Egypt Day 5 – Dendera and Luxor

Day 5: Dendera and Luxor
This was a day on the Nile that was more relaxing than that last few busy days and included visually stunning nice visits to temples at Dendera and Luxor, I especially liked the night time visit to Luxor that was a unique chance to see things under a different light.

Good Morning – the gun to protect our ship
Please Note: Even though we did have a gun on board, I never felt unsafe. Which is true for all of our days in Egypt.

The first visit during the mid-morning was to the temple of Dendera that had very well preserved colors and carvings and hieroglyphs of Cleopatra which was great from a historical perspective. It was also interesting to see a room that had a ceiling containing all the modern western zodiac symbols that were put in during the Ptolemaic/Greek period. It was also the first place to see an empty cartouche, which signified that the temple had some construction that occurred during a leadership change and thus the cartouche was never filled in with the Pharaoh’s name.

Charles and Carrie at Dendera
The God Bes – the protector of the household
Columns in the temple depicting Hathor – the goddess of love among other things
Ceiling of the temple showing cleaned vs. uncleaned hieroglyphs
Up close of Eye of Horis and cleaned hieroglyphs
Blank Cartouches – usually cartouches had the Pharaoh’s name inscribed
Relief of Cleopatra on the right and her son on the right

In the afternoon we got to enjoy crusing the Nile and seeing what life is like there.

Farming on the Nile- notice the scarecrow in traditional Egyptian dress
 

Right before sunset we headed to Luxor temple to enjoy the softening of hte light and the onset of night. The temple was impressive because of the size of the statues, the well preserved columns and the amount of history contained in it. The temple was built over and in fact had a mosque (see photos below) built directly over it that is still used today. It also had some frescos done by the early Christians and had cartouches for Alexander the Great for when he ruled Egypt.

Statue of Ramses guarding the temple
Mosque on top of Luxor Temple (the dark stone at the bottom is the top of the temple
Christian Frescos in the temple
Alexander the Great Cartouche

Below are some of the great shots after the sun had gone down.

Temple from the front – missing the obelisk on the right that is now in Paris
 
Row of Sphinxes that were guarding the temple
The stars in the night sky

After our visit to the temple we headed back to the ship and enjoyed dinner which was followed by a belly dancer and a very impressive and somehow not dizzy whirling dervish. See photos and a video below.

Belly Dancer
Whirling Dervish
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