April Fools

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Flag of Egypt  , Nile River Valley,
Friday, April 1, 2011

We thought about doing a good kidnapped in the desert April Fools blog, but figured it might kill our mothers so we thought better of it. Jacki still got a few good ones played on her.This morning we woke up early again to do another tour to two temples called Abydos and Dandara.  They are really far away, but are supposed to be some of the best temples in Egypt so we made the trip.  The drive was about 2.5 hours to Abydos.  We drove pretty much right next to the main canal the whole way passing through a ton of little towns on the way.  Many of the main roads around Luxor are lined for miles with big flowering bushes of different colors.  It is sugar cane harvesting season, which turns out is Egypts biggest crop.  There were truck after truck packed 15 feet high with sugar cane everywhere and every time they would slow down or stop the local kids would run up to them and rip out a few strands to eat.  Every few miles along the road there were barriers set up in the middle of the road that the cars have to swirve in and out of.  These are to slow the cars down, although I'm not sure why they don't just make a speed limit. It was a long drive, but it was nice to just sit back and read and journal for a while.  Having a Kindle is awesome.  Anyways, eventually we ended up at Abydos.  There were a lot more tourists there than we expected, which was good.  It was a big temple that was very well preserved with a lot of the colors still visable.  It was one of the main temples in Egypt with 7 smaller temples inside to different gods.  It was kind of like an Egyptian history class where everything was in one building.  There was a story there about a lady in the 50's or 60's that said she was a reincarnation of a queen who used to live there.  I guess she found a bunch of stuff there that nobody knew was there from dreams that she had.  Our hotel packed us lunches that we had on the way to Dandara.  It was a good lunch too, but I kind of felt like I was on a school field trip.  It was more than an hour before we got to the next temple.  This temple wasn't super important, but was still in really good shape.  There were 24 big columns there and it is the only temple in Egypt that still has its original roof with working gutters whith downspouts shaped like lions (why they need gutters in the desert...you got me.)  There is also the only carving ever found of Cleopatra, but she looked like every other chick on the walls, just with a different hat on.  We walked around for a while, and up on the roof was a good view of the desert.  On the way out Jacki spotted a real owl sitting in the top corner of the main part of the temple.  Pretty cool. We were glad we went to those two temples, but it was a really far drive, and not our favorites of all of them.  We are getting the hang of this Egypt stuff though.  They have some pretty cool stories and ideas. That was the end of our guided tour, but we had them drop us of at Karnak temple in Luxor, which is the biggest temple complex in all of Egypt.  We got there right before they stopped selling tickets, which was lucky.  It was a prety cool temple.  Definitely very big with a lot of huge statues, columns, oblisks, and stuff.  It wasn't quite as nice as Luxor temple, there were a lot of ruins and rocks everywhere, but it was still a really good one.  It was another long day, but there really isn't much to talk about.  We had a great time just hanging out in 5000 year old buildings.  That was probably our favorite part, at the end of the day when there wasn't really anything else to see so we just sat on the base of some 30 foot columns for an hour or so and took it all in. When we finally got back to the hotel, Ahmed, the hotel guy, was waiting up for us because he was worried because we were gone for so long.  So then Eric set his lineup and we went to sleep, getting to sleep in tomorrow morning.  We really liked Luxor and aren't super excited to go back to Cairo (except to go to the museum.)  We are excited to see Shannon and Bo in a few days when they meet us in Jordan though!
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