Day 62: Edfu, Egypt to Luxor, Egypt

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January 27th 2010
Published: February 4th 2010
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Day 62: Wednesday, January 27, 2010.
Edfu, Egypt to Luxor, Egypt via Nile cruise.

Per the Contiki Egypt brochure: "Today starts with a visit to Egypt's best preserved temple dedicated to Horus, the Falcon God (Edfu Temple). Casting off, we spend the afternoon on-board watching Upper Egypt slip by. We arrive in Luxor (the ancient city of Thebes) in time to view the temple of Luxor."

The morning came before most people would have liked and we were out the door around 7 am to go to Edfu Temple of Horus. Each temple seems to get bigger and bigger and this one is very impressive. Sherif gives us another great tour and explains many of the drawings and how one of the walls is a play that people would come yearly to "experience". It confused a few of us how they could keep coming to the temple and read the same thing every year and still enjoy it, but I guess that's another perk to having faith. Sherif also claims that this tale (about the King killing the hippos and crocodiles so that the people are safe again) is actually one of the first comedies because you expect the end to be that he kills them all and the people rejoiced. Instead, he rode in on a hippo to show that they needed evil in the world or there would be good (but the hippo riding part was done with laughter I guess.) So, we all wander on our own for a bit then head back to the bus. The boat takes off and we're going to be sailing the Nile until about 4 this afternoon.

As you read in my 1/24/10 blog, this morning was spent trying to write blog entries. However, as I sat on my balcony, I kept getting distracted by the amazing scenery and glimpses of life that I was seeing along the Nile (plus all the staff walking by and saying "hi", I finally put headphones on and ignored them.) It was very peaceful and one of my favorite memories. Around 11 am I take a nap and wake up around Noon in time to see us pass thru a lock. We have lunch and lounge around for a few more hours before docking at Luxor around 4pm.

We disembark and this time we aren't the first on the dock. How it works with these cruise ships (they aren't big like Carnival) is that one ship docks right next to another, to the point that the boats are touching. Then, everyone opens the doors on either side of their lobby and you just walk from one boat to another to get to the dock. So, we were fourth on the dock and got to walk thru 3 other boat lobbies to get to the dock. It was fun to scope out the other ships decors, though they were quite similar. We get on a bus and head over to the Luxor Temple.

I'm amused to be visiting Luxor because of Vegas. I've stayed at the Luxor hotel before and I'll be staying there again at the end of May for a friends birthday, so, it'll be interesting to compare the fake to the original. We get there at sunset so Sherif let's us run around and grab some shots with the sky glowing perfectly. I wander down the row of Sphinx's that lead to/from the temple Luxor (and they have just discovered the Sphinx's appear to stretch 2 miles and lead to the temple Karmak). At one point, a officer, holding another very large gun, calls
Me, scared at Luxor.Me, scared at Luxor.Me, scared at Luxor.

This was the picture the security guard took.
me over to him. I'm not sure what to do. In the States, you listen to a cop when he says "come here." So, I went over to him. He did the normal "where are you from?" drill and I answered while looking nervously around- the rest of the group was back by the temple. He motions for me to walk over towards one of the sphinx's and indicates that it's okay for me to get closer to the statues and even touch them. He then offers to take a picture for me, and I hesitantly hand over my camera (yes, you are all yelling at me at this point- keep in mind, he was an officer), took my picture, handed my camera back and asked for money. Son of a... I told him I didn't have any money (the truth was I didn't have any small bills) and that I had assumed he was being polite and a good representative for his country. He smiled and told me to have a good trip and I quickly scurried back to the group. Along the way, a couple of fellow tourists asked me to take their picture and I did so, while actually shaking. The guy freaked me out and I will not be straying from the group again (and definitely will ignore any cops that talk to me.)

Sherif takes us on a tour thru the temple and once again explains different statues and meanings. He shows us one of the more popular and unusual hieroglyphics that show Alexander becoming a son of Egypt. After he conquered Egypt, he appreciated their country and customs so much that he declared he was a son of a God and switched religions. So, they added him to the temples to honor him. Another interesting aspect is that the hieroglyphics of women changed at that point. Before Alexander, they depicted very thin women. After Alexander, the hieroglyphics of women became curvy. Not really sure why this is, from what I've heard, Alexander would have been changing the men (pretty sure the Egyptians would consider that line blasphemy.) Also, thru out the ages different churches/mosques/temples have been set up on this site, all depending on who ruled at the time. So, in the middle of the temple is a mosque that was built on what they thought was the ground. Then, someone started digging and found out that there was more temple below. So, the mosque now sits on top of part of the temple. There is also artwork that shows Christianity had also been there.

We wrap up the Luxor tour and before heading back to the boat we stop at the Isis 2 Papyrus Museum which is an art institute that makes and paints on Papyrus paper. We watch a demonstration on how the paper is made and then we wander around the showroom, seeing if there is any art that we want to buy. Honestly, I wanted to buy some blank papyrus paper- that was pretty cool. All their art was (gasp) very Egyptian and they really liked using glitter and gold foil. Not my thing. We get back on the bus and head back to the boat. There was a belly dance performance in the bar after dinner, but I opted to repack Monstro while, once again, watching The Simpson's Movie. From what I hear, I made the right choice.

Additional photos below
Photos: 34, Displayed: 26


Self portraits are fun!  Think I'll put this one on the book jacket.Self portraits are fun!  Think I'll put this one on the book jacket.
Self portraits are fun! Think I'll put this one on the book jacket.

Now you see the horrible surroundings I was forced to sit in to do my blog.

4th February 2010

It sounds so amazing. I'm so glad that you chose Egypt as part of your world tour. I had no idea that the citizens were so aggressive towards tourists. Bummer.
5th February 2010

You stole the guard's camera?
Next time some one in your group asks you to take their picture, ask them for money.

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