Joined September 2018 Message
  • Day11

    The Valley of the Kings 2

    Yesterday in Egypt ⋅ ☁️ 20 °C

    We pay extra to visit two more tombs:

    The Tomb of Tutankhamun is the most famous in the Valley of the Kings, but is tiny because of his short reign. Discovered by Howard Carter in 1922, its treasures are in the Cairo Museum.

    The Tomb of Seti I is the finest and deepest in the Valley of the Kings. It was closed for many years but now open at a high price to keep it exclusive! It is noted for the quality of its pained relief decorations and the vaulted ceiling of the burial chamber.
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  • Day11

    The Valley of the Kings 1

    Yesterday in Egypt ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    The Valley of the Kings is removed from other parts of the Theban Necropolis; the site was selected by Pharaohs because of the pyramid shaped mountain peak of Mount Al-Qurn. There is a total of 63 Royal Tombs here, and relatively few are open to the public. Our guide selects her favourite three to cover the three that we can visit with our ticket:

    The Tomb of Ramesses IV is noted for its colourful reliefs.

    The Tomb of Ramesses III is the grandest of the Ramessid tombs and has 10 side chambers.

    The Tomb of Tausert/Setnakt is noted for having two burial chambers; the first is for Seti's wife, Tausert, and this was usurped by a disgruntled Setnakt.
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  • Day11

    The Theban Necropolis

    Yesterday in Egypt ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    Situated on the Western Bank of the River Nile, opposite Luxor, is the Theban Necropolis. Like the Pyramids, it is a testament to the Ancient Egyptians obsession with death and resurrection. There are many funerary monuments here, including:
    - The Valley of the Kings
    - The Valley of the Queens
    - The Tombs of the Nobles
    - The Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Beiri
    - The Colossi of Memnon
    - The Ramesseum
    - and others too.
    This post features some of the "lesser"" monuments.
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  • Day10

    Luxor 2; Karnak - The Precinct of Amun

    November 26 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    The Temple Complex of Karnak is second only to the Pyramids of Giza on the list of "Wonders of Egypt". There are three separate enclosures or "precints", with each dedicated to one of the Theban Triad of Gods (Amun, Mut and Khonsu); together,. they cover an area of 100 acres Like most tours, we visit The Precinct of Amun, which is by far the grandest (and largest at 62 acres).

    We enter the Temple of Amun via the Processional Way and pass the largest pylon in Egypt as we reach the Temple Forecourt. As we leave, and just before the second pylon, is a colossus of Ramesses II; we then enter the Great Hypostyle Hall - 600 square metres of titanic columns where the original colours are being recovered using special cleaning techniques. On the outer walls of the Hall are reliefs of battle scenes. Beyond the third and fourth pylons there are obelisks before we reach the Sanctuary.

    We leave the Temple of Amun and enjoy views from around the Sacred Lake and walk through some of the open air museum to the Temple of Khonsu where there are some excellent wall reliefs; the Temple of Opet is here too and we see this and enjoy a fine view back over the Precinct of Amun.

    Opposite the Temple of Khonsu is the Gateway of Euergetes II which opens to the Avenue of Sphinxes; this provides a direct route between the Karnak Complex and the Luxor Temple.

    Another fantastic visit.
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  • Day9

    Luxor 1; Downtown and Luxor Temple

    November 25 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    We disembark and walk to Luxor Temple along the Corniche and via the bazaar.

    The Temple was founded by Amenophis III and added to by Tutankhamun and Ramesses II, with the Sanctuary rebuilt by Alexander the Great. The Temple was half covered by sand and silt for centuries and very recently The Avenue of Sphinxes has been uncovered; this linked Luxor Temple and Karnak Temple back in the day, and it is now possible to walk the 2.8km between them again.

    From the Avenue of Sphinxes we enter the Temple via its gateway of two pylons, one 25m high obelisk (the other of the original pair is on La Place de la Concorde in Paris) and 6 colossi og Ramesses II. We pass into the Court of Ramesses II, where a mosque has been built on the remains of colonnades. We walk along the Collonade of Amenophis III to the Court of Amenophis III and on to the Hypostyle Hall, with its Roman altar. We then reach the inner sanctums and visit the Birth Room and the Sanctuary of Amun's Barque.

    We walk back to the Cruise Ship for our final evening on it.
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  • Day9

    Nile Cruise 2; Edfu to Luxor

    November 25 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    We leave Edfu at about 8am; Intrepid trepid Travel tours do not visit Edfu Temple for ethical reasons, but that does stop the other tour groups making a short and rushed visit.

    There are excellent views from the top deck, where we relax for the morning until we reach Esna. Here there are two barrages that act as bridges over the Nile; just before reaching them many small boats come to the ship and throw their wares up in the hope that they will be inspected and purchased, since cruise ships do not stop here. Each barrage has a lock to allow vessels to pass through.

    We cruise on to Luxor, arriving at 3:30 pm; we dock close to the magnificent Temple of Luxor and disembark.
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  • Day8

    Nile Cruise 1; The Temple of Kom Ombo

    November 24 in Egypt ⋅ 🌙 24 °C

    We leave Aswan and the first stop on our Nile Cruise is the town of Kom Ombo, to visit the temple here.

    The Kom Ombo Temple is about 30 miles north of Aswan situated on a promontory at a bend in the Nile, where in ancient times sacred crocodiles basked in the sun on the riverbanks here .

    The Temple is unique because of its 'double' / mirror image design meaning that there are courts, halls, sanctuaries and rooms duplicated for two sets of gods; the southern half of the temple was dedicated to the crocodile headed god Sobek (fertility) and the northern part of the temple was dedicated to the falcon headed god Haroeris aka Horus (power and healing). There are many reliefs and carvings; an interesting place to visit.

    There is also a small museum here dedicated to Sobek; it features a number of mummified crocodiles and statues in the shape of crocodiles. Quirky!

    We leave Kom Ombo and the ship stops overnight at Edfu.
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  • Day8

    The Temples of Abu Simbel

    November 24 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    It is a three and a half hour drive to Abu Simbel from Aswan, and a very early start.

    The Temples of Abu Simbel were discovered as recently as 1813 because they were covered with sand blown by desert winds; they are located just 40km north of the border with Sudan on the West Bank of Lake Nasser. They were actually relocated to a higher level between 1964-8 to prevent flooding as the High Aswan Dam was scheduled to be completed by 1972.

    The Great Temple of Ramesses II was carved out of the mountain rock in the 13th century BC and is dominated by four colossal 20m tall statues of the Pharaoh as a display of power. We go in and enter the large hall with 8 columns and statues of him; the reliefs at the sides show Ramesses' prowess in battle. We then enter the Sacred Sanctuary, where Ramesses is with the triad of gods of the temple.

    Close by is The Temple of Hathor and Nefertari; this is smaller, but also has an impressive rock hewn facade of Ramesses, Nefertari and two of their children. We pass through the entry Hall to the Sacred Sanctuary.

    This is an amazing place to visit!
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    Wolfgang und Heidi

    A great temple! We visited 12 years ago. Time running fast 😊

     
  • Day7

    Aswan 3; Felucca / Elephantine Island

    November 23 in Egypt ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    Elephantine Island is the largest of a group of islands in the River Nile and form part of Aswan; we have great views of it from our hotel on The Corniche.

    The felucca is a traditional wooden sailing boat used in this part of the world and the group enjoy a ride on one around Elephantine Island, seeing many interesting things (see photo captions).

    We are dropped off at The Old Cataract Hotel and stop for a cocktail; Agatha Christie was based here for a while and wrote part of "Death on the Nile" in her room (now the Agatha Christie suite).

    We visit Elephantine Island itself in the evening; there are two Nubian villages here and we enjoy a Nubien feast at one of the houses; this included lentil soup, Egyptian Moussaka, fried chicken, tajin potatoes, rice, salt and Egyptian baklava to finish. Superb!
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    Wolfgang und Heidi

    We remember that place. We did that very trip about 10 years ahí

    Traveler

    Time flies!

     
  • Day7

    Aswan 2; Bazaar, Corniche, Nubia Museum

    November 23 in Egypt ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    The Sharia al-Souk bazaar runs from the train station to The Corniche several blocks parallel to, and inland from, the river. This bazaar is regarded as the best in Egypt outside of Cairo, and we explore part of if from the Corniche end, enjoying the sights, smells and sounds.

    The Corniche is the finest in Egypt, less for the buildings along it than the superb views of Elephantine Island, the felucca sailboats on the River Nile and the sands of the Western Sahara on the bank behind it (see next post). We walk along it and pass the Ferial Gardens, Coptic Cathedral and The Old Cataract Hotel (see next post).

    We walk uphill to The Nubia Museum; completed in 1998, it provides an interesting introduction to Nubia and Nubian culture from 4,500 BC to the present day; it does not disappoint. The large grounds are the open air part of the museum and landscaped, containing a waterway and many interesting exhibits.
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