Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The last days

I start to shop for souvenirs. I walk through the Souk everyday on my way to school, listening to my music and ignoring all that's being said to me. Eventually I manage to enjoy the colours and the scents of incence and of the spices again.

Two boys on a donkey on their way to the harvest in the sugar cane fields.

A well deseved break.


The school organizes a trip to Abydos and Dendera and I spend a lovely day with Hathor. The tour guide is not great. I know more about the gods and goddesses and the history of the pharaohs than he does, and I havn't even studied Egyptology. I leave Sofia, Alice and Paolo to talk to him and wonder of by myself. I see the kings list of Abydos and some beautiful depictions of Nut in Dendera. As I said before, I don't usually think much of anything later than 18th Dynasty, but I like the temple at Dendera. I know there is a relief of Kleopatra VII with her son Cesarion and I find it eventually. I have never been intrigued by Kleopatra before, but now that I stand before this testamony to the last great Queen I suddenly think that I want to know more about her. This will be a lovely subject to study when I'm back home. I also like the Sacred Lake. Other than the lake in Karnak this one is dry, it seems more like a palm tree garden, and it is very beautiful. The whole complex of Hathor's temple at Dendera is very beautiful. Currently there is conservatory work being done on it, and I can imagine, when everything is bright and clean again.

A beautiful Nut in Abydos.

With Isis outside the temple of Sethos I at Abydos.

I at one of Hathor's chapels in Dendera.

The Gang.

Back out in the sunlight.

In my last week I go back to the Theban Mountains on my own and spend a very happy day there exploring. I walk into Saff tombs and into other tombs, crouching down and crawling in through openings. I find bones and mummy wrappings, and bones with bitumen und resin and stuff on it, and cones. Nothing is worth anything, but I still leave everything in place. I'm a bit disappointed because I don't know whose tombs they are or which archaeological mission has the concession of them, but there's nothing I can do. I watch the sun set in Deir el-Bahari and say goodbye to Hatshepset. I'm very tired that evening, covered in dust and my shoes are beyond cleaning, but they weren't meant to come back home to Germany with me in the first place, and I am very happy. It was a great day in the Theban Mountains. As much as Luxor and modern day Egypt annoys me, as much do I love the Western Mountain and the timelessness there.

A ghafir at the mortuary temple of Sethos I in Dra' Abu el Naga pushed me up the ruins. I managed to tell him that I'm scared of heights in arabic!!! He wanted us to climb up even further, but I had enough.

Looking into one of the tombs.

I am told that there is going to be an exam on my last day in school and it amuses me, since I am doing the course just for fun and don't need the exam for anything. I study and at the same time I send out applications for jobs and prepare for interviews, which I hope to have when I'm back home. Sallam thinks I will have 100 per cent in my exam and I do, and I feel like I'm Hermione Granger. I hope I will manage to fit continuing to study Arabic into my busy schedule back home.
While I enjoy my last days in Luxor and count down the days to go home I hear about the uprising in Tunisia and the reactions in Cairo and Suez. I get emails from friends and family back home, asking me to be careful. I can see no reactions in Luxor, everything is as quiet and calm as always.
Of course I spend my last evening on the roof watching the sun set above the Theban Mountains, and the temple standing there, as grand and as silent as always.
I can't wait to come home to my lovely man.

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