Monday, June 7, 2010

Trip to Egypt Segment Four

This morning (Wednesday) we were able to sleep until six-thirty, be ready to leave the ship at eight for an hour and a half drive in a coach bus to Dendera for a tour of the Temple of Hathor. The sailing on the Nile had been delayed for two days, because the water level was too low in the Nile.  During the ride to the temple we were able to see farmers and their fields of cabbages, pumpkins, sesame, cauliflower, etc. We saw the irrigation canals and diesel pumps used to dispense water. We saw the mud brick houses. We saw animals such as cows, donkeys, and horses. The donkeys were pulling small wagons of vegetation and were ridden by people.
Ride Down the Nile River to Dendera to the Temple of Hathor
Observe the mud brick houses.

The Temple of Hathor is magnificent, but everything had been blackened by smoke on the interior of the Temple. An ancient times many temples had become hiding places and the occupant fires caused blackening of all the interior surfaces. Today there are people in the process of trying to remove the black layers. The small areas that have been cleaned  and restored reveal spectacular colors.
Exterior of the Temple of Hathor
Observe the Hathor headed columns to the left.
Observe a well just above.

Exterior of the Temple of Hathor
Observe the engraving of Cleopatra and her son  in the upper right.

Smoke Blackened interior of the Temple of Hathor
Observe the Hathor headed columns.

Smoke Blackened interior of the Temple of Hathor

During lunch today we finally set sail up the Nile. The Nile is one of a few rivers in the world that flows North. Though we were sailing south, thus we were sailing up the Nile. We were able to spend sometime on the deck today taking in the sites as we sailed towards Kom Ombo. When the sun sat the temperature became very cool and chilly. We knew that sometime soon we should be going through Locks at Esna. While we are waiting our ships turn to go through the Locks, we should have an opportunity to participate in the floating market. The vendors throw an object they are selling up on the ship deck. It was very interesting seeing the floating market. Vendors in boats came up to our boat and threw their merchandise on board our boat. Than we were able to look at the item and barter a price. They would throw a pouch on board for us to put in our money. The items we didn’t want we threw back to them. They continued to try and sell their wares until they can no longer reach the boat safely because it is starting to go through the Locks.

Sailing up the Nile towards the Esna Locks

Up to this point the temperature so far has been very pleasant. The highest it has been so far is the very low 80s one day. Outside of all the places we have toured the vendors are a bit pushy at times, the worst was the market on the exit from the Temple of Hatshepsut. They were lined up the whole length and tried to trap you from moving, so you have to keep walking and say no (laa shokran). It is fun haggling and getting a good bargain.

Egypt Trip Segment One

Egypt Trip Segment Two

Egypt Trip Segment Three