Exploring the fabulous Karnak Temple in Luxor

Trip Start Jan 26, 2010
Trip End Feb 16, 2010

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Flag of Egypt  , Al Baḩr al Aḩmar,
Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Temple of Karnak, Egypt’s most important Pharaonic site as well as being the largest temple in the world was definitely a magnificent complex to explore.   This was the area where the Kings and Pharaohs ruled Egypt over a period of 1,300 years and where each one of them left their mark behind by constantly expanding to the site countless of temples, halls and courts becoming eventually this gigantic complex!   

Michel and I approached the Temple of Karnak by walking along a short avenue of sphrinxes, 20 on each side.  They were built to protect the temple and in my opinion, they definitely added beauty and drama to this gigantic complex. 

As we entered the open air Temple, a multitude of huge columns, one after another was the view that welcomed us in.  They were quite stunning in every aspect of the word plus the column’s original painted colour could still be seen on some of them along with the distinctive marked Egyptian hieroglyphs signs, each symbol adding a name, a story of an era behind them all.  History was in front of me and I savoured every minute of it while jumping from one column to another one!

By exploring deeper inside the complex with our guide, this brought us in front of a huge rose-granite obelisk (19m high and around 310 tons), one of only a few left in the world, one having been given to France by Egypt in the past as a gift.   

Having finished our tour with Akram, we were given time on our own to explore the Temple of Karnak.  Knowing first hand that there was a lake on the premises which promised a fantastic view of the entire complex, after a few inquiries, Michel and I headed in its direction.   This brought us to several other smaller temples where less tourists were present giving us the entire place to our own to admire.  

Along the way, a couple of locals dressed with long robes and wearing head scarves were encountered and after the initial greetings they showed us around a few special spots to admire and which according to them had spiritual meanings.  At the end of this, they would gesture the universal tip sign while showing off a big huge smile with gold filled teeth!

Having finally reached the end of the huge complex, armed tourist policemen stood guard on top of a hill.  With broken English, they gestured us to join them, for a tip of course, and to see from the top of the hill the entire Temple of Karnak with the promised lake in view.  Well, it was just like I had imagined it.  The small lake was in the left background right next to the temples, columns and ruins.  It was quite a wonderful panoramic view.  Pictures were taken with the guards and then we made our way back to the front of the complex by zigzagging our way to it.

Thankful for having walked on the grounds of the Pharaohs and Kings!

Monique   :-)

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