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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Day 4

Day Four begins with breakfast on the Hadeel. I could certainly become accustomed to being waited on hand and foot, and having food brought at my beck and call. We took the bus to the Valley of the Kings in Luxor(Thebes) on the west bank.

The dry wadi, austere and dusty, was exactly as I had picutured it my whole life.
There were several active digging sites, and these workers had
the unenviable task of putting pot shards back together!
We did not see King Tut's tomb, as we had already seen his treasure in the Museum, but we all got pictures of ourselves in front of the sign. We did see three tombs, and they were all fascinating. Some of our party had decided to hike across the ridge to Hatshepsut's temple, but Karle, Diana and I decided to take the bus around the headland. After seeing the hike (I am not a hiker!) I am glad that we went by bus rather than overland!
Hatshpesut, the only female pharoah, has always been one of my heroines. Instead of ruling as regent for the young Thutmose, she decided that she was going to be PHAROAH! She even wore the false beard, a sign of divinity reserved for males only. Her temple was most impressive.

Group photo of us in front of Hatshepsut's temple

Statue of Hapshepshut (note the false beard)

If you enlarge this picture, you can see the "telltale" bump indicating
Hatshepshut's divine birth as the son of Amon Ra
Overview of temple
This depicts the offering table for Hatshepsut (note the cow at the bottom)
Overhead view of the sky
More village pictures of Magalta, where the Hadeel was moored

I may have already posted this picture, but I do love it. It was taken through the bus window!

Even in the village, there was a traffic jam. The donkey pulled cart was piled high with produce

Very graphic doorway in the village
We also visited the Colussus of Memnon and Karnak temple,
but they will have to wait for another day.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Day 3 Luxor temple at night

Luxor Temple. Luxor was formerly known as Thebes, one of the early capitals of Egypt

Ramses II statue at Luxor

Row of Columns, Luxor Temple

Facade of Luxor Temple

Interior open space Luxor Temple

Columns surrounding open area, Luxor Temple

Ramses II statue

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The queen of snakes

A. came out of her bedroom with the cobra formed into a royal cobra crown. Maybe she is a royal one after all. She really enjoyed the T-shirt with her name and both she and her sister have used the hieroglyphic rulers!
More trip pics tomorrow when I am back in Albuquerque.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Third day of Egyptian Photos!

Hallway in the Hotel Mena Oberoi, very moorish looking

Hallway in the hotel. This reminds me of the Lodge in Cloudcroft, as they are the same vintage

Breakfast table in the hotel, with a Gerbera dasiy and a glass of Hibiscus juice.

The dining room where we had breakfast at the hotel.

Fortress of Saladin, across from the Mohammed Ali Mosque. We saw this on the way to the airport.

I loved the designs on the trucks in Cairo

This is a traffic circle in Cairo, no lights, just whoever has the most guts honks his horn and pulls out into traffic. We were in a large bus, but that did not give us any advantage!

If you are into texture, this is the inside of the bathroom door in the hotel lobby!

After a leisurely lunch we piled into the bus for an airplane trip to Luxor (Ancient Thebes).
Deplaning in Luxor. One of our group left some sweets on the plane. We were already in the baggage claim area, and one of the tour guides went back out on the tarmac, got on the plane and got the sweets. That sure would not have happened in the US!
After driving and driving and driving, we came to a small village of Magalta.
This is a typical doorway in the village. Part of the writing over the door is the address
This was our first view of the Hadeel, our home away from home for 7 glorious days!

Although the Hadeel is an authentic dahabiya, this tug powers us upriver against the significant Nile current (running against us!)

This is how we boarded the Hadeel. There is a plank, and two sailors/stewards held a pole in place for a guardrail. Very charming, but a little scary.

We had a great lunch and then in the evening we went to Luxor temple. More on that tomorrow, as I am photo-ed out!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Continuation of Day 2

Blogger fritzed out on me this morning (could be because it was EARLY) so I will continue:

This is the outside of the Cairo Museum. Museums are always my favorite place to visit, and this one is a doozie! It is like out of some old movie, wood floors, curosities stuck here and there, and then you come across a treasure. We only saw the highlights (including Tut), and I could have spent my whole vacation there! No pictures allowed inside unfortunately.
Groupe shot in front of the Mohammed Ali Mosque (possible duplicate from yesterday!)

Funerary Temple at the Sphinx, this is the first funny shot that Ayman set up for us. Mike, I highjacked this from your smugmug site, as I was still conserving my camera battery at that point (I forgot the charger!)

My first purchase in Egypt, this gorgeous beaded shawl has already kept me warm
OK, my machine is at a crawl, so I will sign off for now, and try to finish up tomorrow.

Day 2 Egyptian Odyssey

This is the view of the city of Cairo from the escaprment where the fortress of Saladin and the Mohammed Ali mosque is located. Somewhere on the horizon, you should be able to see the pyramids.
Mohammed Ali Mosque

Khalil Ali market area

Market cat
We started out early and went to the escarpment overlooking Cairo. The mosque was very impressive and very intricately decorated. One of our party had to put on a green choir robe over her dress as she was deemed to be dressed appropriately. Who knew??
We had lunch at a restaurant moored on the Nile, and the food was very good. We had our first taste of egyptian desserts, and they were most delicious. Blogger is giving me fits, so I will finish this posting tonight.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Second half of Day One in Egypt

After a lunch of rotisserie chicken some of the best lemonade I have ever had, we headed west of Cairo

The first pyramid in Egypt, the step or broken pyramid of Djoser, located in Saqqara, just west of Cairo
Memphis, one of the former capitals of Egypt, has some great statuary. This statue of Ramses II is just exquisite. They have built a building around it, as his legs are missing. Note the knees, arms

The alabaster Sphinx was also magnificent. This side has been eroded by wind and sand, but the other side is intact.
Another dinner at the hotel and then I slept all night long, after packing for our departure tomorrow.