Thursday, February 19, 2009


We are proud to have gotten this far into our Egyptian journey without mentioning Steve Martin or the Bangles. But we can't ignore American culture any longer.

We spent the past two days in Luxor, home to the Karnak complex, the largest religious site in Egypt and, perhaps, in the world. Everyone who is anyone -- Ramses II, Tutmosis III, Hatshepsut -- added their own special touch to the complex. Temples, obelisks, colossi, sacred lakes, statues of scarabs, you name it.

This is amazing place, full of things to explore not only during the day but also during the nightly Sound and Light Show. The show is kind of cheesy (think dramatic music -- Dun-dun-DUN -- and weird narration -- "the waters of the Nile spurt from my sandals") but it's great to see the looming buidings bathed in colorful light.

Still, if you are an American of a certain age, you can't help being reminded of Johnny Carson in a turban holding an envelope to his forehead. Johnny spelled it differently -- Carnac the Magnificent -- but that doesn't mean that Americans of a certain age don't immediately think of him when they come here. (And no, Donald and Esther aren't yet "of a certain age" -- just reporting what we hear among other voyagers.)

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