Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Leaving Luxor - 25 December 2007

Karnak Temple

Karnak TempleChristmas Day began with a 6 a.m. wake-up call so that we could visit the Karnak Temple site, the largest templ comple in the world, and get back to the boat before it sailed. Karnak is a 70 acre site comprising ruins of temples, obelisks and other structures erected by and in memory of several Pharaohs. Karnak TempleThere are a couple of majestic obelisks formed from single blocks of granite that are quite inspiring; one is 29m tall.

Back on the boat we sailed south, upstream, arriving at the Esna lock to take our place in the queue for our transit through the lock: two boats at a time and a 45-minute cycle means there are significant queues upstream and downstream. We took our place at number 20 with a likely transit in the early morning.

Karnak TempleKarnak Temple

Being forced to sit and enjoy the hot Egyptian sunshine when we could have London fog was a real trial, but we were stuck in the queue, what else could we do? Until the next boat arrived and moored alongside the entertainment was provided by the locals who attempted to sell Egyptian clothing by throwing it 4 decks up from their rowboats to the unwary tourists on the cruise boats. Floating vendors at EsnaIf the garments were not thrown back immediately the haggling began. Throwing the garments back and having them miss the target and land in the water did not impress the sellers one bit, even though the goods were in plastic bags.

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