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Old 05-15-2006, 09:21 AM   #1
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I actually made EIGHT of these and didn't even cover every place I went! I'll post one or two of them here, and you can see the rest in my travelpunk blog (the link is in my sig line).

So this one is Karnak. Anyone who likes history will LOVE Karnak as I'm sure these pictures will prove (I'm looking your way, WWM! )

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Luxor is the site of the ancient capital of Upper Egypt, and thus contains some of the greatest works of architecture in the entire country. Arguably the most impressive of all of them is the Temple of Karnak, a massive work covering 63 acres (!!), having been built by numerous different Pharaohs due to its massive size, and containing the largest hypostyle hall in the entire world.



The walkway to the entrance of Karnak, lined by miniature Sphinxes.



The best preserved of the Sphinxes along the walkway.



Past the giant outer walls one enters a large open court containing multiple temples and artifacts to different gods and Pharaohs. The Hypostyle hall is in the distance.



To the right is the temple of Ramses III.



The best preserved statue at the entrance to the temple.



The inner hall of the temple.



Statues lining the inner hall. Numerous temples of this design exist in Karnak dedicated to Pharaohs and gods/goddesses.



Walking toward the hypostyle hall, we discover that the Egyptians invented the Chia Pet...



The centerpiece of Karnak - the hypostyle hall. Yes, that number says one hundred thirty four columns. And not just 134 of any column...



...134 of THESE columns. The size of the hall is absolutely awe inspiring.

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Old 05-15-2006, 09:23 AM   #2
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One can easily become lost amongst the columns. Each contains complex hieroglyphics depicting various scenes related to Seti I, the author of their design. One could literally spend hours and hours reading them.



Originally, every one of the 134 pillars had this type of connection piece mounted at the top, which acted as a filter for sun rays as well as a natural air conditioning system to keep the hall cool during the blistering hot days.



Exiting the hypostyle hall, we come upon yet another additional area by yet another Pharaoh: our favorite mistress of deception, Queen Hatshepsut.



Hatshepsut's greatest addition to this grand bazaar of Egyptian history is the famous twin Obelisks. Massive structures carved out of one single gigantic block of granite and shipped via dozens of boats from Aswan in the south to Luxor, then erected by an elaborate system of sand pits and expert engineering skills, the entire process being depicted on the walls and the obelisk itself.



Another view of the obelisk.



A sign describing the obelisk and the time it took to build and erect it--a mere 7 months!

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Old 05-15-2006, 09:23 AM   #3
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Walking to the right and further ahead, we enter a large open area. You can see far beyond where it is allowed to walk there are yet more ruins being restored and reconstructed by locals and UNESCO. Even all this we've seen is just a fraction of the total size and magnitude of all of Karnak. I can't wait to see it when it's COMPLETELY restored...



In this giant area is a shrine to the Scarab, an ancient symbol of protection. Temple patrons would walk around the statue clockwise seven times, stop and make a wish.



Finally at the end of Karnak is the Holy Spring. Each temple in Egypt had a spring of holy water which the priests and King/Queen would have to wash themselves in before performing religious rites. Karnak's is the only one that still contains water to this day.



On the way out we see the other of the twin obelisks of Hatshepsut.



That's all for Karnak. Overwhelmed yet? I certainly was...and this was just day three of my ten day tour!

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Hope you like it! Let me know what you think!
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Old 05-15-2006, 09:57 AM   #4
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Wow, I have a new country on my wish list! Thanks Goy!
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Old 05-15-2006, 09:59 AM   #5
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Wow.
Just wow. You're making me jealous, Devon!

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Old 05-15-2006, 10:41 AM   #6
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Pics are awesome! Nice descriptions too....

Someday I'll make it to Egypt...someday.
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Old 05-15-2006, 10:57 AM   #7
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Sweet pictures! Oh I still remember standing there myself like it was yesterday.... damn that was 3 years ago!
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Old 05-15-2006, 11:33 AM   #8
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OMGZ IZ DAT IN UROPE!?!?


Nice pics dev! Good to have ya back homeskillet...
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Old 05-15-2006, 11:38 AM   #9
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awesome? uh, how 'bout fuckin' sweet man! that's incredible, even with all the coral tourist extras
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Old 05-15-2006, 11:46 AM   #10
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^^ Let me rephrase: Fuckin' sweet and totally awesome pics, man!!!!!!!!!!!!

The awesomeness of your photo's certainly deserve a "fuckin' sweet" to precede...
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Old 05-15-2006, 12:54 PM   #11
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Excellent photos Devon....its great to see some phtos of that area
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Old 05-15-2006, 01:57 PM   #12
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Freakin' awesome, man!

You know, I haven't been feeling the travel bug so much lately because I already have 2 trips set up for the remainder of the year, but really - just quickly going through those pictures has made me want to look into the possiblity of heading to Egypt. Gah. I hate you!
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Old 05-15-2006, 11:40 PM   #13
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awesome
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Old 05-16-2006, 12:43 AM   #14
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Truley Brilliant!!! Amazing pictures! I think everyone here is jealous
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Old 05-22-2006, 08:21 AM   #15
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WOW!!! Those pics are amazing!

Very jealous right now.
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