Daily Journal: Saturday 21 January 2017

I’m really enjoying having a morning buffet breakfast while looking out at the Nile. So peaceful and calm.

After breakfast I took a little walk along the Nile before getting ready for the rest of the day. During the walk, I saw some of the balloons that make a morning flight on the east side of the Nile. Tomorrow I’ll be up in one of those balloons.

Hussein picked me up at 10:00 and we headed off to Habu Temple then Ramesseum Temple. He said he had a surprise for me. First he said we were going to stop by to see some of his friends for tea – and then I asked if they sold merchandise to his guests – which lead into a conversation that I wouldn’t be buying anything. It was quiet in the car after that. Then he had another surprise for me, and he stopped the car and I found that he engaged a guide for the two temples today. (This day wasn’t starting off as planned.)

As we drove to the first temple, the guide (Hany Fouab) was good about explaining about what we were going to see. It wasn’t until we started through the first site that I opened up and appreciated what I was learning – also to confirm what I had learned already.

Habu Temple

This is the mortuary temple of Ramesses III. As you walk through the temple, the elevation increases slightly through the three courtyards. Hany was good about describing the various hieroglyphics along the way.

Some of the hieroglyphics showed sports that were played (fencing and wrestling), blessings for good health and many children, local history, etc. In several places, you can see the original colors of the walls and ceilings.

Ramesseum Temple

This is the memorial temple (or mortuary temple) of Pharaoh Ramesses II. Also known as “temple of a million years”. Much of this site is being restored, but still has much work to be done. The large colossus of Ramses II, still has many pieces missing. The old homes nearby, that are being dismantled, likely have much of the old temple included in some of the buildings.

This site was still very interesting to visit. You can see the layout of the temple and some of the preservation work already completed is compelling to view. Saw the marks where Roman soldiers sharpened their swords and where early Italians etched their names into the stone.

Beyond the temple, more excavation work is still in process.

After we left this site, we left Hady off and said our good-byes to him. Hussein and I went into downtown Luxor for some afternoon tea rather than having tea with his friends.

Hussein’s bear (keychain) and Paddington Bear joined us for tea. We found a 5th floor tea room where we enjoyed the view. (Buildings in Luxor have no more than 5 floors.)

Hussein and I talked about faith and religion – and also about meeting his client’s expectations. He treated me to tea and we left on good terms.

He was very helpful getting tickets on the morning train to Aswan and he will pick me up tomorrow after my balloon ride so I can make the train. His cousin, also a taxi driver, will support me in Aswan. The picture below shows the line of people trying to get a train ticket. The ticket issuing process is not automated.

Tomorrow, I’ll be up early and ready to be picked up by Sinbad Balloons at 5:00 a.m.





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