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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Temple Mania

Back in Cairo now and ensconced in the Marriott for a touch of luxury after a very 3 star week, Natasha arriving this afternoon ready for our journey Eastwards towards Jordan and up through Syria to Turkey and Istanbul. Symon has apparently arrived safely in Berlin and currently perousing museum island and the Nefertiti head where i was 10 days or so ago.

Whilst i think some of our group got bit templed out over the last week, Symon and I could not get enough, We even managed to squeeze in an extra curricular visit to Medinet Habu on the West bank in Luxor close to the Valley of the Kings. This was our favourite temple when we visited Luxor over 10years ago and still doest not fail to impress. Strangely untouched and seldom visited as if the Egyptians purposely want to keep it a secret, a stones throw from sights that receive daily hoards, Medinet is a large complex of colonnaded courtyards and still retains vivid colours on many of its reliefs. Other favourtes over the last few days were the Greco-Roman Kom Obo and Edfu temples, the latter still retaining its ceiling and with spooky chambers to explore. I almost expected to be able to push one of the hieroglyphics to make a wall slide open and be admitted to a secret passageway. Karnak temple in Luxor, whilst making an impression for its vastness and its clear supremacy for thousands of years as the seat of spiritual power in Egypt, for me on the most part lacks something. That said, I could sit in its forest-like maze of columns in the hypostyle hall contemplating those that had scurried about in there in previous millennia for ages.

Photographically these were a treat, interesting shadows, crumbling walls, deep cut hieroglyphics, ancient colours still visible. I got a little creative with photoshop with some of these, playing with hue and saturation to keep things interesting with so many of them begining to look similar.

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Medinet Habu Temple, Luxor