Friday, January 22, 2010

Dimai - Part 1

A bit over two weeks ago, we took a trip to Dimai, with a few short stops beforehand.  Originally our first stop was to be the "castle" at Dimai.  But, due to blowing sand the week before, and the route being muddled, we steered off to an alternate site.  Our destination was still Dimai, but now it would be our last stop.  The route we drove is similar to this map.

We left around 8:00AM and drove south along Dead Donkey Canal Road, through Giza on a road where a new water tower is being built. 

When approached a newer City of The Dead (cemetery) along the same road, and turned into it, driving through.

The cemetery borders the desert, and we continued our drive in the desert until we came to a one lane road a few kilometers away. 

Below: Here, we had been driving for awhile, and stopped to shoot photos of the scenery.  It was foggy, and chilly.  This one lane road is said to have been built for Mrs. Mubarak so she could take her friends to Dimai, Qasr el-Sagha, and Fayoum, President Mubarak's hometown.  VB decided to call this road, "The Susan Mubarak Highway."  VB's not sure what the road is called on maps, but it's in the middle of the desert, and seems to have just been plopped down, without any other road intersects at all (at least not on the parts we drove.)  VB's not sure where the road ends either, as we strayed away.  If memory serves, we were told The First Lady is flown in, and there did appear to be a small flat area nearby, and a watchtower which would be perfect for a helipad.  (Sorry, no pics of it all.)

Yes, there is dew in the desert - see below.

After stopping, we get to some cement blocks lined up in a row, indicating a pipeline, and we turn, and drive along them, off road, for some distance.  Turning, and winding through the desert, we arrive at Qasr el-Sagha, aka the Golden Temple. 

As you can see from the photo above, there are two doors.  The smaller door to the right was a lure for thieves wanting to raid the temple.  It lead nowhere, as you can see below.

Rooms to the right were designated for specific gods.  The room at the far end, leads to another room, with a hidden jail room, behind it.  According to the guard, visitors would be greeted at the main door.  They would present their problems to the greeter, and he would determine which god they needed to address their woes.

As usual, everyone likes to leave his / her mark after a visit to the temple.

Found items at the site.

After visiting Qasr el-Sagha we drove into the hills and arrived at Deir Abu Lifa, which at one time contained a monastery.  We did not go caving, but did view these small cave-like areas on the hill.  We were told they're all interconnected, but did not explore them.  We took in the views, and us ladies found a couple of private spots to relieve ourselves.

Below:  A close up of the formations.  The stone looks like shale, is fragile and flakes easily. 

Next Post, Part 2 (The Petrified Forest, and The Castle at Dimeh / Dimai.)

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