Cairo and Luxor

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Egypt has existed for almost as long as time itself. As such it has an unparalleled wealth of history and legend. Our family visited in Easter 1990 and stayed for five days in Luxor followed by two days in Cairo. My Dad unfortunately ate some Egyptian ice cream and was ill in bed all through Cairo, although he could still see the pyramids from the balcony. Egypt is a place I certainly intend to visit again sometime - I'm not sure at the time I was old enough to appreciate the experience properly.

The Great Sphinx

A slightly obscured view of the Sphinx and the pyramids of Giza in the background. As you can see there was some restoration work going on at the Sphinx. For many years the Sphinx was buried to the neck in sand, the word "Sphinx" means mysterious. The Great Pyramid behind (on the left) stands today at almost 140 metres and weighs over six million tonnes, yet was built so accurately that the length of each side is within an inch of the others.

This is the largest of the many pyramids at Giza, the Great Pyramid itself. The date when they were built is the subject of debate however it was believed to be approximately 5200 years ago. Originally they were covered with angled blocks of whiter limestone creating a smooth finish, with the top block being plated in solid gold. They would have shone brightly in the desert sun but over time they were plundered and vandalised, their facing stone stolen.

Some Arab guy.  Oh...and a pyramid

Dying from thirst, I dragged my carcass through the sand under the beating sun and the watchful eyes of the ever circling vultures...

Here is one of the earlier pyramids, the Djoser Step Pyramid. It is believed to have been created by Imhotep, as the first stone tomb anywhere in the world. I appear to be building my own sandy pyramid.

I am not quite sure whether this is the temple of Karnak or the temple of Luxor, as both have arrangements of columns like this. However I believe that the Obelisk in the background is the Column of Rameses II which would make this the Colonnade of Amenhotep III, Temple of Luxor. Part of James Bond: Moonraker was filmed in the hall of columns at Karnak, at least I think it was - or it could have been "The Spy Who Loved Me". I'm just not very sure about anything...? Luxor...hmmm...


This is Deir-el Bahari, the Temple of Hatsepsut, the first female pharaoh. However, the architect who designed it signed his name all over the building and was mistaken for a God by the Romans in later years.

Another view of the Temple of Luxor, looking towards the Avenue of the Sphinxes.


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Copyright © Ross Wattie 2002