Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Luxor Luxury

Mummified crocodiles
We woke up with the sun at 5.30am and after the beeline to shore and the bathroom we enjoyed an early breakfast of omelette, jam and fresh pita bread with a much needed, albeit not strong enough, cup of Nescafé.  We sailed across the Nile and boarded a minibus to start our touring for the day.  The first stop was Kom Ombo, a temple that was dedicated to the crocodile god.  It was interesting because it was unique in that it housed two altars in the most holy place (most temples only have one) and in between the two altars was a wall that was secretly hollow so the priests could hide in there and pretend to be the voice of the gods when the people came to pray for guidance.  There were also some sections that still had their original colours on the hieroglyphics which gave you a very good idea as to how colourful and beautiful the temple would’ve been in its day.  

The entrance to Edfu Temple
Next door to the temple was a museum with lots of mummified crocs ranging from babies to very huge adults.  None were intentionally killed by the Egyptians, rather the Egyptians believed that each crocodile contained a spark of power from the crocodile god so they took great care of them while they were alive and then mummified them and buried them near the temple for protection when they died.  It was interesting to see that the mummification technique was almost identical for crocs as it was for humans.

Luxor by night
The next stop in our temple crawl day was Edfu temple, one of the most intact temples in Egypt and it really gave a good idea of the sheer enormity of the temples.  We especially liked the ‘perfume room’ which was a chamber whose walls were covered in detailed hieroglyphics that were in fact formulas for making complex perfumes, almost like a chemistry recipe :)

Back on the bus and two hours later we arrived at our hotel in Luxor – very ready for a shower!  It was quite a different hotel compared with our last one, very classy with a bar and swimming pool that overlooked the Nile.  We had the afternoon to ourselves to relax and explore the town before visiting our third temple of the day, the famous Luxor temple.  We arrived on dusk and it was great to see the temple all lit up which made it unique experience compared with two others we’d already seen.  

Our hotel - Luxor Lutos
We enjoyed dinner with some of the group, however a few of them were unfortunately singing a new song – ‘When you’re driving in your Chevy and your pants are feeling heavy, diarrhoea, diarrhoea… ‘  They weren’t sure what they’d eaten but we were counting our lucky stars that we obviously hadn’t eaten the same thing!

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