Editor’s Note: These photographs may look old-fashioned now, but when we first started posting photos most images were scanned in from film negatives, and the resolution on the internet was very poor. Images needed to be only a few kilobytes so that you could download them with a phone modem; now they are thousands of times bigger.
A Ride Into The Desert, My Friend?
By Loren Brown
Update: These photographs may look old-fashioned now, but when we first started posting photos most images were scanned in from film negatives, and the resolution on the internet was very poor. Images needed to be only a few kilobytes so that you could download them with a phone modem; now they are thousands of times bigger.
After a camel ride in front of the three great pyramids, we were greeted by the Sphinx, which appeared to be gazing off into the distance, enigmatic, lost in millennia of silence.
The rays of the sun were almost stinging as we rode along the asphalt road towards the Pyramids of Giza. The road stretched out in a winding manner across the monotonous dunes that seemed to continue on and on to the ends of the earth.
Here I sat (bottom right) 12 hours before my controversial midnight climb to the top of the Pyramid of Cheops. Notice the immense size of the blocks. The pyramid was completed around 2600 BC with over 2 1/2 millions limestone blocks!
On the edge of the Nile, women balance water on their heads. The Nile was a strange combination of green date palms and vegetation contrasting with the endless undulations of brown sand. Above everything was the heavy weight of the deep blue sky.
The magnificent Temple of King Ramses II in Abu Simbel. Can you tell which statue on the bottom is actually human?
The facade of the Temple of Nefertari echoes the theme of the royal colossus of Ramses II. Due to the rising water of Lake Nasser in the early 1960s, the entire rock temples were dismantled and reassembled 210 feet above the original site.
The superhuman proportions of the hypostyle hall create an impression of strange strength and beauty. It was here that the sacred barques gathered before leaving the temple. An obelisk appears to sprout out of the swaying palm in the distance.
One can only imagine the splendor of the 12 colorful decorated columns supporting the 82-foot high ceiling. Light flooded in through the high traceried windows, while the side aisles remained in the shadows.
The gate at the Temple of Horus at Edfu is where the high priest would purify himself in the “robing room” before taking the papyrus bearing the day’s order of worship from the library.
The majestic and romantic aura surrounding the Temple of Philae complex of Isis and Hathor lured us in. The evening laser light show brought out more beauty of the temple, and simplified the busyness of the random and scattered rooms and monuments.
Three young fishermen rowing up the Nile in 110-degree heat. The desert that spread out to the horizon on either side of the river was an expanse of stillness and sterility suggestive of a ghastly aftermath of some ancient holocaust.
As our cruise ship quietly slithered up the Nile, we passed by an old truck on a barge used in bridge construction.
The silhouette of golden rooftops against the glittering light of the rising sun was expressive of an infinitely, gentle melancholy.
The extremely powerful architectural composition of the temple of Hatshepsut, designed as a series of terraces and horizontal porticos which stand out against the vertical rock face.
The past meets the present. Since there is never a moment where the sun could soften its angry face behind a veil of clouds, this “Disneyesque” tram takes tourists to the tombs at the Valley of the Kings and Queens. Yes, the Nesquik bunny sponsored it.
Rachel Hugens, world traveler by bicycle, shares the biggest lesson she learned after 25 years on and off the road. Avid traveler or armchair traveler, this will change your life, too!
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