• africa,  egypt

    Afterlife in Ancient Egypt

    Our last excursion took us to see a glimpse of afterlife in Ancient Egypt. We first met with the Colossi of Memnon, two gigantic statues (each 18 m high), who used to serve as guards to the famous temple of Amenhotep. This temple is now completely destroyed, and the colossi themselves have been heavily damaged. They still look pretty impressive though! After our stop there, we headed out for the Valley of the Kings. This narrow valley was the burial site during almost 500 years of Egyptian rule. Between the 16th and the 11th century before Christ, Pharaohs and important nobles were burried there. The Valley consists of 63 tombs, ranging from a simple…

  • africa,  egypt

    Kom Ombo – my favourite temple in Egypt

    After our stopover in Aswan it was time to discover some more ancient Egyptian temples. First on our list was the small temple of Kom Ombo, which was my favourite temple by far. This temple is dedicated to two gods, which was rare: Horus and Sobek, the crocodile god. It was built during the Greco Roman period (205-180 BC) over the ruins of an older temple, known as the house of Sobek. Sobek was the god of the Nile and he brought fertility to the farmlands. He was therefore very important in Ancient Egypt. It was also believed that he could protect the Pharaoh from the influences of dark magic.…

  • africa,  egypt

    Aswan

    A traditional felouka sailing into the sunset.  Time to pick up our blog series about Egypt again. After sailing away from the temple of Edfu, we reached our halfway point: Aswan. For most of us this meant a little break from all of the temples, although the highlight excursion from Aswan is a visit to the temple of Abu Simbel. Due to high costs, I decided to skip it though. The temple could at that point only be reached by airplane, due to the risk of terrorist attacks over land, and I was a 17 year old student… Needless to say more. I still regret it now, so if you…

  • africa,  egypt

    Edfu temple

    Detail of the statue of Horus on the inner courtyard. The second temple we visited on our trip was Edfu temple. The cruise ship brought us to our new destination over night, which I found a very comfortable way of traveling. It’s not a cruise ship like the big oceanic hotels you see cruising the open seas, but it’s a smaller ship with a sundeck, small swimming pool, a deck with bedrooms and a dining hall / disco in the evening – a part I skipped. We mostly sat on deck, enjoying the cool evening breeze and the lights of villages passing by. In the morning you could see kids running into…

  • africa,  egypt,  unesco world heritage

    The temples of Luxor and Karnak

    A young, happy me in the temple complex of Karnak. You can see the Hypostyle hall in the back (left).  Back in 1999 I was in my senior year of high school. We could choose our senior trip ourselves. It had to be something educational, and the whole class needed to attend the trip. After some brainstorming, we came up with Egypt. And so it was that we set off to discover the temples along the Nile between Luxor & Aswan. It was my first big trip abroad. I had only ever left the safety of Belgium and the Netherlands once, to go to Santorini in Greece with my godfather. Needless to…

  • africa,  asia,  egypt,  israel

    The vast emptyness of deserts

    An open door to the desert – by @SinbadsOPG       It all started with this picture I saw on twitter yesterday. Deserts. I’ve always had a thing for them…I travelled ‘through’ a desert twice. The first time, I sailed the Nile from Luxor to Aswan and back. From the boat, you could see the desert creeping up on the river. Sometimes hidden behind a green curtain of palmtrees, other times right in full view. In Aswan we took a little trip inside it, rode a camels back for a couple of hours. My first encounter with the desert. I wasn’t nearly enough protected for it (the sunblock 50…