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.
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.
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...?
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.