Hannah and Je together

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Second Holy Land Trip – Twenty Eighth Day – Luxor

I began my day getting up at 2:30.  It was my first time flying Egypt Air.

Egypt Air Boarding by Ladder

Egypt Air Boarding by Ladder

In the Cairo International Airport, there is no sky passage to the plane which is very common in most Airports.

Muslim Prayer in the plane

Muslim Prayer in the plane

Before the take-off while the engine was running hard, suddenly they pulled down the TV with the mosque image and played the Islam prayer.  I don’t know they do this always before flight or it is because of the regular prayer time.

Sunrise in the Airplane

Sunrise in the Airplane

I saw the sunrise in the plane to Luxor.  Luxor was great.

Sitting Pharaoh is overwhelming

Sitting Pharaoh is overwhelming

This huge sitting statue of a Pharaoh thrilled me.  When the ancient people saw this statue, I am pretty sure that they were all overwhelmed and felt like the Pharaoh is God and looking down.

German Excavation

German Excavation

The two pharaoh sitting statues were side by side, and a little back, there was another smaller statue.  And I was told that the Germans digging now.

Colour is still alive

Colour is still alive

I went to the temple of Hatshpsute temple or Al-Deir Al-Bahari temple.  Queen Hatshpsute is the only female ruler in ancient Egypt.  She is the daughter of a Pharaoh, brother and wife of a Pharaoh, and step-mother of a Pharaoh.  The temple was huge and with lots of inscriptions.  And many of them have colour.  The colour is still so much alive, and I would even believe if someone tells me they painted it last year.

In the tourism site, there are always local people selling stuff.  A guy tried to sell some photos to me which I did not buy.  Initially he called 20 L.E.  Guess how much the price went down.  It got down to 1 L.E.  Wow.

Stone Work Factory

Stone Work Factory

Then I went to stone work factory, near the Queen’s temple.  It was interesting how they make and work the stone in the traditional way with traditional tools.  They showed and compared the differences between hand-made and machine-made.

The Nile

The Nile

This is the famous Nile river in Luxor.  The mother of the ancient civilisation, still Nile is feeding Egyptians.  Most people in Luxor work in tourism trade, and other small amount of people works at agriculture.

Cow Transportation

Cow Transportation

In Luxor, the animal is still very important.  So many donkeys are used as main mean of transportation, and lots of sheep and goats are on the road too.

Downtown Luxor

Downtown Luxor

This is downtown Luxor, and I bought a Arabic language music CD for my friend in Korea.

Egyptian Music

Egyptian Music

I bought the traditional Mix.  I paid 30 L.E.  They called way higher price, but I dealt with the guy several times and it came down to 30 L.E.

Burnt CD, not original

Burnt CD, not original

When I opened the CD case, what the…  Well…  But I checked that it is real music CD in a language which I do not understand.

Sugar Cane Juice

Sugar Cane Juice

I stopped at a juice store.  I was told that the sugarcane is the most important agriculture in Luxor.  The sugarcane is piled in the left, and the guy squeezed a few sticks and put some ice.  It was very good, sweet of course.  I think this is the real life Candy Crush. 🙂

Then I went to Kings Valley, but I do not have any photos because it was prohibited.  All the caves are amazing with beautiful carving and inscriptions.  It is truly amazing that those carvings and colours survived many thousand years.  Funny thing is that the most famous Pharaoh, the Tutankhamun has the smallest tomb.  His name has three parts: Tut – Ankh – Amun and means “Long Live Amun.”

Karnak Temple

Karnak Temple

My next destination was Karnak temple, dedicated to the god of Amun, and his wife, and his son.  It is very huge temple, and I was told that the Pharaohs ruled here.

Thutmoses III

Thutmoses III

This Pharaoh, the step son of the famous queen conquered many cities.

Conquered Cities

Conquered Cities

And he left all the names of the cities he conquered.  The ancient Egyptian writing represents meaning, but when it is circled, they represent sound.  All the people have tie on their arm which means that they were captured and bound.

Nile View

Nile View

This is the Nile view of the hotel where I had lunch.

Bus Business Class is better than the airplane Business Class

Bus Business Class is better than the airplane Business Class

Then I flew back to Cairo by Egypt Air.  The funny thing is that they distinguish the Business Class (total 8 seats) just by curtain.  They just have a foot more room and still pays almost three times of economic seat.

Most Asians know that Japanese are mostly quiet, and polite, while Chinese are usually loud.  But Japanese can go crazy too in some situation.  That is when they are not with other Japanese or their neighbours.  Two Japanese girls were sitting behind me.  They were so loud talking and laughing, even singing as if they are drunk.  I could not endure any more, so I greeted them in Japanese.  Then they became cute and quiet Japanese girls.

Sunset in the Airplane

Sunset in the Airplane

I saw the sunrise in the plane, and I also saw the sunset in the plane again in the same day.  Egypt Air is part of Star Alliance which means I can collect the mileage.

Moon from the Airplane

Moon from the Airplane

Right after the sunset, I pictured this moon.

I had diarrhoea this morning first time in this trip.  Maybe the food and water in Egypt do not cooperate with my body.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Israel Trip Sixth Day: Mount Olive, City of David, Gethsemane, Shepherds Field and Home Demolition

Today we went to Mount Olive first time.

View from Mount Olive

View from Mount Olive

In the picture above, you can recognise the dome, and probably the temple wall. In front of the temple wall, you can see the Kidron Valley, and on the left side, you can see that famous Hinnom Valley.

Another View from Mount Olive

Another View from Mount Olive

This is a nice view with the Golden Dome from the Mount Olive. Jesus probably saw the similar things, except the Golden Dome and the houses in the north and west. He saw and wept. I was awed at this sight. Living in Seoul and Chicago, I am very much accustomed to the skyscrapers and giant buildings, and still awed at this. I cannot imagine how much the ancient people would have been awed at this. It is said that the Herod’s temple is the largest temple in the history (as a single platform temple). This view from Mount Olive is amazing. On the Palm Sunday, Jesus went into the city riding on a donkey. Mount Olive is on the east of Jerusalem. Shouting crowd, Palm branches, East, Sun on the back… everything indicates Messiah.

Gethsemane from Mount Olive

Gethsemane from Mount Olive

This is the Gethsemane from afar. It is very close to the city.

Necropolis, the city of the dead

Necropolis, the city of the dead

This is necropolis. In Israel’s burial custom, they put the dead body in the tomb and wait until it is totally decayed leaving bones only. Then they collect the bones and put them in a stone box with the name. In the necropolis, you can see all the bone boxes. And they put some perfume on the dead body so that it does not smell too much when the family comes to collect the bone. That is why Jesus said the lady was preparing for his funeral when she put the perfume on him.

Solomon's Wall

Solomon’s Wall

Then we went to the south side of the temple wall, just under the Al Aqsa Mosque. And this is the Solomon’s temple wall remains.

City of David

City of David

City of David was our next destination.

Royal Toilet Bowl

Royal Toilet Bowl

This is the toilet bowl from the Palace of David. It must be personal rest room for very important person, probably a king. You cannot say that David did not use it. It also has running water.

City of David, Image

City of David, Image

This is nice picture showing the City of David and the Temple in the OT times. The bottom half is the picture of modern-day at the same place. The white big thing in the middle is David’s Palace, and I can understand how and why David saw the bathing scene.

Water System

Water System

And we went to the water system, kind of secret one. They went to this passage to carry the water.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Then we saw the Canaanite Wall next to it. David and his commanders saw this wall. And the Canaanites stood a blind man and a lame man to mock David. That means not only ancient Canaanites had crude sense of humour, but also they were so confident about their wall.

Hezekiah Wall Image

Hezekiah Wall Image

At the drawing above, the left side is Canaanite Wall. And the right is Hezekiah’s protection of the spring. And the Hezekiah’s tunnel (for water) is underground from the spring into the city.

Canaanite Tunnel

Canaanite Tunnel

David must went through this tunnel.

Hezekiah's Tunnel

Hezekiah’s Tunnel

Not all, but some of McCormick group went through the Hezekiah’s tunnel. It is actually water way. Hezekiah knew that the Assyrians coming, and the people inside the wall needed water, so he dug the water way so that they can get fresh water without going out of the city.

Water in the Tunnel

Water in the Tunnel

You can see the water is still flowing, and I actually tasted – surprisingly it was good.

Siloam

Siloam

At the end of the tunnel, we met the Siloam where Jesus healed the blind man.

Gethsemane Basilica

Gethsemane Basilica

Then we went to Gethsemane. It is the Basilica (or Church) of Agony.

Olive Trees

Olive Trees

Next to the Basilica, there is still a garden, and the biologists say those olive trees are more than 2,000 years old which means, Jesus must have seen them.

Jesus was arrested while he was praying here. Standing here, I realised that this Gethsemane is the middle point between the city and Judean wilderness. If he wanted, it is 100% possible for him to flee to where David fled. But he did NOT which means he meant his death and sacrifice.

Inside the Basilica

Inside the Basilica

Inside the Church is so beautiful. The ceilings, windows, front patterns, drawings… and everything.

View from Gethsemane

View from Gethsemane

This is the view of the temple mount and the golden dome from the Gethsemane. It was not zoomed. It just shows how close it is to the temple. Until now, I had no idea when I was reading the Bible without any knowledge of geography even though I read the maps. When Jesus was taken from the Gethsemane to the temple, and to the Pontius Pilate, and to Herod, it sounded to me like from Kansas city, to Chicago, and to Washington D.C. How can they travel in ONE day? But now I experienced and knew the distance and everything, it makes sense.

Mango Juice

Mango Juice

We went to Bethlehem and had lunch at Palestinian restaurant. See the bottle that it is filled up to the top. In America, the bottles always has some room in case of freezing. And here, this means that there is no chance to freeze.

Chicken Pita

Chicken Pita

This is chicken pita, and it was super delicious but pricier than that I expected – 40 NIS. I may skip the lunch tomorrow.

Shepherds' Field

Shepherds’ Field

Then we went to Shepherds’ Field where the angels came and told the shepherds about the birth of the Saviour. There are three places recognised as shepherds’ field, but this is Catholic one. This is the rock where the shepherds rested and probably saw the angels.

Shepherds Field Church Inside

Shepherds Field Church Inside

Inside the Church is quite beautiful and small. The acoustic is very good, but I think it was better at the St. Anne’s Church.

Shepherds Field Church Outside

Shepherds Field Church Outside

In the shepherds’ Field Church, anything down is shepherd and anything up is angel.

Terrace Agriculture

Terrace Agriculture

While we were moving on the bus, our local guide George explained us about the oldest way of agriculture. It was making a terrace as seen on the picture above. Here, the land is chalk. They dig the chalk in a row shape, and put good soil on it, and plant. And the chalk does not absorb the water, so the water flows down to the next terrace. Then you can just water only the top row. On the sites like this, it is easy to find some good soil, some chalk and bad soil, the rocks, some thorns. And this is perfectly fit with the parable of Jesus.

Palestinian Area

Palestinian Area

Then we met Chaska(?) from the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions. She is very passionate and energetic Jewish woman who works and fights for the human rights of Palestinians. The photo above shows the ghetto Palestinian area without any trees. I actually drove through there, and it was so crappy, dirty, and all infrastructure was so bad, and not maintained by the government at all.

Jewish Area

Jewish Area

This is Jewish area. There are lots of trees, and high buildings. And above all, she said, Jewish area anywhere is identified by the landmark of cranes which means continuous development.

Jewish and Palestinian Resident

Jewish and Palestinian Resident

Israel government builds Jewish settlement in the heart of the Palestinian area. Here the front row is Jewish apartment which is nice and does not have any black water tank. They get enough water. Far back of the photo, you can see  the small black dots which are the water tanks. Because the government does not work on the infrastructure, they have to connect the water by themselves while they pay the same amount of water bills. And mostly they connect too many on one pipe and the water pressure drops down. That is why they must install water tanks.

Separation Wall

Separation Wall

Many, actually most of the Palestine communities are separated by the giant walls and disconnected from the neighbouring community. And they don’t have the freedom to move. This is the separation wall in Jerusalem.

House Demolition Site

House Demolition Site

This is the scene of home demolition. Israel government does not allow the Palestinians new house building permit. But they have to build. And later Israeli government give them warning of demolition. And then later suddenly they come around 1-3am and destroy the house. It is total operation with the demolition team, military, and police.

In my opinion, Israel government simply want them just disappear.

Friday, 26 December 2008

Caught up in Christmas

Last week, I went to another concert named Caught up in Christmas at Calvary temple in downtown Winnipeg.

To my sorry, I was not able to take a picture. It was not allowed to do so.

This concert had quite different style in comparison to Living Christmas Tree.

LCT was kind of stable – not much moving, and simple.

Caught up in Christmas was very much dynamic and splendid. I felt like to watching a Broadway Musical Show.

They had a much fireworks there too. And the ending was a bit similar to the ending of the Moulin Rouge when the final play of that movie was ending.

There was dozens of kids in costume, and they had about one month old baby as baby Jesus, and they brought real live donkey to the stage!

I had a very good time there.

지난 주에 Caught up in Christmas라는 공연을 또 하나 봤는데, 위니펙 시내에 있는 갈보리 템플에서 했다.

아쉽게도 사진 촬영을  허락하지 않아서 찍을 수가 없었다.

이 공연은 Living Christmas Tree와는 꽤 다른 스타일을 갖고 있었다.

LCT는 일종의 안정적이고 검소한 느낌.

Caught up in Christmas는 아주 다이나믹하고 화려했다. 마치 브로드웨이 뮤지컬을 보는 듯 했다.

불꽃놀이도 꽤 보여줬고 마지막 장면은 영화 물랑루즈에서 마지막 공연이 끝날 때와 비슷한 면도 있었다.

수십명의 아이들이 분장을 했고, 난지 약 한달쯤 되어 보이는 아기가 아기 예수로 나왔고, 진짜 당나귀를 무대에 끌고 왔다!

아무튼 무척 즐거운 시간을 보냈다.

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