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Our Final Temple—and a Great One it Was!

Our police escort leads our motorcoach through the town - wow, we felt like royalty.

Today we cruise the Nile to Qena to visit the Temple of Hathor. Now when we get to this small town, we get a nice surprise. The local police meet us and give us a police escort to the temple, stopping all the traffic on the side streets to show these tourists through. I think maybe they value the tourist and the money they bring with them—what do you think?

The Temple of Hathor is a different and colorful temple dedicated, of course, to the goddess Hathor, who is the goddess of beauty, love, music, joy, dance, and childbirth- amongst other things. Hathor was one of the most prized and beloved goddesses during the ancient Egyptian civilization.

The most intriguing aspect of the temple is its decorative inscriptions, one of which is depicting Cleopatra VII and Julius Caesar's visit to the site. Who knew that this famous couple actually visited places like this? The carvings that are present in the temple showcase the dynamic and magnetic personalities of the two historical figures.

As we explore the temple, we come across the first known depiction of the zodiac, a fascinating astronomical feature located on the temple ceiling. The Zodiac is a cluster of constellations that align perfectly with the twelve signs of the zodiac, and it is remarkable how it has survived to this day. It is one of the most precisely executed astronomical phenomena we have access to from ancient times. There are also other celestial objects like the sun god Ra and the sky goddess Nut that have been beautifully carved onto the temple walls.

By the way, the temperature today is better—it only got up to 98 degrees. It actually felt cooler (kind of) after experiencing temperatures as high as 105 in the past week. I’m just glad we are not here in the hot season!

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