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Egypt, the second part

By Ian Urie

Moving  swiftly onward.
The boat went through the esna lock at night.
We were still awake and it was fascinating to watch this boat maneuver
to get through the lock.
There's very little margin for error that I could see,
and yet this crew must do this every week and regard it as humdrum.


I don't think anyone can really appreciate the scale of the temples just looking at the pictures.
They are huge!
The picture above wasn't taken at any particular angle to try and make it look big, it IS big!


The Aswan Dam is actually two dams.
The British built the first one, but it's totally dwarfed by the one built with Russian help.
Remember the waters of the Dam go for more than 300 miles.
As in the picture above.
It looks like a sea, and is larger than some inland seas.


Another optional trip is the one to Abu Simbel.
A quick jaunt to the airport and off we went in the plane shown above.
Flight time is just under an hour each way.


Maybe this will help show the scale of the monuments.
Check out the people standing gawking at the statues.
Now extrapolate from that and convert it to an actual height.
Uh huh, they're big.
The project to move this was done in extremely quick time and was fully documented.
In fact, we bought the DVD of how it was done.
I would need a server to show all the pictures I took during the week.
In total we used up more than 12Gb of memory cards.
I dare say in years to come this will rank as a few pictures, but nowadays, it is hundreds of pictures.
For someone that likes to take pictures, this is heaven.
Everywhere you look, there's something you want to capture and keep to remind you that you actually did do this.
While we were getting ferried around, the bus we were in took off the wing of a car that didn't give way to us.
Interesting to watch a different culture argue similarly to British at a road accident.


The boat headed back to Luxor, and the East bank this time.
On the way we stopped and went to Karnak for the light and sound show there.
Again, it was amazing, but I firmly believe that it was eclipsed by the Philae one.
The amazing Luxor temple was next on the agenda.
Above you can see the line of lions with rams heads that line the avenue into the temple.
It has now been discovered that there is a line that stretches all the way to another temple.
From the entrance , it has been discovered that it is in a straight line to Queen Hatchetsut's temple.
In luxor, the beggars return, it is heartbreaking to see some of these children.


Just looking at them, you know they are not going to what we would term a home.


Now for a picture that might explain a mystery.
All those temples and everyone left them alone?
Of course not, the Egyptians have restored them where possible.
Throughout the ages, they have been desecrated.
Images have been defaced as old gods fell out of favour etc..
Above you can see a fresco of the disciples.
The Christians covered over the original carvings and painted their own.
Some of this has been left to show both Egyptian and Christian cultures.
Further back in the temple, there's the familiar dome of a mosque when the country was occupied by another race.
Egypt has been conquered many times over the years.


Finally, it's the day for the balloon trip.
A very early start, before dawn, to go to the balloons.
The air is still cool when we get into the balloons.
The field is filled with them , getting inflated, and ours isn't the only field.


They tell you that the balloon can only go where the wind takes it, so a minibus follows you from the ground ready to pick you up when you land,
and, of course, to load up with more passengers.


Here is Queen Hatchepsut's temple in all it's glory.
Immediately behind it over the escarpment is the Valley of the Queens and the Valley of the Kings.
The rays of the rising sun make it a very striking picture and give it a lovely glow.

new temple

The balloon drifts over the countryside and is steadily taken over another temple in the process of being restored.
All these pictures were taken with nearly maximum zoom.


All too quickly we land.
An early riser  watches the balloons come down from the roof of her house.
Of course, everyone took her picture.
She reached inside her gown, removed a camera..........
and took ours as we landed.

I was completely gob smacked by the balloon trip.
The rest of the day passed in a daze as we packed and got ready to go home.
It remained only to tip everyone.
The cabin staff got a tip as well as the tip that gets left for the crew.
There's also a tip for the guide.
Our holiday company had left guidelines for the size of the tip, but, hopefully, everyone did the same as we did and left more.
If you do get the chance, go for a Nile cruise, even if it is just to say you've done it.
It isn't for those going for a relaxing time with your feet up at a pool, but it must rank as one of the best history lessons I've ever had.

RIYAN Productions

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