Egypt

At Home at Gezira El Bairat

Gezira El Bairat, Al Ramla 

Luxor, Egypt

March 9, 2020

Hello,

Here in the town of Gezira El Bairat, on the west bank of the Nile, the modest El Masala Hotel provides a simple and comfortable guest room with a balcony overlooking the Nile.  The staff is friendly and accommodating.  Breakfast is served at the open-air rooftop restaurant with a sweeping view of the river and the river traffic. 

Kareem, the owner of the hotel, is determined that my week’s stay in Luxor will be both active and restful.   He drives me around town.   He helps me to book drivers for my tours.   Kareem invites me to his home for lunch where I meet his wife and children.

Amenhotep. Deir El-Medina. Ramesses

West Bank of the Nile

Luxor

Luxor Governorate

Arab Republic of Egypt

March 2, 2020

 

Hello,

It’s a busy day for me on the West Bank of the Nile in Luxor.

My first stop is at the Colossi of Memnon: two colossal seated statues of Amenhotep III, 14th Century BCE.  Adjacent to his legs are carvings of his mother and his wife.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colossi_of_Memnon

 

The second stop requires a decision: Do I visit the Valley of the Kings or the Valley of the Queens?  My proclivity has always been towards the “working man” so I chose the Valley of the Artisans - the Necropolis of Deir El-Medina. 

The Temple at Edfu

Edfu

Aswan Governorate

Egypt

March 2, 2020

 

Halfway betweem Luxor and Aswan, on the west bank of the Nile, lies the Temple of Edfu.  The temple is dedicated to the falcon-headed god Horus and his wife, the goddess Hathor.

Here is the story of Horus:

Horus, the falcon-headed god, is a familiar ancient Egyptian god. He has become one of the most used symbols of Egypt, seen on Egyptian airplanes, and on hotels and restaurants throughout the land.

Horus is the sone of Osiris and Isis, the divine child of the holy family triad.  He is one of the many gods associated with the falcon.  His name mans "he who is above" and "he who is distant."

Sinai, Cairo, Giza, Luxor: "What A Country!"

Cairo

Arab Republic of Egypt
June 10, 2007

Dear Family and Friends,

The ferry across the Gulf of Aqaba left three hours late ("we have to load the ferry"). But the ride is splendid. I have to pinch myself: To the port side are the hilly brown barren coastlines of Jordan and Saudi Arabia. To starboard is the hilly brown barren coastline of Egypt, North Africa! And, I check my map to learn that the Gulf of Aqaba is the northernmost section of The Red Sea. The Red Sea!!

Cairo and Giza

Cairo: Madrassas and Mosques and Markets

Along the crowded boulevards and then down the side streets and alleyways lie uniquely Egyptian Arabic school buildings and medieval mosques.

In the Al-Hussein district, some of the mosques are almost a thousand years old and still welcome the faithful to prayer. Exterior walls are tan and black granite stripes with cupolas and balconies, columns and arched doorways and stained glass windows Interior ceilings and walls are decorated with multi-colored geometric granite designs or painted ornamentation of gold and blue and yellow.

I love wandering down the noisy narrow streets where traditional craftsman are pounding out copper and steel pottery and religious articles.

Luxor and The Nile

Luxor: Temples and Tombs

The guidebook gushes with the following descriptive terms for this 4000 year old city of ancient Thebes: "staggering ancient splendor, extraordinary, compelling, spectacular, massive, and strikingly graceful." * For once I agree 100%.

My first stop, and my favorite, is the Luxor Temple. The temple is filled with wall writings and pictorial carvings and enormous statues of the Pharaohs: Amenhotep III, Tutankhamen, Ramses II, Nectanebo. Even Alexander the Great and various Romans (Marc Anthony?) added their touch.

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