December 28, 2007
We’ve been in
Our trip here from
Our first day in
We walked a bit in the souk and saw a number of bakeries where they were pulling out steaming pita bread and putting them on wooden racks to cool off. There were long lines at the bakeries – Carolyn and I were in line at one while Mike and Paul went to a nearby fruit stand to buy bananas. Some Egyptian came by and facilitated our purchase and we got some yummy pitas, paying only 1 Egyptian pound more than the price for the expediting. The pita were yummy – we’re also buying yogurt, fruit, juice etc to self-cater. The cheese we buy is a variety of La Vache que Rie, little processed cheese wedges that are ubiquitously sold here. Maeve really likes these and scarfs four wedges at a meal – she’d eat more but we cut her off.
After the afternoon nap, we headed uphill out of town from the hotel to get dinner at the Nubian House. It was a farther walk than we thought, about 15 minutes, but doable. It’s comfortable weather here, but I can see how it must be really hot in the summer, as we’re located right on the tropic of Cancer. The restaurant had a wonderful view over the Nile – the
Yesterday Mike and I went to
In the sanctuary of the main temple, there are statues to four gods, the god of night, the god of the noon-day sun (Amon-Re), Ramses, and the god of the morning sun. Two days a year the sun would shine on 3 of these status – not the god of the night. When they moved the temple, they kept the same orientation, but the sun now shines in one day later.
Mike and I figure we’re getting templed out – we thought
Nefertari’s temple was interesting because she featured in many of the decorations. In the valley of the
In our drive back, it was mostly dark and our driver mostly didn’t have his headlights on. Here, like in
Lake Nasser, the huge lake formed behind the high dam, in addition to covering lots of temples, swallowed up all the fertile land on the banks of the Nile for hundreds of kilometers, completely displacing the Nubians from their ancestral land. There are cliffs on either side of the lake, at least the parts we could see, so it’s not a simple thing to farm using the lake waters, as they’d have to be pumped pretty high to be useful. The Egyptian government is sponsoring some large-scale irrigation plans at Tosca, not too far from
This morning Mike and I took Maeve to the Nubian museum, which she also visited yesterday with her grandparents. It was built about 10 years ago, also in response to the destruction of the Nubian lands by
Today we had to replenish our larder and this afternoon went out to buy more fruit, yogurt and cheese. We had a lot of trouble finding yogurt, and learned the Arabic word for it – zabaadi. Several stores only had plain yogurt, which is fine for Maeve but Mike’s parents don’t like it. We found some strawberry yogurt at the third store and bought it. Shopping today was much more pleasant, at this point, we more or less know the prices for things, so are able to know how to bargain for a fair price and are paying something closer to the Egyptian prices, with a tourist premium thrown in I’m sure. We then tried to buy stamps, it costs 150 piasters, or 1.5 Egyptian pounds to send post cards. I went to the bookshop in our hotel, which sells stamps, but they were selling each stamp for 4 pounds. A bit of a markup. We decided to find the post office, which we did, but it was closed because today is Friday.
We had dinner at a restaurant on the corniche. We walked through the restaurant, past an internet café, down one level on the corniche and across a little walkway to get to a floating dining room on the water. It was a great view across to
Tomorrow our plan is to do a half-day tour of