6 May 2010

Luxor on the Nile

From Port Ghalib we make a land trip to Luxor on the Nile, the old Thebe where the rich pharaoh's have held their court for a long time and have built enormous and luxurious temples. On the east bank of the Nile we find the extraordinary temple complex of Karnak with sanctuaries, kiosks, pylons and obelisks dedicated to the Thebean gods and the greater glory of the pharaohs. A confusing but interesting and impressive experience. Luxor temple is in the heart of the modern town itself, a graceful monument with impressive statues and relief's on the walls. In the evening we return to Karnak for a sound and light show about the history of Thebe.

The river Nile still is very important for Egypt and the Egyptians as a means of goods traffic by water, irrigation of land to grow food and to carry the tourists to the historic places. Many cruise ships are moored in three rows along the quays and also small Nile barges with triangle, latin rig, sail are waiting daily for their passengers. While all the bustling life is taking place on the east bank, the pharaohs also made their extensive preparations for a pleasant after life, and they understand this should be on the west bank, the place where the sun is going down and where they can expect a next life. In the then uncultivated area they had made hidden underground well decorated corridors and chambers with food and richness's, and their tombs. Many graves have been found and restored as in the 'Valley of the Kings'.

At the foot of dramatic rugged limestone cliffs that rise nearly 300 m above the desert plain lies the temple of Queen Hatshepsut that blends in beautifully with the cliffs from which it is partially cut. Nice views from there over the Nile valley, the only 5% of the land of Egypt that can be used to grow food. There we see green plants and light coloured farmhouses with people working on the land. The papyrus plant that also grows along the Nile is the basis for making rough sheets of paper. The alabast is another treasure of nature from which craftsmen make fine vases and plates.

Slideshow Luxor