A final day in Luxor

 

Luxor sunset

Sunset in Luxor, Egypt (Wikimedia Commons)

 

I wrote this on our last full day in Egypt – Wednesday — but then finally ran into the internet difficulties that I had expected to have during the entirety of our time on the Nile.  So I’m only posting an account now:

 

Up early, of course.  This time to beat the heat and the crowds.

 

We crossed the Nile by a bridge – there was none when I first came, nor for the next few times; the river crossing was by ferry – and drove to the Valley of the Kings.  It’s beautifully clean now.  We visited the tombs of Merneptah (he of the famous “Israel” stela) and Ramses IX (gorgeous) and, for those of us who paid a roughly $6.00 special fee, the tomb of Tutankhamen.  His mummy is on display there. 

 

We also drove by Dayr al-Bahri, the spectacularly beautiful funerary temple of Queen Hatshepsut, which happens to be near Tombs of the Nobles #58, where the Joseph Smith Papyri were found.  Then we went alabaster shopping.

 

Amenhotep's great statues

The “Colossi of Memnon” (Wikimedia Commons)

 

After several had laid down substantial stimuli to the local economy at Thutmose for Alabaster, we drove by the so-called “Colossi of Memnon,” the sole remainder of the once-grandiose funerary temple of the great Amenhotep III.  Whenever I think of them, I can’t help but think also of Percy Shelley’s “Ozymandias”:

 

I met a traveller from an antique land, 
Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone 
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand, 
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown, 
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, 
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read 
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, 
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed; 
And on the pedestal, these words appear: 
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings; 
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair! 
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay 
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare 
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

 

Back to the boat for lunch (during the worst heat of the day), then out to the massive, magnificent Temple of Amun at Karnak.  There’s so much to see there, but we caught a few of the highlights – e.g., the statue of Thutmose III, the damaged obelisk of Hatshepsut, and the large, boastful relief of Ramses II and his supposed single-handed triumphs over the Hittites at Qadesh.  (It was still very hot.) 

 

Luxor Temple at night

We drove by the Luxor Temple after nightfall. (Wikimedia Commons)

 

In the evening, we rode horse carts through the city of Luxor, in the quarters (such as the fruit market) where tourists never go, past the wonderful Temple of Luxor, and etc.   Quite memorable.  And many of the children were very cute.

 

I think we’ll do pretty much this same trip next year, again through Cruise Lady and again in connection with preceding and succeeding trips to Israel.  Join us!

 

**

 

On Thursday, almost all of our group left very, very early in the morning.  Some were going on to Israel; some were headed home (many of them had already been in Israel with us); some were sticking around for a few days.

 

My wife and I took off separately, after a couple of hours of extra sleep.  We flew from Luxor to Doha, in Qatar, and then from Qatar to Paris.

 

Posted from Paris, France

 

 

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