Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A trip to "my past"

I wished to go to this trip years ago. since i missed it at school time, i wished to go there and visit those incredible temples, about which everyone tells so many stories.
its not because of the history only, but i wanted to discover "my past".

the first moment i set my foot on the Aswan High Dam, I could easily relate myself to this world, to this part of history, country and nationality.
from here started my feeling of having found myself. as if part of me was missing and i just found it.
The High Dam with the huge Nasser Lake right behind it, represented a proud effort of my ancestors to build this country. first step into a bright future. the High Dam and the lake promised a new future to Egypt, built by loving hands of loyal sons of this country.

Next visit was to Philae temple, on a island in Aswan's nile. the temple was dedicated to Isis, who built it to protect her husband's grave on the opposite small island.
the beauiful love story of Isis and Osiris always touched my heart for they represent what i "understand" under the word love. but that's another story :)

Third visit was to the "uncomplete mesallah". Queen Hatshepsut wanted to cut a mesallah for her temple, but while cutting it from the granite mountain in Aswan, they discovered a crack in it. she ordered them to leave it where it is, and cut a new one.
when the guide explained how they were cutting mesallahs from the granite mountain in Aswan then transferring it over the Nile to the required location- i couldnt help it not to wondering:were they human?
the technique is simple, but work is very complicated. you have to imagine that we are talking about granite.
they draw a line on the granite place with the size of mesallah.
then they start digging big wholes at certain points arround the mesallah body they want to cut.
they stuff these wholes with sandalwood, and keep watering it every day twice for 4 months. during this period the wood gets bigger from watering it and it "explodes" cutting long lines at both sides of the wholes.
this way the mesalah was cut. then it is transported over 40 ships in nile to the location where it should be placed.
we are talking about minimum of 70 tons of granite, with a height of hundreds of meters.
can you imagine?

On the way to Luxor we had 2 locations to visit:
- Kom Ombo
- Edfu

Kom Ombo means " tal el dahab" or "city of gold". this temple is the first one to have a hospital attached to it, where surgeries where held for normal people. many surgery instruments are graved on its walls, showing how much the king cared to cure normal people- not only the royal family.
there is also a Nilometer to measure level of nile water. this was the indicator of how much the taxes should be- based on how good or bad people were farming.
in my opinion, a fair way to judge taxes payments.
ma 3alena :)))

Edfu is on turn now. at night the temple looks "fakhm" somehow precious, mysterious, i dont know how to explain. maybe because of the sophisticated lightning system at night. i dont know. but it gives a prestigious impression of something "royal"????
during this trip, i often found myself in shortage of words. as if i forgot meaning of words. :)))
second largest temple after karnak, with huge pillareds (a3medah)
the temple is dedicated to Horus, son of Isis and Osiris, telling the story of his fights against Seth, until he got to rule Egypt as legal heir of his father Osiris.

Sailing to Luxor i used the time to take many pictures of the nile and landscape over its both sides. it has a completely different colour than the part in Cairo. it is clean, blue, deep and wide.
again i feel a deep respect for "who i was"
Luxor my second main destination :). weather was extremely hot, although I am on deck, i cant take the heat.
guess best time for visit should be December-January. Mid Feb is already hot :(((

First comes Karnak complex temple. the largest temple of Egypt. it was built over long time, by many kings till it was finished. only a prat of the complex is open for visit. the rest is unfortunately closed.
its main part: Hypostyle hall or "Bahw el A3medah" gives an incredible view with its huge huge pillards (3amoud)  (132, either 12 or 20 meters). I could never imagine it is THAT HUGE and THAT BEAUTIFUL.
It is dedicated to Amoun, God of all Gods. maybe that's why? it is the main part of "Tibah" the capital of ancient egypt?
Huge, rich, beautiful, sophisticated, advanced, breathtakingly beautiful and royal. i dont know what else to say. again i find myself going speechless.

Second part of east side is the Luxor temple. very strange.on top of the temple there is a masjid built!!!!
the temple was completely covered with sand and mud, when a Sheikh Hassan- Morrocoan sheikh - came to egypt. he decided to settle there and build a masjid. years later, people discovered the temple UNDER the masjid- but the ruler decided to keep both.
a strange contradiction of religion, architecture styles, history and symbols.
again, a temple at night is overwhelming to see. this time with the "azan el maghrib" in the background.
begad, a very strange atmosphere, making me again speechless.

West side of Luxor, a complex of beautiful drawings of history. colourful, beatiful, very exact paintings on walls of graves in "Valey of Kings"
the graves are built middle of nowhere in the mountain. if it wasnt for the gates, you can easily overlook it, for its a small entry IN the mountain taking you few meters UNDER a huge rock mountain.
i suffer of underground fobia, but decided to push myself to go there. at the beginning i was shaking, for i know this is a dangerous weakpoint in me. but walking there just few meters, i forgot my phobia and got captured with the beautiful, colourful paintings on walls and ceiling of the graves. Ramsis third, Ramsis sixth and Ramsis nineth. deep under the earth surface, well kept, beautifully built and painted.
unfortunately photographing is prohibited in the whole valley, not only in the graves. one rule i was tempted to break, but when saw the paintings, i found myself wanting to protect them more and more.

Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, one of the most important queens in egyptian history.built for her by her loving architect "Senmout". his gift to the queen- other than his heart- was the unique design and location of the temple.
3 floors temple, with 9 huge monuments of her in the third floor at the main hall. some colourful paintings and gravings are showen on the walls of the main hall and the main part.
the temple is built middle of a rocky mountain, again representing deep affection and love to the queen by her people.

That was last thing i visited in Luxor. on my way back home- first to the ship, then to airport then flying back to Cairo i kept thinking about what i saw.
what could possibly drive people- simple normal workers- to build and paint such beautiful, royal temples and graves?
definetely it is not fear and slavery as everyone claims.
there is a deep respect, love and honouring behind such hard and unique work.
for only love has such a powerful driving hand, such an ongoing energy to go throuh this kind of hard work to build a temple, which is to last till end of the world.

If you decide to visit Luxor and Aswan, i can guarantee you this is one of the best time investments you can possibly make.

ufff, that report is hell too long. i have to translate to german, send it along with printed photos in handwriting to my teacher.
i promised him to do so.
but why doesnt he have an email :(((((
The pictures are at the previous post, hope you enjoy them as much as i enjoyed the visits :))))))


  1. Hamdellah 3ala elsalma ya Heba, begad deep thanks for you, you brought back all these sweet memoies for these lovely places, since i visited them long years ago. I m sure you enjoyed them, as everyone feels he is part of it, absolutely right .

  2. I like that ya Hebba :) That's really a very nice post. the whole atmosphere is great and beaucoup artistique as well. plus this brought with it many scenes of my adolescence and lots of good memories of faculty days -Fine Arts- wallahi these were lovely days when we have visited all these beautiful places.

    Tab3an you arent in need to tell that as a romantic person, I was really touched with the "beauiful love story of Isis and Osiris" part ;)

    Bonne Arrivée ma chère :)

    P.S: I love the label's name "Masr" - not Egypt or even Misr. Well done on choosing the right word hun ;)

  3. thx rouni. yes, they are lovely scenes, especially when u think of them as expression of honour, love, whorship to the gods, kings and queens. noway these people were slaves.
    slaves would never do such a hard wowrk so beautifully.
    the name is quoted dear. a friend had it, i liked it so i took it too :)))
    were u able to open the pictures? sara seemed to have a problem

  4. eskoto ya banat, mesh the cruise ship i was on, is facing the danger or drawning?it is published in today's newspaper. the ship is called even by name shehrazad :)))
    it should be out of service since 5 years ago.
    shofto el hana?????

  5. No :(

    I think there is something wrong!

    Would love to see them!

  6. check this one keda
    i dont understand whats wrong with the link.

    it is working for me, maybe because i am the creator

  7. Eih da ya Hebba really? didnt hear about it. will check...

  8. yes
    you should see my profile picture, the picture of my teacher
    and other pictures as well. folders are named after each temple