Friday, October 19, 2007

Egypt - Day 5

MTV Europe is mesmerizing. They play videos! All the time! When you’ve had little exposure to American pop culture or television in general for six months, this truly seems like a worthwhile way to spend your time on a Monday morning when you’re in a comfy Sheraton bed in Luxor, Egypt. Eventually we roused ourselves to the pool.

The Sheraton has had the most brilliant idea of putting an ice cream stand right next to the pool at their hotel. Ice cream in waffle cones, blazing heat, vacation—brilliant. (Please note that ice cream in Uganda can taste like shredded pieces of newspaper on all but the most rare occasions.)

In the afternoon we hired our most crazy cab driver of the whole trip and had him take us to Karnak. He spoke quite fast and unintelligibly and turned out to be oddly persuasive. (After coming out of Karnak, J said, “Do you remember what our cab driver looks like?” and I said, “Just look for the crazy man,” and we had no trouble finding him.)

Karnak is vast. Over a 1300-year period, successive pharaohs, in order to make their marks, added to and changed the temple, which began as the Temple of Amun, dedicated to the king of the gods.

Colossus of Ramses II:

Great Hypostyle Hall (it has 134 columns):

From the backside:

J, taking a break:

From there, we had the crazy man drop us at Luxor Temple, and then we had to pay him off to get rid of him.

And the avenue of sphinxes, which once stretched almost 2 kilometers, all the way to Karnak.

We walked back to the hotel as the sun set, ordered room service, watched a movie, and called it a vacation.

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