Friday, March 16, 2012

Night Tour

And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares that infest the day
Shall fold their tents like the Arabs
And as silently steal away.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, American poet (1807–1882), in "The Day Is Done"

Having spent the entire day indoors cleaning, I felt the need to get out and about even though Ra had long passed into the depths of the underworld on his nightly voyage. So Adel picked me up at 8pm and we went off for a short night tour of the lights of Qurn mountain.

This dramatic night presentation of the mountain and its antiquities is the brainchild of Egypt's former Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosni. He wasn't much into antiquities (my personal opinion) but he was/is an artist who appreciated beauty in many forms. So back in 2010 he commissioned Egypt's Sound and Light organization and a French lighting company, Architecture Lumière, to create a night spectacular across the length of the Theban mountain range, from the Valley of the Queens to the South all the way to the town of "New Gourna", located beyond the Valley of the Kings to the North.

The star of the show is El Qurn mountain, raising some 490m above the valley floor. And, if I'm not mistaken, that's Venus and Mars hovering above for added spectacle. Every night, from dusk to midnight, 922 lights illumine the night landscape. Some have questioned the economic sense and environmental impact of the project that cost LE 56 million ($10 million) to set up and an ungodly monthly electric bill in an area where the electric current bounces up and down all day long. No doubt the show has its drawbacks, but I must say: it's quite breathtaking.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey! That looks bright enough to climb at night . . ..! And, I think it is Venus and Jupiter . . . Mars is in the east these days. I think. Great scene! Great show!