Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Egypt Chronicles: Day 5

Well, seeing as how we haven’t used enough forms of travel in the last few days, we tried another. Day 5 started out with another falukah boat ride to the other side of the Nile, where we were picked up in……. horse carriages! Yep, I said horse carriages. It was crazy, we were driving along the busy crazy road with everyone else, weaving in and out of traffic. It actually was a lot of fun, except for that one time the Egyptian boy made me take the reins and told me I had to drive, and then the horse started galloping as I almost steered us into another car, of course screaming the entire way. What a sight that must have been...

Go on, just try to tell me this doesn't look sketchy. I was driving as we were swerving through traffic! And that crazy horse was galloping!

After the terror was over. I had regained my composure and we smiled with our kind dare-devil friend.

We finally made it alive to the Karnak Temple. And it was well worth it! This is one of those places that you hear about and never think you’ll actually get to. It was another feast for the eyes. In the center of the temple is a huge hall filled with 134 enormous columns, covered in writings and hieroglyphics. Our tour guide was telling us how they were able to chisel the hieroglyphics into the stone when it seems impossible because they go so high. Apparently, Egypt has an abundance of sand (who knew?), so they filled the ENTIRE hall with sand, almost up to the very top, and the workers would chisel away that top part of the columns until they ran out of room. Then they would drain some of the sand, just enough to give them more chiseling space, and they’d go at it again until they ran out of room. And so it continued until they’d carved the entire height of the 134 pillars. And let me tell you, they are a sight to behold! After Karnak, we went straight to the Luxor Temple, which was also beautiful in its own way. The whole day we were full of awe.

The beautiful pillars at Karnak

I ended up finding my own little nook. Cozy, no? I think I'll make it permanent.

An ancient hieroglyph found on the Karnak Temple showing the pharaoh being purified through washing and anointing in order to inherit eternal life.

Me, Heidi, Chris, and Annie taking some time out to show you how sweet our fanny packs are. Don't be jealous.

Just another gorgeous shot, compliments of Richelle.

Good times. Noodle Salad

After the temples, we headed back to the hotel, free for the rest of the day! Some swam, some went shopping at the Egyptian Bazaar (pretty much a market with all kinds of touristy gadgets), and just a few of us stayed behind to watch the most beautiful sunset I've ever seen. It was over the Nile River and absolutely perfect. It really was such a peaceful way to spend that perfect time of day, and to ponder about how lucky we really are to have all that we have.

Well, the beauty of the Sunset was phenomenol, but we still had more to our day. The time came to leave Luxor and head back to Cairo where we still had more to see. It was a sad day. I LOVED Luxor. One day, I'll come back again...

So that night, we took an all night train to get back to Cairo. Remember the before-mentioned meal of bread, bread, bread, and one more piece of bread? Yeah, that was on this train. It probably wasn't the cleanest place I'd ever been, but I think Romanian trains prepped me, so it wasn't too bad. I got to share a room with Eliza, my roommate on the Egypt trip. I feel it's necessary to do a shout-out to that girl. She really made the tripsuch a blast. I loved sharing a room with her, even if it was just for a week. Especially in those moments when we busted out her ipod and sang every song we came across at the top of our lungs. Ah....good stuff.

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