Sunday, November 07, 2004

Day 1 Melodie – October 17th -Breakfast, relax until 12 noon, Temple, haggling , swim, relax, dinner and party

Last night David and I had the best sleep yet since our vacation began. I think it helped that our boat did not move during the night.

We woke up and had a small breakfast on the bat. We met with our tour leader at 10 am so she could describe the significance of the next temple we were about to see. It is called the Edfu Temple. Every temple we have seen so far has been better than the previous – with the exception of Abu Simbel.

Edfu is some distance from the Nile so the two tour groups on Melodie too vans through a village and a bazaar to the Temple. We had less than 2 hours to investigate this huge temple and shop in the bazaar. David and I would have spent more time in the temple but we had to pick up something to wear to a costume party tonight on the ship. SO we spent little over an hour at Edfu before going to the bazaar.

This temple had fantastic picture and hieroglyphs everywhere. To get the full effect of how grand the entrance to this temple is we had to cross a large court yard and stand at the very back to see the 38 m high x 180 m wide front. Here you see a large war scene. From the entrance, you enter a court yard where you see statues of Horus. The next room was the library where text was stored – it is now empty.

The next large room was the Hall with a smaller side room that had recipes of incense and perfume. We spent some time here photographing the many hieroglyphs that covered every inch of this room. We then tried to take the stairway to the room but unfortunately the gate was locked and we could not enter. Too bad because we were told that there was a beautiful view from the roof of the temple.

We wondered around the back half of the temple where the sanctuary was a giant block of solid granite that had carved hieroglyphs. The block was taller than David and about 8 feet across with a hollowed out middle. Amazing!!!

We left the sanctuary and walked in and out of the many side rooms until we found a wooden baroque that was stored in a back room behind the sanctuary. This baroque is a replica of the original, which is at the Cairo Museum. The wooden carriage was used to carry offerings to the gods.

We wanted to stay longer but we only had 20 minutes to shop for our “Egyptian” robes that we wanted to wear to the dinner party tonight. So we left to go to the bazaar. This bazaar shopping experience was horrible. We had people shoving each other to get us to go to their store. The competition is fierce since there was about 30 stores all selling almost the exact things. The prices were also ridiculously high as well. In the end David found a dark blue stripped “night shirt” and I found a white embroidered top and blue pants. The trick to haggling is to know what you are looking for and to have a price in mind that you want to pay. Most importantly, you will also have to be willing to walk away. We have been told that Luxor is many times more aggressive than what we experienced at this small village. The group is trying to figure out ways to deal with these aggressive sales people – other than to tell them where to shove it!!!

Exasperated, we made it back to the ship to relax until high tea at 4 pm and dinner at 7 pm.

Dinner tonight was a special Egyptian dinner. There were beautiful bright green veggies (Zucchini and beans) but unfortunately they were very salty to taste anything. I was told later that it was meant to be salty to replace the salts that we lost during the day.

Dinner was followed by a party where they broke us up into 5 groups. We had to pick names for our groups. I was in W-Ankh-er’s away and David’s group was called Dave 5 since there were 3 David’s in his group and this group was number 5. WE had a fun evening of playing games – like making a mummy by wrapping a group member in toilet paper and answering trivia questions about the temples we have seen to date. David and my group tied for second place. Then they had a best and worse costume contest. Our friend Kathy was nominated from her group. The 5 best had to do a little dance and they were judged. David and I are not sure who won this contest but it was fun to watch. J

There was a dance after this but I was too exhausted and wanted to lie down so we relaxed in our room and went to bed.

Tomorrow we sail to Luxor by going through the locks in the morning and arrive sometime in the afternoon. WE spend one more evening on Melodie before being transferred to our hotel in Luxor called the Emilio.

David and I are finding our vacation just flying bye but at a good relaxing pace. We still have lots of energy and we are looking forward to investigating all we can see in Luxor.

Veronica and David :-)

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