temple, hehehe. Which is not as big as Karnak, but big enough to spend an entire afternoon in. Expecially its entrance is a very nice one, with huge statues greeting you as you pass by. At the backside of the Luxor temple, you can find roman mosaics. The byzantines had build a church on top of the ruins of the Luxor temple. At night, the pillars and the entrance are brightly lit from the ground. Also, there was a egyptian boasting to me that he was married to multiple women.

We ended the day along the mighty Nile. Enjoying an excellent meal and watching the sun set. A Nile sunset, with those typical egyptian boats drifting by. Beautiful. The sun disappeared behind the hills of the west bank, our next destination...


sylviandavid says:
Karnak sounds wonderful....
Posted on: Oct 26, 2010
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Entrance to Karnak. Behold the siz…
Entrance to Karnak. Behold the si…
Massive!
Massive!
Nile at sunset.
Nile at sunset.
See that leg? There used to be a w…
See that leg? There used to be a …
Sphinxes greeting you on your way …
Sphinxes greeting you on your way…
Just a minor sidechamber.
Just a minor sidechamber.
Another minor sidechamber (but sti…
Another minor sidechamber (but st…
What it used to look like.
What it used to look like.
Massive!
Massive!
See those cranes? Karnak is still …
See those cranes? Karnak is still…
Impressive entrance to Luxor.
Impressive entrance to Luxor.
Luxor temple continues.
Luxor temple continues.
Luxor temple continues.
Luxor temple continues.
Luxor temple continues.
Luxor temple continues.
Luxor temple, looking back.
Luxor temple, looking back.
Hieroglyphs everywhere.
Hieroglyphs everywhere.
View from the train on our way to …
View from the train on our way to…
View from the train on our way to …
View from the train on our way to…
The pharao is feeding the ducks.
The pharao is feeding the ducks.
In Luxor temple.
In Luxor temple.
At night, the pillars and the entr…
At night, the pillars and the ent…
At night, the pillars and the entr…
At night, the pillars and the ent…
Luxor
photo by: LadyMaja