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The West Bank/Thebes

After we'd visited the West Bank and the Valley of the Kings as a group, the next day I hoped to take a balloon ride over the the same area but the wind wasn't cooperating; we'd have blown over Luxor's airport! But I went back over myself on the cheap, easy ferry, and with the help of a guide and cabbie, I went to various temples and visited Sheikh abd el-Qurna and New Gurnia.

the ferry over

From the ferry, the West Bank

an alabaster factory/salesroom

Alabaster ware is the most beautiful souvenir.

the Colossi of Memnon ...and as David Roberts saw them ca. 1840
The Colossi of Memnon, what remains of the funerary temple of Amenhotep III. They're about 60' high, no longer flooded.

The Town of New Gourna

OLD Gourna (Sheikh abd el-Qurna) is the location of the Tombs of the Nobles, and its residents have a certain renown for being able to bring up suspiciously authentic Egyptian relics from their cellars.

NEW Gourna is about five miles back downhill towards the Nile. Built by the Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy in the 1950's-60's, it was intended to lure the residents of Old Gourna away from their family homes and the continuing looting of the Nobles' tombs. It didn't work, though today descendents do live there. Perhaps part of the problem was that Fathy didn't allow for indoor plumbing, preferring to watch the straght-backed Egyptian women walk up from the Nile with their water jugs on their heads. Today there's a mosque, a theatre, and Fathy's home, as well as more modern buildings - WITH plumbing.

Hathy's home

Hasan Fathy's home

A village home, with the boat indicating its owner made the pilgramage to Mecca

A village home, with evidence of the haj to Mecca.

The theatre. Doesn't look very occupied.

The theatre.


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