Early sailing to Qena - Day 5
21st February 2012
We woke early this morning to find we are heading northwards to Qena, part of Upper Egypt's landscape. After a scrumptious buffet breakfast l'm now sitting in the cabin writing this blog while waiting for our tour at 9am. At the moment the weather is sunny although cool and I think it turn into a great day….must remember my cap!
Okay, so now l'm back on board waiting for lunch. We have just been to Denderah to visit the Ptolemaic Temple of the Goddess Hathor. This was a wonderfully preserved temple complex complete with a massive stone roof, dark chambers, underground passages, secret rooms and towering columns inscribed with hieroglyphs. The main Temple of Hathor is almost intact. Hathor was the goddess of pleasure and love, usually represented as a cow or a woman with a cow's head. She was the deity of maternal and family love, beauty and light. The Greeks associated her with Aphrodite. On one of the outside walls etched into the stone is Cleopatra and her son which is proof that she came to Denderah. In the underground tunnel we went into, Cleopatra's necklace is etched into the wall. We went up and around and around steps until we came onto the roof. In one of the rooms on the roof l've taken a picture of their lighting system. This is also carved all up the inside and would have been coloured too. Theses light shafts are in most of the ceilings of the temple. It's just so hard to describe the temple and it's history. All of the etchings in the walls are the originals…they're so well preserved except for the colours.
This afternoon we spend 5 hours on board cruising back to Luxor where we'll disembark to take a tour on the East Bank to the Temple of Luxor. So we pretty much relaxed after lunch. We went onto the top deck (which by the way was guarded by men with a machine gun) wandered around for a bit had a look at the pool, afternoon tea and then watched the crew dock the boat. The guys with the machine guns got off the boat at Luxor so perhaps we were in dangerous waters so to speak.
The Temple of Luxor became the centre of political and religious power for the whole country under Amenhotep 111's reign. We arrived at the temple quite late so even though it was great to see it as night fell, it was difficult to see a lot of the stuff and get good photo's
Back on board now and ready for dinner.