Tuesday, October 23, 2007


karnak is a huge series of temples just north of luxor. luxor is what used to be called "thebes", and before that "waset" and was once the capital of egypt. the karnak complex is really spectacular.

i went late in the day, around 4:00 p.m. the entrance closes at 4:30 (when they stop letting people in), but they don't begin throwing people out until 5:30. so when i first arrived, the place was still mobbed by those annoying tour groups. but over time, as people left but no one was allowed to come in, the crowds began to thin and temples seemed to come into their own. as the crowds thinned the sunset approached, which i think is the time with the best light to see ruins. the time when everything looks a little softer with long shadows.

i lingered until i was one of the last ones in the site, wandering ruins the way they're supposed to be wandered, without strangers pressing against you and in silence under an approaching full moon.

then the mosquitoes came out, and i got the hell out of there. luckily, karnak's on the east bank of the river.