This is a late temple. You can see the king being anointed by the goddesses of both Upper and Lower Egypt (represented by their different headdresses). The king (one of the late Ptolemys) shows, by the combined headdress, that Egypt has been united. There is much more that could be said – some of which I remember and some if which I cannot retain. Mainly, this is an experience that just washes over me. The tail is from a bull and represents authority.
We had a wonderful recounting of the legend of Osiris and Isis. The parallels to the creation story and early families of the Bible are astonishing.
Sitting outside in the warm evening breeze trying to take in the brilliance of this ancient civilization.
And the enormous respect I have for the wisdom and thoughtfulness if our guide Salah. He joined us for our discussion this afternoon and the poor man was on the hot seat to explain Egyptian culture and Islam throughout the ages and to forecast the future. He was unfailingly patient and articulate. I cannot imagine bring in his shoes – explaining in Arabic the among a group of semi-suspicious Egyptians the depth and breadth of the western world.
One thing he told us was the Islamic requirement of a man to provide for his family (3 children). As it happens, his wife does the same job as a guide. He may not even ask her what she earns and he provides her with pocket money. He confessed that it sometimes feels like he is being taken advantage of.
Drifting down the Nile is surprisingly lovely and relaxing. But I cannot help but wonder what the farmers we see think of us and what goes on behind the walls.