Final Day in Luxor and Thebes

My final day in Luxor was mainly a day of reflection and relaxation before traveling on an overnight train to Cairo. I had to check out of my hotel room at noon, so I decided to spend the rest of my final day in Luxor at the pool. Really, I needed the rest. I was so thoroughly exhausted by the 21-hour trip from the States and the two very full days of touring, that I needed a break. A day at the pool was the perfect tonic.

I was able to start the day off with an awesome quiet time, as I had started each of my days in Egypt. On this particular day, I quietly snuck out of my hotel room with my Bible, my journal, and my camera, and went for a pre-dawn walk down by the Nile. The Nile River before sunrise is a beautiful sight. The mountains of the Libyan desert catch the first rays of light and the haze of the morning air covers the river basin. It is a quiet and holy time. Down by the river, I read extensively from the Books of the Law. I meditated on the story of Moses, cast adrift in a reed boat on the same Nile that I gazed at with my own eyes. I read how he returned and cursed this same Nile, turning it to blood from one side to the other. If archeological accounts are true, the pharaoh who Moses would have confronted would be Ramses II, who lived here in Thebes. That would mean that not only did he curse this same river, but he would have done it somewhere here in what is now Luxor.

The richness of these times simply cannot be measured. My quiet times in Egypt were intense and deep and I felt a depth that I had not experienced in a long time. Egypt is real. It is no longer a place in the Bible that I read about on occasion. It lives.

the haze of the pre-dawn hours

Nile River of glass

striking colors at dawn

beauty and majesty

balooning by the cliffs

peaceful, calm shores

Communing with God by the Nile

Journal excerpt - "sitting by the pool" :
Even though I am sitting here in the shade, the noon heat is oppressive. The beautiful, yet ominous far bank of the Nile, that houses the necropolises (the cities of the dead), is barely visible through the hazy, heat-induced fog. Although I have loved it here, I must admit that I am completely ready to leave. I have seen the best of Luxor and I am ready to move on to Cairo and then Israel. I must disclose that I am fairly concerned over the situation in Israel. There was a major death of a top Palestinian official on Friday, followed by a tragic, suicide bombing on Saturday that killed 19 and wounded 120. A bomber in Tel Aviv apparently walked into a crowd of young people outside a disco and blew himself to pieces. Experts are speculating whether this will lead to a major war in the Middle East. This is the atmosphere I am about to enter.

Journal excerpt - "A note on music":
Sitting here by the pool, the hotel guests are "treated" to various musical selections over the loud speaker. Almost all of the music is American. I encountered a similar situation three years ago in Greece. I think it is only fair to have American music everywhere in the world. I mean, why should American citizens be the only ones who have to suffer through Kenny G? Anyway, a funny thing happened a moment ago when they were playing a compilation of songs by Whitney Houston who is not one of my more favorite performers. On her compilation was a recording of, "Jesus Loves Me" which is outlawed and cannot be sung in public in this intense and rigid Islamic country. They never caught their mistake and the song played all the way through. Who knows, perhaps God allowed the song to be sung just for me. It was very beautiful and has given me a spirit of worship. Then again, the fact that Whitney was singing it brings me to the following tomb-related question, "Does Whitney Houston exist in the afterlife, and is there a priestly spell to get rid of her?" If I were a pharaonic king, my tomb would be littered with images of Whitney Houston upside down, without a head, bound, and trapped in her own personal cave without a shadow . . . and that goes for Elton John to boot!

The Nile River Basin

richness and desolation side by side

A final lecture before check-out

Priceless sunsets forever in my memories
(click here to enlarge)

Unfortunately, I got very sick in the evening after eating at McDonalds and had some real "health issues" before starting my overnight train ride to Cairo. It was all very alarming. I was very apprehensive concerning the trip and the last thing I needed on my adventure was a "sick sensation" accompanying me on my journey. By the time the train was to leave, I was feeling much better. I was tired and fatigued, but otherwise, felt pretty decent.

There is no rest for Egyptian security!!

not an S1-W, he has an A-K!
(if you get that joke, you're really good)

You may download my Egypt 2001 screensavers at Webshots

Traveling to Luxor
Luxor and Karnak Temples
West Bank of ancient Thebes
Final day in Luxor
First 2 days in Cairo
The Pyramids, Sphinx, and King Tut
Touring Islamic and Coptic Cairo

On to Israel!!!!!


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