Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Amun Temple of Luxor

When I excavated in Egypt the exotic language was one of several things that made the whole time a magical one. Now that I am among linguists there is nothing but the language and after one week I admit to myself how bored I am. I don't get round to doing much but studying and I crave visiting a temple or even better a tomb and lose myself in the decorations. Also I have very little time to myself. In school, in the flat or in the caf├ęs where I study there are constantly people around me. I promise myself a trip to the Westbank all by myself soon. The only monument on the East bank is the Amun Temple. I have probably walked around it one hundred times now and photographed every pillar of it. My favourite time with the temple is nighttime. It is beautifully illuminated in the dark. I am drawn to it again and again and my eyes wander up and down the mighty yet graceful pillars. The painted decorations on the lotos and papyrus chapters are long gone but the mere shapes are harmonic and beautiful. So is the pylon, the obelisk and sphynged avenue. The spectacular egyptian sunsets adds to the magic and last summer they have begun illuminating the western mountains at nighttime as well.

View from my roof top table over the temple as sunlight begins to fade and the night takes over

A bit later the same day: Luxor temple and the Theban mountains

Sunset fire sky above the Nile

I have taken so many photos of the temple that I could produce a coffee-table book. I sit on the rooftop and gaze over to the temple, the pink and orange sky and the illuminated mountains and contemplate how visual stimuli influence how I feel. The way the light is used as a tool to add to the beauty of the natural landscape and of the monument the ancient egyptians have created... I feel happy, at peace and connected to the people long past. And then the waiter turns the television on and all the magic is blasted away by the noise of advertisements and of piercing arabic popmusic. I pack up and flee.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what amazing views. Beautiful...
    I just don't understand how you can get bored with the language ;) I do understand getting bored with modern-day Egypt though; I lived there for half a year and that was too long. No time to yourself, no peace and quiet, no trees and grass, lots of infections... eventually you just want out, just for a weekend, please...
    Later I went back for a few weeks to a month as tourleader, which was much better. I love Egypt, but only in bite-size chunks. And I had my own room, which is important as well. I really admire you for taking the deep plunge, but understand it gets frustrating sometimes!
    It is an entirely different world from the pharaonic times, but I love this new world with all its frustrations and madness. I hope you have a good time overall.