And now, back to Egypt...We went out last night with a man we met at the pool that was from Cairo, an actor & A NUDIST, with an American accent!? to a place called Genesis—insanely decorated & owned by a Egyptian man and Russian woman. Crazy atmosphere, huge light up fish tanks for tables, Christmas lights, country flags... a petite pool out back with a light up water fall. So surreal. The owners' daughter was named McKenzie, spoke perfect English and had a HUGE personality and imagination. They had a great dane, a horse and a CAMEL—the prettiest one I've ever seen!!! The camel was a pale, creamy color, so clean and so friendly. What a night! The Egyptian man we were with was hilarious, such a character. Got home around 2, slept 'til 10, skipping breakfast, then went to Karnak Temple. It was hotter than the fiery pits of hell but quite impressive. You can't fathom the vast scale of these places. The columns' circumferences were like red wood forest tree trunks, perhaps bigger?! And covered entirely in hieroglyphics. How much those ancients had to say on every single flat surface they could carve their symbols into!It's beautiful and it makes me crazy I want to read it all! Curiosity fills me as I stare on end at these perfectlyformed symbols everywhere!!! There are many depictions of Pharaohs, their queens, gods, their children. And some of these things are still, after thousands of years, SO COLORFUL.I learned yesterday that they made the various colors with crushed semiprecious stones, water and egg whites. The stone explanation completely makes sense regarding the color lasting the way it has, so impressive. There were many sphinx's there as well and striking statuary of kings and queens. All enormous. I just can't tell you enough! But GOD it is so hot.
Here in Egypt, all sites requiring tickets for entry have the same beautifully designed tickets with small holographs upon them. I'm saving them all. After Karnak's impressive structures there was also an ancient lake that existed as far back as Hatshepsut, but then again, hello! So has the Nile river!
After Karnak we went to Luxor temple, which at a certain point in time was taken over by Roman Christians who painted their frescoes OVER hieroglyphics, for a surprising mixture of both today.
However, I totally omitted writing about yesterday! Our trip to the West Bank, Valley of the Kins, Valley of the Queens, Hatshepsut's temple & Memnon's colossi. All outstanding. I can't believe I'm here. I can't. I can't believe the brilliance of the Egyptians so long ago. We saw King Tut's actual tomb & his mummy!!! CAN NOT BELIEVE IT. The photos that we were allowed to take will somewhat capture all of this, somewhat.
Hatshepsut is fascinating. She ruled for 20 years as a man!! Had them all fooled! And was apparently very powerful and productive, her temple attests to this.
Then we went to an alabasterfactory which truly did blow me away. to take chunks of jagged stones & rocks and turn them into fragile,delicate vessels, I can't believe the beauty. I got one piece and a couple of old ceramic pieces, as well as a bust of king tut in lapis for my dad. Then we came back to the hotel, ate a little lunch had a drink and spent a couple hours at the pool. It is so refreshing after the heat and the view is great. (THE NILE!) Then, we took a felucca (a wooden sail boat) down the Nile to Banana Island. All the bananas we could eat and hot tea! Plus an encounter with Egyptian police! Was an experience.
Back to today... just had a pedicure, fuchsia glitter with black flowers. When in Egypt. ;-) Tonight we take a train back to Cairo, Giza actually. And stay at Le Meridien. Ah the night train again. :-( Will pick up food to take on board this time for sure.