Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
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She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
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Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
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||Two More Temples....
The Egyptian Series
Two More Temples,
Karnack & Luxor
and more temples, Egypt is all about ancient temples. Karnack is
actually a complex of temples but you can only tour one temple. It is
larger than other temples, but smaller than I expected. It looked so
big in the pictures. This is the temple with a long rows of sphinxes
with ram heads, often seen in pictures. It has several tall spheres
that are unique, but other than that, is much like the other temples.
After a while, they all begin to blend into a blur of columns,
sphinxes, and cartouches. It will probably be difficult to tell them
apart in the pictures I am taking, I think, and later I will find I
Back on the riverboat for our final dinner aboard, the crew makes it
especially impressive with candles right on the dinner plates. We
"oh and ah" appropriately. Afterward, we are entertained by
whirling deverishes, who dance by spinning in a circle like we did as
kids. As children, we always ended up by getting dizzy and falling
down. The deverishes whirled and whirled and never became dizzy. I
can't say the same for myself as it made me lightheaded just watching.
While it seems that we spend a lot of time visiting temples in Egypt,
we do have opportunities to interact with a few locals who are selling
things other than scarves. We go to a craft school on the West Bank
where they teach Muslim women to do embroidery and bead work so they
can make money working at home. It is a Free Trade shop, which means
it is affiliated with a group that helps disadvantaged people to earn
an income. The women are busy doing needlework or bending over the
cutting board cutting out patterns. I have a feeling that the shop
probably makes more money reselling the work than the women make from
doing it, but, hopefully, I am wrong.
On the way back from the West Bank, we have an unplanned adventure when
the motor dies on the boat and will not restart. We begin drifting
down the Nile River. I worry that we will go over the dam,
but I suppose we are actually downstream from the dam as we have
already gone through the locks. Finally, another river taxi comes to
the rescue. At first they have the bright idea of transferring us to
the other boat in the middle of the Nile, but later think better of
that idea and tow us to shore. I see our tourist police bodyguard
talking furiously on his cell phone afterwards. I suppose he is trying
to explain to his boss how he nearly lost a boatload of American
tourists to the alligators.
One of the prettiest temples we see is the final temple on the tour,
Luxor Temple, but it is also the most damaged. As I have said before,
nothing is ever replaced. Once it is gone, it is gone forever.
Sometimes damage occurred in ancient times and is part of the
heritage. Other times it is due to modern looters or vandalism. The
temple has beautiful pillars with carvings on them and the famous row
of sphinxes going back toward Karnack. The antiquities are guarded
carefully to prevent additional vandalism. We are told that one
hylogryphic can be worth millions on the black market. No wonder the
guards carry machine guns.
There were many different dynasties in ancient Egypt, and when there
was a new king, he would tear down what the previous pharaoh had built
or else put his own name on it. However, if a monument was dedicated
to a god, the new king would leave it alone. Once dedicated, it
belonged to the god and the king was afraid to destroy it. Sometimes,
however, a king would build a sanctuary around another sanctuary or a
wall to hide the former pharoh's name. Apparently, hiding the work of
an old king was okay with the gods as long as their monument was not
All of the temples have spotlights on them at night and are especially
intriguing when lit up in the dark. If I had my druthers, we would
stop the bus and get out to take pictures, but it's probably just as
well that we don't as the traffic is far more dangerous than any
Copyright 2010 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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