Egypt: Day 4 (26 Oct 2007)

Volume 10, Issue 124; 20 Nov 2007; last modified 08 Oct 2010

Dendera and the Temple of Luxor.

We started this morning with a visit to the Dendera Temple complex. The early morning sun slanted sharply across the ruins making them stand out dramatically. And at 7:00am, we had it almost to ourselves.

Inside, the temple has stunning columns capped with the face of a woman with cows ears, Hathor, the mother goddess.

Early Christians, fleeing persecution, lived in the sand and silt filled ruins of many temples. The area near the roof of some chambers are permanently stained with smoke and soot from this habitation. That's why the Egyptian calendar on the ceiling of one of the chambers is totally black.

Dendera is also known for its relief of Cleopatra with her son Caesarion.

After Dendera, our cruise continued until the evening when we visited Luxor Temple.

That obelisk should look familiar to anyone who's been to Place de la Concorde in Paris. The French exchanged a clock (installed at the Mosque of Muhammad Ali) for one of the pair of obelisks at Luxor. The clock has never worked.

It was simply spectacular to be in the temple as night fell.

Alexander claimed to be the son of Amun Ra when he conquered Egypt. He built his temple to Amun Ra inside another temple at Luxor with a few meters gap around it.

Work is ongoing to uncover the Avenue of the Sphinxes.

Eventually, there will be a 3km pedestrian walkway along the avenue leading from Karnak to Luxor Temple.

After dinner, we were treated to performances by a whirling dervis and a belly dancer.

Tomorrow, Karnak.