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.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Israel Trip Ninth Day: Hebron

Today was kind of lecture day. We had three speakers in a day: one from religious Jewish, one from Christian group, and another from Muslim Imam.

View of Bethlehem from the Hotel

View of Bethlehem from the Hotel

When I’ve got up in the morning, I went out to the balcony and took this picture – the Bethlehem from the hotel.

Machbelah Cave(?)

Machbelah Cave(?)

And we went to Machbelah in Hebron. Machbelah is the burial cave originally Abraham bought for his wife Sarah. All the most important three generations of Patriarchs with their wives are buried here (by tradition). The only exception is Rachael as you know from the Bible.

헤롯과 그 이후 시대의 막벨라 벽

Machbelah of Herodian and after era

This tomb building is built by Herod. Even though Herod is cruel and did many bad things, there are so many things he left. The stone are recognised by its distinctive frame pattern. The upper part is built by Mamluk.

Machbelah Mosque

Machbelah Mosque

This site is fourth most holy place for Muslims, and before Israeli government came, it was of course Muslim’s. When Israeli army came, they divided it into two sections; one for Muslim, and the other for Jewish. This is muslim side mosque.

Machbelah Mosque Ceiling

Machbelah Mosque Ceiling

Just like other mosques, this one is so beautiful too. About the division, Abraham and Sarah are shared by both sides. They both can see it only though the caged windows. Muslims have Isaac and his wife Rebecca. Jews have Jacob and his wife Leah. Jews got what really matters to them because Jacob is the top common ancestor and is exclusive to them. But for the Muslims, Isaac is not the most important person, but Ishmael.

Prayer towards Mecca

Prayer towards Mecca

As I already wrote in previous posting, you will know where is the direction towards mecca in any mosque.

Sarah's tomb

Sarah’s tomb

When you go into the muslim side of the Machbelah, the very first you would see is Sarah.

Rebecca’s tomb

Rebecca’s tomb

Then inside the mosque, you can see the Rebecca next.

Isaac's tomb

Isaac’s tomb

Isaac is by Rebecca but little bit further.

Abraham's tomb

Abraham’s tomb

If you turn around, then you can see the Abraham.

In front of the Machbelah

In front of the Machbelah

We came out of the muslim side, and some of us went into the Jewish section. We must have gone without our local guide because even though he is Christian, the Israeli soldiers did not let him through. It is very stupid. They know he is law-abiding good citizen and just a tour guide. As you can see in the picture, Hebron and around the Machbelah area is very tensed and so many soldiers and military vehicles are always circling around.

Leah's tomb

Leah’s tomb

In the Jewish section, there is partition and writing “Women” in hebrew. The closer side which is right is Abraham and Sarah. The farther side which is the room on the left is their grandson. When you stepped into the room, Leah is on the right, and Jacob is on the left.

Jacob's tomb

Jacob’s tomb

There is no English signs at all either muslim or Jewish side. In the muslim section, local guide read us the Arabic. In the Jewish side, I was able to recognise the Hebrew names.

Christian Peacemaker Team

Christian Peacemaker Team

Then we went to the Christian Peacemaker Team whose office is in old town Hebron. They have a lot of difficulties working for the persecuted Palestinians, and even one of them were killed. But they still standing on their ground and working, sacrificing for others.

View of Hebron

View of Hebron

This is the Hebron view from the Christian Peacemaker Team office.

Kia Hebron

Kia Hebron

In Bethlehem, I saw Hyundai. And in Hebron, I saw Kia – another Korean auto maker.

Glass Factory

Glass Factory

Then we went to famous Glass Factory. Two were working on each side of the furnace. They presented us great show while they were making glass vases. It is amazing and when they do it, it looks so simple.

Horse as transportation

Horse as transportation

Do you see the horse? It is not for tourists, nor fun. They use it as mean of transportation. I’ve seen some people use horse or donkey as mean of transportation only in Palestinian area. What does this mean?

Tourist Police Bike

Tourist Police Bike

Downtown Hebron is crazy place with tons of cars, buses, trucks and horses too. I’ve never known that there is such thing like Tourist Police. But the officer came to us and guided the bus, sometimes stopping other traffic. How nice to us, the tourists.

Sheep neck

Sheep neck

We went to a very nice restaurant in Hebron whose name is ‘Hebron Restaurant.’ I ordered sheep neck. It was not bad, but ao tender and mild. The meat just melted as soon as my tongue touched it. Speaking of tongue, I ate beef tongue for dinner.

Jewish Settler Speaking

Jewish Settler Speaking

Then we went to nearby synagogue and listened to a religious Jewish settler in Hebron. He said many things, but I guess it was not that impressive to McCormick group. One of the things he said is that Israeli government built hospitals, schools for Palestinians and many of them are thankful for that. When he said that, I was confused if he is Japanese speaking to Koreans under Japanese occupation.

Imam Maher Assaf

Imam Maher Assaf

At the evening, we invited Imam Maher Assaf. Imam is a title for Muslim religious leader. Our local guide sitting next to him translated Arabic into English. He is liberal muslim, and most of the muslim does not think like him. But he is quite interesting figure to me.

Palestine Traditional Drink

Palestine Traditional Drink

At the evening session, our local guide George was with us and he introduced us Palestinian traditional (very strong alcoholic) drink. I forgot the name, but we mixed it with water and put some ice. Of course I did not drink it.

Blog at WordPress.com.