Probably the place on Earth with the greates concentrations of prehistoric remains. Dolmens and tens of thousands of standing stones perfectly aligned. Proof of what human beings can achieve if we are motivated… and have time at our disposal.
Better than adding annoying music, we preferred to leave the always present local birds.
The Kom Ombo temple, built in the ptolemaic period is remarkable for being the only doble temple in Egypt, with its north side consecrated to Haroeris and the southern to the crocodile god Sobek.
Kom Ombo was a place where medicine and surgery were practiced, with such a skill that even today seems surprising. Its reliefs of medical instruments, including a stethoscope in one of the back chapels are very famed throughout the egyptological world.
If you see a bunch of cobras near the temple, don’t worry. They are quite harmless.
The Denderah temple –consecrated to the cow goddess Hathor– is one of the less frequented, in spite of its importance and its pristine state of preservation, of the whole Egypt, mainly because of being so far from the mainstream tourist tours.
It is known for the horoscope that covers the ceiling of one of its chapels and specially for being home of the famous “Denderah Lightbulb”. The latter is a bas relief in which many people see a modern light bulb, although orthodox egyptologists postulate that is the mash up of a djed pillar and a lotus flower with a snake inside of it.
The Horus Temple in Edfu is the best preserved temple in Egypt. The actual building, raised between 237 and 57 b.C, was built on top of much older structures. Its reliefs tell us the story of its own construction, along with different legends, including the mythical struggle of Seth and Horus, who was trying to avenge his father Osiris’ death.
Many of the ceilings show the damage caused by fire; perhaps an attempt of the christians to destroy the pagan images; perhaps the remains of bonfires of the people that chose to seek refuge in the temple in ancient times.
The temple of Seti I in Abydos is one of the most magical in Egypt. Where the great egyptologist and paleographer Dorothy Eady –better known as Omm Sety– stated that she had lived in ancient times like the priestess Bentreshyt, very close to Seti himself, durin the XIX Dynasty.
It is here where we can find the famous cartouche with the superimposed name of Seti and his son, the future Rameses II, showing out some strange images, in which many people believe to see a submarine, a helicopter, a tank and other modern machines.
The immense complex at Saqqara was built by the architect, mathematician and doctor –he would be later even deified– Imhotep, under orders of the pharaoh Zoser, during the III Dynasty. Along the beautiful Stepped Pyramid –the inspiration of the upcoming egyptian pyramids– we could admire the reliefs and paintings of several tombs open to the public and –if we are lucky– explore the interior of faraoh Unas’ pyramid.
Although it may not be easy securing a permit, we recommend to visit the Serapeum, one of the most –if not the most– misterious places in Egypt. A tunnel complex where dozens of gargantuan sarcophagus are stored, supposedly used for mummification of sacred ox. The problem is that when they managed to move the lids of the sarcophagus, there was nothing to be found in the inside…
Luxor Temple, in the west bank of the old Thebes –today’s Luxor– is probably the most visited temple in Egypt. Built around 1400 b.C, it’s connecto to the massive Karnak complex by an avenue of sphynxes three kilometers long. Leaders like Amenhotep III, Rameses II, Tutankhamun o even the very same Alexander the Great contributed to built this temple along the centuries.
The Karnak Temple is one of the biggest sacred places in the world. Link to the Luxor Temple by the Avenue of the Sphinxes, built by Rameses II, it’s not easy to keep oriented between its innumerable yards, hypostyles, lakes, temples and pylons.
But if we are lucky, we’ll get to its more secret and unknown room: the chapel of Ptah, home of the mighty goddess Sekhmet.
In Luxor’s west bank, the old capital of Thebes, many temples like Medinet Habu, the Ramesseum or the well preserved temple of Hatshepshut, without forgetting Memnon Colossi or the gargantuan –more than 1000 tons– statute of Rameses II, can be found.
The West was the shore where the ancient egyptians buried their dead, to easy the trip to the eternal world. Proof of that are the King’s Valley, the Queen’s, the Artisan’s or the Noble’s.
Thanks to Miguel Blanco for getting together a group of real travelers, with whom we had the pleasure of sharing our adventures in the most isolated and amazing place on Earth. As we saw, it’s better to travel in good company.
We’ll be uploading some pictures of this last expedition to Rapa Nui. For starters, here we have a satellite image of the island with some of the routes we have walked under the sun… or the storm.