Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Travel Tuesday : Karnak (the Magnificent)

Karnak village -- and the temple -- is just up the road from the Sofitel Karnak. One morning we got up at 5:30, and were out the door before 6 to go to Karnak Temple.

Perfect timing. Other than the fact that the guards made us do a big loop past an empty set of stores to get to the ticket booth (rather than walking 100 feet past the guards directly to the booth), it was perfect. Hardly any people, no one trying to be our guide, lovely pink sunrise. Glorious.

We wandered around for a couple of hours -- the hypostyle hall was amazing -- so many pillars!

It's all a bit overwhelming -- I keep feeling like I'm in a movie set, which is ridiculous, but... Really liked Hatchepsut's obelisks, the "botanical garden" reliefs, the massive pylon gates.

One enterprising guard had moved the "area closed - no entry" sign but pulled the metal gates across the opening. When we got close, he noisily moved the gates and kept telling us it was okay. But we didn't want the hassle. Around 8:30 we walked back to the hotel, where we had breakfast and then hung out by the pool.

Me with Sekhmet, the lion-headed goddess ... who has a feast day in some traditions on December 31. #twinning

In the early evening we took the shuttle -- getting dropped off at Karnak and then feeling silly because it was so close -- but as Wil said, it will have given the package tourists something to talk about.

We had dinner at Nefertari again, because the owner and the food were both lovely. We met the owner on our first visit, a kind man who had studied in Walthamstow and had a shop in Bristol. Wil's tummy had been bothering him again, so we asked if he could just have some rice and steamed veg -- simple. I had some mezze: babaganoush, tabbouleh, and falafel. When it came it was perfect -- lovely fresh, clean food. Very nice -- best falafel ever.

I definitely had the better dinner, but it's what Wil needed...
Then walked from there to Karnak temple, where we bought the Very Expensive tickets to the Sound & Light show. 100 LE!

It was very different than the one at Giza. In this one you walked from place to place in the temple and learned different things along the way.

Kinda cool to walk around with the temple lit up like that.

It ended in the seats overlooking the sacred lake, which was a bit of an anticlimax. Still, nice. And very different from the one at the pyramids.

Then home, where we stayed up late, sitting outside and finishing the bourbon.

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