A Whirling Dervish

We were in Cairo in 2013, visiting the sights there before flying to Luxor to begin a cruise up the Nile River. We had a free evening and decided to take a local dinner cruise on the Lady Diana. The cruise meal was a delicious buffet of Egyptian food at Western prices. In addition to the meal, the featured entertainment included a singer whose American English was superb when he sang English-language songs, an o.k. belly dancer who was a great hit with two tables of men near us, and a sufi dancer.

The amazing sufi dancer, or “whirling dervish,” wore three skirts (that lit up at appropriate times) and spun counterclockwise for at least 20 minutes with no sign of dizziness. The following is a photo at the start of his performance.

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As he was spinning at an unbelievable pace (we get dizzy after one spin in our desk chairs), his performance included elements such as producing a swaddled “baby” out of cloth. The most amazing element is shown in the next photo when the lights were dimmed and the dervish illuminated himself while spinning.

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It is impossible to describe sufi dancing adequately in words (but you can find videos on YouTube).

Both photos were taken with an Olympus Tough TG-1, a great little travel camera and the only camera we had with us on that trip. Specs are:

First image: ISO 800, f/3.5, 1/20 sec, 10.29 mm

Second image: ISO 800, f/3.4, 1/20 sec, 9.61 mm

 

 

 

Rameses II at Luxor – Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Letters K or L

This is our entry in Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Letters K or L.

This post features one of the most popular statues at the temple of Luxor in Egypt, a seated likeness of Rameses II.

The temple of Luxor, on the east bank of the Nile in Luxor (previously known as Thebes) in Egypt, was built around 1400 BC.  The entrance to the temple (the first pylon) was built by the king Rameses II. The photograph is of one of the huge seated statues of Rameses II flanking this gate.

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Rameses II at Luxor

 

 

Karnak Temple – Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Architecture

This is my entry for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Architecture

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Karnak Temple, Luxor, Egypt

Karnak Temple was constructed around 1400 BC on the east bank of the Nile River in Luxor, Egypt (ancient Thebes).

 

Places of Worship

Since today is Easter Sunday, the featured topic is places of worship from around the world. The pictures are presented alphabetically by country.

Since, by necessity, the description of the religious significance of each site is very short, the interested reader is encouraged to research further.

Cambodia

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Angkor Wat, Cambodia

This photo shows the sun rising behind Angkor Wat in Cambodia. During its long history, Hinduism and Buddhism have both been practiced here.

This photo was taken in March, 2013.

Egypt

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Temple of Kom Ombo, Aswan, Egypt

The Temple of Kom Ombo is located  in Upper Egypt for the worship of two gods: the crocodile god Sobek (god of fertility, who created the world) and the falcon god Horus (son of Isis and Osiris; god of the sky, war and hunting). Images of Hathor, depicted as a cow goddess, are also  prevalent here.

This photo was taken in February, 2013.

France

Notre Dame
Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France

This photo of the historic Catholic Notre Dame Cathedral was taken in October, 2015.

India

Here are photos of Indian temples for each of three ancient religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism) and two newer religions (Islam and Sikhism).

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Sree Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, South India

The Sree Meenakshi Amman Temple is located in Madurai in the state of Tamil Nadu in South India. It is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva and named for his wife, the goddess Parvati. Shiva is the destroyer, recycler and regenerator of universe and all life. Parvati is the goddess of love and devotion. Shiva and Parvati are the parents of Ganesha and Kartikeya.

There are 14 towers; the tallest tower is the southern one, at 170 feet.

This photo was taken in March, 2013.

 

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Jain Temple at Ranakpur, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India

This photo shows pillars in the interior of the Jain Temple at Ranakpur, in the city of Udaipur in the state of Rajasthan, India.

This photo was taken in October, 2014.

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Dhamekh Stupa, Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, India

This photo shows the Dhamekh Stupa in Sarnath, about 13 kilometers north-east of Varanasi, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. Sarnath is the site of Buddha’s first sermon after his enlightenment.

This photo was taken in October, 2014.

 

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Jama Masjid, Old Delhi, India

This photo shows the Jama Masjid in Old Delhi; it is one of the largest Muslim mosques in India. The photo is taken from a window at the top of one of the towers, a twin to the taller tower reaching above the skyline. The two (shorter) minarets visible in the middle are 130 feet high.

This photo was taken in March, 2013.

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The Golden Temple, Amritsar, Punjab, India

This photo is of Sri Harmandir Sahib, the Golden Temple, which is the holiest Gurdwara (place of worship) of Sikhism.  The Golden Temple is located in Amritsar in the state of Punjab, India.

This photo was taken in October, 2014.

Spain

 

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Sagrada Família, Barcelona, Spain

This photo shows part of the exterior of the Sagrada Família, a Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, Spain, designed by Antoni Gaudi.

This photo was taken in April, 2015.

Thailand

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Buddha statues, Wat Arun, Bangkok, Thailand

This photo shows a row of Buddha statues inside Wat Arun in Bangkok, Thailand. The photo was taken in March, 2013, before the restoration of the wall behind the statues.

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Reclining Buddha, Wat Pho, Bangkok, Thailand.

This photo shows the Reclining Buddha in Wat Pho, Bangkok, Thailand.

This photo was taken in February, 2016.

Vatican City State

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Sistine Chapel ceiling, Vatican

This photo shows part of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Roman Catholic Vatican.

This photo was taken in February, 2013.

 

 

 

Landscape & Cropping

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Road near Munnar, Kerala, South India

The above photo, taken near Munnar in Kerala, South India, shows a hairpin curve beneath the photographer, with a motorcyclist providing scale. The wall at the bottom of the photo is the barrier that keeps the photographer (and car) from falling over the edge. More of this road can been against the mountain in the middle left of the picture. This photo has not been cropped, since each part contributed to the whole picture.

This photo was taken in March, 2013.

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Chalong Bay, Phuket, Thailand

This photo was taken from the top of the Nakkerd Hills between Chalong and Kata in Phuket, Thailand (the site of the Big Buddha).  The body of water below is Chalong Bay.

This photo was taken in March, 2013.

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Chalong Bay, Phuket, Thailand

This is the photo that was cropped, removing the tourist on the right, to produce the final image.

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Horse carriages, Luxor City, Egypt

This photo was taken while seated in a horse carriage in Luxor City, Egypt. Anther carriage can be seen directly in front, with other carriages in a line in the middle of the road. A double-occupied motorcycle is passing the carriages.  (Traffic is the landscape of Luxor City.)

This photo was taken in February, 2013.

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Horse carriages, Luxor City, Egypt

This is the photo that was cropped, removing the front of a van and most of an uninteresting building on the left.

 

Scale & Observation

In 2013, we visited Egypt, first touring Cairo before cruising down the Nile River to Aswan, making stops and excursions to observe ancient sites. Today’s Photo 101 theme is to “play with scale … use anything and everything to help convey size in your image.”  Three images from that trip are shown in this post, each using humans to suggest the enormity of objects from that earlier time.

 

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Abu Simbel, Nubia, Egypt

This photo was taken at Abu Simbel in Nubia, Egypt. This is one of two temples at this site;  it was built for the goddess Hathor and for Nefertari, the favorite wife of Rameses II. Of  the six statues, two are Nefertari and four are Rameses II. These statues are each about 10 meters tall.

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Pharaoh Amenhotep III, Colossi of Memnon, Luxor, Egypt

This photo is of the Colossi of Memnon, which are two massive seated stone statues of the Pharoh Amenhotep III, located in the Theban necropolis, west of the Nile River from Luxor. These statues are approximately 3400 years old. Including the stone platforms (about 4 meters high) beneath their feet, they are 18 meters high and stand 15 meters apart.

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Unfinished obelisk, Aswan, Egypt

This photo shows (what is believed to be) the largest obelisk ever discovered, located in a stone quarry in Aswan, Egypt. Hatshepsut, one of the most successful Egyptian pharaohs, ordered this obelisk to be made. Fractures appeared in the obelisk as it was being carved from a single rock, and so it was abandoned. Had it been completed, it would have stood 42 meters tall.

 

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Outdoor Seating

Seated Abraham Lincoln
Statue of Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.

This seat has been occupied by a statue of Abraham Lincoln since the early 1920s. The seated statue of Lincoln is 19 feet from head to foot; if standing upright, the statue would be 28 feet tall.

Although the seat is located inside the large protected enclosure of the Lincoln Memorial at the western end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the Memorial has no doors separating the seat from the outdoors. With a few exceptions, Lincoln in his chair has been available to the visiting public 24 hours a day for almost 100 years.

This photo was taken in March, 2016.

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Pharoh Rameses II, Abu Simbel, Nubia, Egypt

This seating is located at Abu Simbel in Nubia, Egypt. All four seats are occupied by the Pharoh Rameses II. This photo was taken in February, 2013.

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Ronald McDonald bench in India

This inviting seat beside Ronald McDonald is located at a McDonald’s along the road from Agra to New Delhi in India. This photo was taken in November, 2010.

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Fishermen mending nets, Fort Cochin, Kerala, South India

This photo shows fishermen mending their nets while seated on the ground under a large tent roof. The photo was taken in Fort Cochin, Kerala, South India, in March, 2013.

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Seated pilot on houseboat, Kerala Backwaters

This outdoor seating is occupied by the pilot of a houseboat (converted rice boat) on the Kerala Backwaters. This photo was taken near Fort Cochin, Kerala, South India, in March, 2013.

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Buddha seated on Naga, Phuket Island, Thailand

This photo shows Buddha seated on Naga on Phuket Island in Thailand. This photo was taken in March, 2013.

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Statue of Hans Cristian Andersen, Plaza de la Marina, Malaga

Finally, here is an open seat beside Hans Cristian Andersen on the Plaza de la Marina in Malaga, Spain. From the burnishing of the bronze, it is clear that many admirers have shared this bench with the famous author of The Little Mermaid and The Ugly Duckling. (Notice the duck sitting in the side pocket of his briefcase.) This photo was taken in April, 2015.