Going back down the Nile, birthday bags

 Aswan at night.
 And the following day had a little boat tour round Kitchener’s Island among others.
 Egret- this was the most common bird we saw.
 The ingenuity of Egyptian children never seased to amaze me. A group of boys had made these foam “boats” and caught rides on the small boats like we were on. Of course they were trying the usual begging.
 Ancient tombs
 Tropical plants on Kitchener’s Island.
 I hope I remember this properly. This is the tomb of a European man who lived out here most of his life. He had a mistress/wife who buried him there. When she died years later in Paris, it was her dying wishe to be buried with him, so the 2 are together there. I thought it was such a romantic story.
 Ruins on other islands.
 Now this hotel  “Old Cataract Hotel -Aswan” is very interesting.
 Agatha Christie stayed here and wrote “Death on the Nile.”
 I wonder which was her room?
 I have seen a whirling dervish! He was very good- lots of info in the linked article.
 As we head back upstream towards Luxor we go through Esna Lock. Again there are boats far far below, throwing bags of goods up to be bartered on.
 Colossi of Memnon. These are all that reminas of a temple which stood here on the Western (associated with death) back of the Nile on the way to the Valley of the Kings. You can see the screen behind them- that is shielding new excavations from thieves.
 Lets have a quick pop in to an alabaster factory. It is a natural rock in the area so the industry is ancient. Canopic jars for the pharoahs were usually alabaster.
 Things were arranged according to colour inside.
 Many were very dusty but you can see a deep lapis lazuli shade of blue and a green.
 You could buy freshly painted plaster of ancient scenes.
 Warm amber tones
 This was my favourite stone but it glowed in the dark. We were all hot and very tired so not up to haggling. Lots of people liked what they saw but as nothing was priced they did without. A shame really, but the guide told us that the man who owned the shop had been told of this but did nothing.
 Now we go to The Valley of the Kings. All photos had to be tken from the bus as camera weren’t allowed.
 Everywhere it is like this with doorways into a loose rock and a man to punch your ticket. Hawkers are everywhere too. One will latch on to you with the persistance of milk in a boiling pan and only give up as you are leaving.
 Howard Carter’s House- discover of Tutankhamun’s Tomb. He lived in surprising luxury in the years he spent out here. He wanted to be on hand all the time supervising, so he didn’t live in Luxor on the other side of the Nile.
 We are allowed to take photos in the Valley of the Queens. This is Queen Hatshepsut’s Temple
 It was rare for a queen to be a pharoah ruling over Egypt so she is depicted in traditional male attire and a false beard.
 Glug some water we’re going up all those steps.
 Part of the temple is dug out of the mountain.
 so the preservation of colours is really good.
 Blue ceilings with gold stars.
 Imagine the colurs like this all over the temples i have shared! Pretty gaudy to a modern eye but in a society of little literacy, the pictures told a story.
 Some pieces have been rebuilt
 but there are still many to make sense of.
 I made 3 little bags from left overs of left overs for Simone for her birthday.
 and trimmed them in frogging.
They go with the 2 I had already given her when we met but she had to wait until her birthday to open the big one. 
Habu Temple and a little of the Karnak Light show to finish Egypt then I can share Scarborough with you where we were on the 8th July. I am so far behind with my blog posts!

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