September 04, 2004

Karnack and Luxor Temples

Today we visited Karnack of the most important in ancient Egypt. Karnack is a colossus: the complex totals 1.5 km by nearly 1 km and large enough to fit 10 cathedrals within its 3,000+ old walls. Over 80,000 workers labored to finish it and modifications and additions were made over a period of over 1,500 years. One can't help but feel a bit like Indiana Jones weaving through the forest of vast columns:

Hottie in Karnack, suitably awestruck

In spite of its age, the temple is remarkably preserved with some painting on the ornate reliefs retaining their color after thousands of years:

The heirogliph reads "Ramses was here. So states the Egyptian Blog"

Adding to the mystic are two of the three remaining obelisks in all of Egypt (there were over 80 in antiquity), the tallest of which is over 32m (120+ feet):

Is that an obelisk or are you just happy to see me?

After kicking it in Karnack we headed to Luxor temple, much smaller than its nearby cousin but still impressive to these Westerners. Luxor was built circa 1350 BC and looks nothing (thankfully) like its namesake in Las Vegas:

Old (really old) juxtaposed with new (fairly new)

The temple was especially cool at night, light up by tons-o-lights which looked awfully purdy against the ever-blue sky at dusk:

We felt honored to be counted among the THRONGS of fellow tourists

Luxor Temple also features an "avenue of sphinxes" (pronounced "shhphinxes by the wife :-)). It used to stretch all the way to Karnack for a total of 3,500 of them though most of them are buried today.

From Luxor we boarded our Nile Cruiser a 66 cabin 5 star vessel...while the rating was a bit of an exaggeration it sure was a step up from the backpackers of Mozambique and Tanzania ;-).

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