Thursday, April 29, 2010

Temple of Komombo - Sobek

The god Sobek, which was depicted as a crocodile or a man with the head of a crocodile was a powerful and frightening deity & Komombo Temple is dedicated to him - Crocodiles were kept here.

Sobek - Crocodile headed god

The wall below shows surgical instruments & women giving birth

Man its really, really hot!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Sun sets & the Moon rises

I was on a boat going on the Nile going north up towards Cairo & suddenly realised to the East (Right) I could see the Moon & to the West (Left) the Sun.

The Sun to rule the day & the Moon to light the night - I was amazed I have never seen this before.

Location:El Khatar - Aswan,,Egypt

Abu Simble - Nefertari Temple

This Temple was built in honour of Nethertari Rameses favourite wife.

It's in Abu Simbel & has wonderful motifs all about love.

This is my favourite pic I have seen so far - it's Rameses giving Lotus flowers to Isis.

As above expanded

3,000 years ago & they were able to do 3D look @ they way the arm seems to come out.

Ooohh that sun is hot!!

St George & the Reggae boys from Europe to Africa

Abu Simbel the Temple

I had arrived in Aswan with the sole intention of seeing the Daddy of Colossal monuments Rameses II Temple in Abu Simble. I had stayed in Aswan a few days trying to get used to the heat before I went off hurdling thru the Desert.
After a 2 hour drive thru the desert spying nothing but sand & camels we arrived @ Abu Simbel
I had seen many photos of it before but they just didn't get the scale of monumental across!

It was built on Egypts southern border with motifs & pictures showing the victorious Battle of Kadesh with the Hittites (Syrians) so as to warn Rameses enemies if ur gonna trouble us you better be big & bad

Colossal doesn't describe it

This statue is huge I reach it's
knees & the detail is just awesome

Check the Birkenstocks!

The Pharoah Ramses II in his chariot.

There are 6 of these huge statues as you walk thru to the Inner sanctum to be faced by 4 seated statues -
Ramses II, Horus Ra, Isis & Hathor

The sun shines twice a year on the faces of the statues

Yours truly with a big fat huge enormous smile on my face

George & the Reggae boys
from Europe to Africa

The Nubian Desert

The Desert nothing but sand! Well & a few camels, maybe. Even though it's nothing but sand & it's truly hot - I've never felt heat like that before! And apparently it gets as hot as 55 degrees it still has a sort of vibe about it - when I 1st saw it I had this feeling of awe & respect.

These 3 mounds are man built & they are used as markers or guides to show the way thru the desert. I saw these throughout south east Turkey/Mesopotamia they were used as guides for the silk trade route

Sand, sand & more sand & then all of a sudden this huge canal running for miles.

St George & the Reggae boys from Europe to Africa

Felluca - chilling on the Nile

Spent a lovely relaxing day on a Fellucca - the design is the same from 5,000 years ago.

This is the Captain getting ready to pray. Felluca boatmen spend their life on the boat so that means going to the front of the boat @ prayertime & doing your thing. He was also drinking straight from the Nile!!!! & explained he's been doing it since he was young.

Captain Kiwi

Rower bringing lunch to the boats

The children from the villages along the riverbank often swim out to the boats & get pulled through the water.

The local ferry

Children playing along the riverbank

A Nubian village

For thousands of years the Nile has been a means of transport as well as providing irrigation for agriculture - you can see from the Nile the desert directly behind the trees.

St George & the Reggae boys from Europe to Africa

Location:El Khatar - Aswan,,Egypt

Philae Temple - Isis

This was my 1st Temple. I asked @ my hotel how much a tour would cost of the Temple but ended up doing a sound & light show. I quickly realised that i paid for the car only, you pay separately for sites & also the Ferry well, they said Ferry but it was a man with a boat basically!

The show was excellent & the Temple was really beautiful.

Each arch/room brings you closer to the Diety but only the few can go thru all the arches! This is ammmmmazing I love this view;-)

St George & the Reggae boys from Europe to Africa

Monday, April 26, 2010

Egypt - Can't believe I made it all this way!!!


St George & the Reggae boys from Europe to Africa

Location:Kornaish El Nile,,Egypt

Missing the Bus, El Al & a Stripsearch

St George & the Reggae boys from Europe to Africa


Masada is a site in the South of Israel on top of an rock plateau on the Judean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea.
After the First Jewish-Roman War in which the Temple was destroyed a siege of the fortress by the Roman Empire in AD73 led to the mass suicide of the Sicarii rebels, who preferred death to surrender.

The cliffs of Masada are about 1,300 feet (400 m) high and the cliffs on the west are about 300 feet (90 m) high; looking at it the place looks impregnable the top of the plateau is flat.
There was a casemate wall around the top 1.3 km long and 3.7 m thick, with towers, I saw it had stores, barracks, the palace, and cisterns that were refilled by rainwater. Three narrow, winding paths led up to fortified entrance & you can see for miles around even across the dead sea to Jordan.

The story of Massada is based on accounts from Josephus Flavius a 1st century Jewish Roman historian.

King Herod the Great fortified Masada between 37 and 31 BCE as a refuge for himself in the event of a revolt.

In 66 CE, at the beginning of the First Jewish-Roman War against the Roman Empire, a group of Jewish extremists rebels called the Sicarii overcame the Roman garrison of Masada. After the destruction of the Second Temple, the Jewish rebels and their families fled Jerusalem & took over the site using it as a base to fight the Romans.

Bear on mind that works of Josephus are the sole record of events that took place during the siege. According to modern interpretations of Josephus, the Sicarii were an extremist group connected to the Zealots who were fighting the Romans and other Jewish groups. The Zealots in contrast to nire the main burden of the rebellion, which opposed Roman rule of Israel.

The Sicarii were led by Elazar ben Yair in 70 CE they were expelled from Jerusalem by the Jewish population just before the destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple.

They also added a synagogue facing Jerusalem I saw there were a number of mikvahs on Masada. A Mikveh is a ritual bath used before prayer.

The Roman camps @ Masada

When looking down the mountain you can see the outlines of the Roman Legion camps at Masada, remember this siege was for 1 year.
In 72, the Romans laid siege to the fortress. After failed attempts to breach the wall, due to the casemate walls they made a ramp against the western face of the plateau, using tons of stones and beaten earth. Some historians also believe that Romans may have used Jewish slaves to build the ramp.

When the ramp was complete in the spring of 73, allowing the Romans to breach the wall of the fortress with a battering ram on April 16. The zromans returned to camp to await morning before entrring tge fortress. When they entered the fortress,the Romans discovered that its 960 inhabitants had set all the buildings but the food storerooms ablaze and committed mass suicide rather than face certain capture, defeat, slavery or execution by their enemies.

The story of Masada was told to Josephus by two women who survived the suicide by hiding inside a cistern along with five children, and repeated Eleazar ben Ya'ir's speech to his followers, prior to the mass suicide, verbatim to the Romans. Because Judaism strongly forbids suicide, Josephus reported that they had drawn lots and killed each other in turn, down to the last man, who would be the only one to actually take his own life. Josephus says that Eleazar ordered his men to destroy everything except the foodstuffs to show that they could have continued and so chose death rather than slavery, but archaeological excavations have shown that storerooms which contained their provisions were also burnt, though this could have been the Romans. Josephus also reported that the Romans found arms sufficient for ten thousand men as well as iron, brass and lead which casts further doubt on the accuracy of the account, especially when considering that sometimes Josephus exaggerates.
To get to the top we used a cable car, the Roman ramp still stands on the western side and can be climbed on foot. Many of the ancient buildings have been restored from their remains, as have the wall-paintings of Herod's two main palaces, and the Roman-style bathhouses that he built. The meter-high wall that the Romans built around Masada can be seen, together with eleven barracks for the Roman soldiers just outside this wall. Water cisterns in the cliff drain the nearby wadis by an elaborate system of channels, which explains how the rebels managed to have enough water for such a long time.

Inside the synagogue, an inscription me'aser cohen (name for the priest) was found & fragments of two scrolls; parts of Deuteronomy 33-34 and parts of Ezekiel 35-38 (including the vision of the "dry bones"), found hidden in pits dug under the floor of a small room built inside the synagogue. Fragments were found of the books of Genesis, Leviticus, Psalms, and Sirach, as well as of the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice.

Also in the palace, eleven small bits of pottery were found with names. One reads "ben Yair" and could be short for Eleazar ben Ya'ir, the commander of the fortress. I was told that the other ten names are those ofhe men chosen by lot to kill the others and then themselves.

Excavations uncovered the skeletal remains of 28 people at Masada. The remains of two men and a full head of hair with braids belonging to a woman were also found in the bath house. We were told the hair had been cut from the woman's head with a sharp instrument while she was still alive (a Jewish practice for captured women) while the braids indicated she was married. The remains may have been Romans the rebels captured when they captured the palace, the remains of 25 people were found in a cave at the base of the cliff.
A Byzantine church dating from the 5th and 6th centuries, have also been excavated on the top of Masada.

The Chief of Staff of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), Moshe Dayan, initiated the practice of holding the swearing-in ceremony of soldiers who have completed their Tironut (IDF basic training) on top of Masada. The ceremony ends with the declaration: "Masada shall not fall again." The soldiers climb the Snake Path at night and are sworn in with torches lighting the background. This is a reference to the Jewish revolt in 70 CE, where 900 Jewish fighters committed suicide, leading to the fall of the fort to the Romans.

St George & the Reggae boys from Europe to Africa

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Just passing through and enjoying life. I use this blog to keep hold of my thoughts & opinions. In general anything that interest me.