Friday, September 17, 2010

Egyptian Skies

In Egypt, the sun is unrelenting. With negligible rainfall, few clouds mar the blue perfection of its skies and the heat is a presence you can reach out and touch.

Sunset over the Nile

We visited Egypt at the peak of summer when daytime temperatures were in excess of 40 degrees Celsius, (105 degrees Fahrenheit), and the evenings cooled down only marginally.

The Sphinx
The capital city, Cairo and its surrounding area, is home to seventeen million people. Roads are a driving nightmare as millions of tightly-packed trucks and cars jostle for space, spreading out in in numerous wide lanes that follow no order we could discern.
As a result of this density, a blanket of smog shrouds the city always. On the Giza Plateau, we were told this was a good day and we were lucky to have clear skies to see the view.
The Giza Plateau looking across the Nile River to Cairo.
Of course, stifling heat, traffic madness and the ever-present din of car horns could not detract from the majesty of the Pyramids. It was easy, on that expanse of plateau, to imagine life along the Nile when pharaohs ruled, and these pyramids were built to hold their remains.

The Valley of The Kings lies on the West Bank of the Nile. Ancient Egyptians believed that, as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, so should man live on the East Bank of the Nile and be buried on the West.
The skies here were clearer, and the temperature even higher as the valley held tightly onto the sun's heat.
Climbing ever-deeper into the burial tombs of kings, the air shimmering with the heat and humidity generated by the hundreds of tourists that pressed around me, I felt my heart fill with a delight and satisfaction that surpassed any thought of discomfort.

After a lifetime fascination with Egyptology, I was at last following the footsteps of pharaohs...and it was magnificent!
I’m linking this post to ‘Looking At The Sky Friday’, graciously hosted by CrAzY Working Mom at the link below. Do stop by for skies that will inspire!


Tete said...

I started researching Egypt and the pharohs in junior high. I wanted to go there and dig for mummies! I checked out every book at least twice that they had on it. The smog has really aged it all quickly and is a major threat now.
What do we build now that will be around half as long as these great pyramids? Nothing...
Thanks for sharing your photos- I like the Valley of the Kings the best.
Isn't it cool that they can do DNA testing now and figure out who is related to who?!?
Hugs- Tete

Sherry Blue Sky said...

A glorious journey, as always, Lynette. The gold in the top photo is amazing. Fabulous images, interesting narration, a bit of history you make romantic and immediate with your words. Wonderful!

Samson said...

you have a lovely blog here Lynette, great set of photo's... liked my visit, bookmarked your blog... will be back

Have a nice weekend

Anna said...

These are all gorgeous. What a wonderful experience! Thanks for sharing.

Liza said...

Wonderful photos. Thanks for sharing.

Have a great weekend.

Liz @ A Simple Life

Greyscale Territory said...

Love the shimmer of golden skies in the first two photos! But I am totally fascinated by your travel photos of Egypt! A place that stirs the hunger of the spirit to know more!

Drawn to The Sea said...

I'm very glad I stopped by today. Egypt is fascinating to those of us who've never been... I imagine it to be even more so after you've stood in the very footsteps of her history. Those beautiful shots certainly hold so many memories for you.

ninotaziz said...

Wow, Lynette.
Absolutely beautiful. Absolutely breathtaking. Absolutely gorgeous.

manikchand said...

Did you get to explore the subterranean caverns and tunnels or the insides of those pyramids ..