Egypt has been a passion of mine for a number of years, ever since I first went to the British Museum in London when I was six years old. I can still remember walking through the museum’s large wooden doors, to room after room of glass cabinets with priceless treasures inside them. Mummies were wrapped in decaying bandages and tall but beautiful sarcophagi showed women’s and men’s faces staring at me in colours so rich, it was as though they had just been painted and fine jewellery glittered. Talismans of gods in animal forms lay about me in alabaster and glass and combs made from bones were displayed and of course, there were massive pillars full of ancient hieroglyphics in raised relief. The scenery in the photos surrounding the priceless treasures were engrossing. The lush green banks of the river Nile protruded abundantly from an arid desert backdrop and the blue water behind it mirrored the sky: the home of Ra himself.
I have travelled to the ancient land where Pharaoh’s once basked in the light of Ra and practiced the art of throwing of the sticks to divine their future. I have had the pleasure of visiting the stunning temples of Karnack, Luxor and Hatshepsut and each one of them was as individual in their own way from the next.
The ancient Egyptian way of life is as stubborn as its rulers. It will not fade into a distant memory. The legacy of their Pharaoh’s is portrayed countless times throughout Egypt, and indeed under it, as we have yet to discover more temples and sights that are buried in the sands of time.
If you have visited Egypt you will know something of my experience there. The dry heat of the day is punishing but if you are on holiday it is wonderful to dive into a swimming pool and cool off. We stayed at the Jollie−Ville hotel complex. The Nile runs across the back of the site, which has little houses everywhere for you to stay in. If you swim to the edge of the infinity pool you can glimpse the desert mountains of the Valley of the Kings further upstream, shimmering like gold and dry as bone. The river Nile offers life to everyone, from the smallest creatures to the crocodiles and mighty hippo’s, yet we saw local children playing in the water. We took a boat down to Karnack temple one day from the jetty behind the back of the hotel. Water sparkled, dragonflies were massive and the fish swam in abundant shoals. Feluccas glided up the river, their graceful white sails looked stunning against the water.
Egypt was exactly what I was expecting, and more. Luxor temple put me in the right frame of mind for the start of my novel, but Karnack temple propelled me beyond my expectations.