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24 Festive Tasks: Door 8 - Penance Day, Task 4 (In the Desert: Egypt, with an Addendum for Moonlight)

As many here know, I've lived in Southern California for a while, which is of course largely a desert region, and traveled throughout the American Southwest from there -- but the last time I visited a desert was when I took my mom to Egypt a few years ago:

 

Gizah:


Saqqara:

Abu Simbel:

Sunrise in the desert, and our "caravan" of 40 or so tourist buses (as a prevention against armed attacks -- by terrorists or robbers -- the only way, other than flying, that you were permitted to travel to Abu Simbel at the time; the "caravan" was heavily guarded by police)

Entrances to the temples of Ramses II and his wife, Queen Nefertari

Temple of Ramses II

Temple of Nefertari
(photography not permitted inside either temple)

 

Temple of Hatshepsut:

Hatshepsut depicted as a pharaoh, in the traditional manner ... and in a rare instance, as a woman

Head sculpture of the goddess Isis

Wall paintings, depicting Hatshepsut's army (glorifying her military conquests), as well as the 3 sacred symbols: Uas (salvation, the sceptre of the gods), Djet, or Zet (stability, the backbone of Osiris), and Ankh (life, eternity)

 

Valley of the Kings:

Model of the Valley of the Kings: each of the dots represents a tomb ... and excavations are still continuing

"KV 62" -- the most famous of them all

Tutankhamun's burial chamber (not my own photo: source here)

 

Karnak:


Entrance to the temple compound and Alley of Rams

Great Hypostyle Hall
The photo doesn't really do the height of these columns justice (no photo could); they totally dwarf us humans ... we don't reach much higher than the bottom pedestal and the lower part of the actual column

Toppled obelisk of Hatshepsut, and scarab altar (for luck, you're supposed to circle it -- seven times IIRC)

Statue of Sekhmet, the lion goddess, and colored relief of Ankh with two falcons (or eagles -- not sure)

Looking back towards the main compound from the other end of the temple district

 
 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

For Moonlight, as a follow-up to her Day of Penance post: San Xavier del Bac, way back when I visited ... and without trying to touch up or re-colorize the photos in any way.  Though they're not quite as ancient as they look; they were just taken with a cheap camera (my very first one).  So you'll just have to take it on faith that the sky was as brightly blue as in your photos and the church as gleaming white! :)