Visiting Karnak Temple during my last trip I had forgotten how brutal Egypt’s sun is at noon. When I arrived at the site around 11.45 am and saw the tourists going back to their air-conditioned buses I realized that my timing was off. It is early in the morning or late in the afternoon you visit Karnak, but here I was, having to make the best of it. The small, yellow parasol I had brought kept the sun off my face, but not the heat.
The ancient stones were baking in the sun as they had done for more than 3000 years, and except in the Great Hypostyle Hall where 134 columns, are lined up in 16 rows, there was no hiding from the sun.
But I had not come only to stand between the columns; so with my water bottle in one hand and my camera in the other I continued my visit trying to forget how hot I really was. Suddenly, the rays of the sun illuminated something green. It seemed like an oasis in the desert. Was it my imagination? Had the heat affected me? No – a beautiful, tall palm tree was standing, like a guardian next to the old ruins.
As I discovered that afternoon there are many palm trees at Karnak Temple. Maybe their purpose is to tell us that long ago, before there were just stones, before the temples and holy sites had crumbled, there was life here!
More from Egypt soon