03 March, 2012

A Theban night

Luxor Temple by night
Luxor to the West, it is al-'Uqsur (الاقصر) in Arabic.  Under the Ptolemaic era, Egypt's ancient capital was known as Thebes.  Common literature informs that when French troops dispatched by Napoleon marched within sight of the temples, the legionnaires spontaneously formed up and presented arms to the famous pile.

The Karnak Temples
The structures left by the ancient Egyptians seem strangely familiar.  Perhaps it is because I spent the better part of my adult life in the shadows of the Washington Monument or Place de la Concorde in Paris, it felt like home to see classical Egyptian architecture.  At the least, I can feel the passing of history, from Egypt to Greece, to Rome, ultimately making its mark on modern Western civilization.
The Luxor Temple
The Luxor Temple, though inspiring with its massive pylons and flood lights outlining the edifice, was not as pleasing as a chance encounter with a group of university students from Alexandria. Eager to engage visitors, they wanted to find out where I'm from, my thoughts about Egypt, and most interesting of all, many wanted to be photographed with me.  The young ladies of the group were gracious, smartly dressed, and indulged me with a wee bit of subtle flirting.

A café at Luxor

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