Last night the Sonesta had a function at Medinet Habu, it wasn’t cheap at £80 GBP but it was an opportunity of a life time. I went with Michael from the roof, he knows quite a lot about opera which was handy. The big draw for me was the chance to see the temple at night. And it was very interesting, the carving looked a lot cruder with the deep shadows but the colours looked even fresher. If you were staying on the East Bank you got picked up by coach but as I live on the West Bank it was easier to make our own way there and then wait for the coaches to arrive.
You had to wait because there was going to be a torch light procession to welcome us. There were all these Egyptian men lined up with flaming torches. The procession from Aida was playing as we walked along. It was really quite special.
As we went into the first courtyard we were welcomed with cocktails and the ensemble La Compagnia Rossini http://www.rossini.ch/ that was going to sing for us. We had a bit of time there to admire the temple. It did look wonderful. I am afraid my photos are not the best but I decided to publish them anyway because you can get a flavour of the whole thing.
In the second court yard there were tables laid out and they were beautifully done, we were on the West Bank table lol . You got the menu done in little scrolls and your napkin ring was a fancy tassel and there was a scarab on your side plate. Really up market table settings. We had the first selection of songs, I probably shouldn’t call them that but I am not an opera buff. I could not help thinking of my father who was and would have thoroughly enjoyed it. Then it was a 6 course dinner, seafood salad, broccoli soup, medallions of beef and lamb, a desert, fresh fruit and coffee. Wine flowed, with a bit of encouragement.
At our table we toasted Ramses III and wondered what he would make of it. We decided he would rather approve. I certainly never imagined I would sit in Habu temple with a glass of wine, listening to serious music. After dinner there were more songs. Then there was the ceremony of the Torte which was a big cake processed in.>
If they do it again I would certainly encourage people to go, I really enjoyed it. Nice to have some culture and an opportunity to dress up.