Tuesday, February 22, 2011


TODAY: Rage and Revolution continue across the Arabic Countries dominating the news to the point that it was difficult to obtain news last night about the massive earthquake of 6.3 that hit Christchurch, New Zealand yesterday. They were still recovering from an even larger earthquake in the seven range only five months ago. This morning they are reporting 65 dead and expect that figure to rise as there are many still buried under rubble. Back in the middle east: The Bahrain King is releasing political prisoners, Yemen continues to boil, Gadhafi roars definitely in Libya threatening to bomb his own people, Morocco starts to demonstrate and even China demonstrates but is quickly stopped by the government forces. And, the political battle in Wisconsin continues to make news here in the USA.

Monday, November 28th, 2005 Cruising on Nile River

About 6 am the movement of the boat woke us up as we left the dock at Kom Ombo and headed north towards Edfu where we would visit the Temple of Horus. The weather was warm, high 80’s to low 90’s; so we all enjoyed a leisurely morning in the sunshine as we watched the scenery along the banks of the Nile. A constantly changing scene as we watched fishermen casting their nets and pulling in surprisingly large fish, the stark brown desert against the very green flood lands bordering the Nile River and the barges that were using the “roads” of the Nile to transport their goods south.

The small boats all use a very unusual oar. It is a 2x4 piece of lumber with a handle attached at one end. Even the feluccas used this type of oar when the wind is not available to power the boat.

Arrived about 11 am in Edfu, we disembarked the ship and boarded individual horse drawn carriages for our ride through town to the Temple of Horus. At one point during our ride, the driver of our carriage was racing another carriage…each of us had two very spirited horses, all of the horses were also very thin, but suddenly we pulled to the side of the road. Apparently the harness had come apart and the bit was out of his mouth. Quickly fixed by the driver and then we were back on the road towards the temple, the race forgotten as the temple loomed into sight.

The Temple of Horus is very large and we walked from a large sunny courtyard lined with columns to the dark inner recesses of the offering chambers. This temple is almost entirely intact and its decorated hieroglyphs and bas-reliefs make this one of the best preserved temples in Egypt. Horus was the falcon-headed god and the divine protector of Egyptians. In ancient times an annual coronation festival was held to re-crown Horus and a falcon was released in his honor. As we listened to Rita explain the different markings on the walls, Jim was delighted when he finally saw the symbol for one thousand. It looks like a Pac-man symbol. Also we noted that the floors leading to the altar are slanted up and the ceiling is slanted down to give a perception of distance to those looking from the courtyard. The bas-reliefs were very well preserved and one of the interesting things that Rita pointed out was the way that they indicated multiple numbers of people and or things by using a shadowing effect in their drawings.

We had about two hours to see the whole temple and then back by carriage to the ship for our afternoon cruise to Esna. I spent the afternoon on the upper deck working on the photos in my computer; writing postcards to grandchildren and notes in my journal. There was a napkin folding lesson that I skipped; I’ve done that before and never seem to remember the folds when I get home! About 5 pm we joined our group for afternoon tea in the lounge followed by a lecture by Rita on culture and customs in Egypt while the crew docked the boat for our evening berth at Esna.

Dinner this evening was hi-lighted by another birthday cake…accidentally we’ve been at the birthday table twice during this short cruise. We missed the entertainment tonight; a skit performed by the crew of an Egyptian wedding. We decided we needed the extra sleep and had an early night!

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