Egypt
Khaled Ibn Al Walid

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11 travelers at this place

  • Day10

    Luxor Explorations

    January 18, 2019 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 4 °C

    We awoke to the sound of morning prayers this morning. The initial call was fairly nice and peaceful but soon the mass of different prayers echoed around us. Outside, the deck was strangely dry, no morning dew as I padded out in my wooly socks. If not for the temperature, I think it would've been very nice, not that it wasn't.

    Our crew provided another tasty breakfast, this time including pancakes as we drifted slightly further down river to a waiting van that would drive us the rest of the way to Luxor (4 hours given how little distance we'd covered the day before.

    The city itself is smaller than Cairo and Aswan and we found it quite pleasant to walk around until the hassling began. Luxor after all is the hassling capital of the world. Not to waste the day, we dropped our bags at the hotel and headed out to Karnak Temple, a stunning complex and stories that we'll remember even if the names require a little googling. We had some free time to explore, I wish we had a bit more time here.

    After that, back to town and a quick stop at the jewelry store for some silver. Debated getting something and then passed. (Only to wish the next day I'd gotten something and then thinking if and when I would actually wear it. Oh well, next time). We passed through the souk to get back to our hotel and the hassles arose. Pretty much every shop wanted you to look at their stuff. Even though we've gone through this at Aswan, this took it to the next level. We managed to escape unscathed, save for the bottle of sand art that I was wanting to get anyway.

    Group dinner out tonight at Al Sahaby Lane Restaurant, tried the camel burger and Oum Ali for dessert. The burger was good, but the dessert gets a pass. Also couldn't resist fried cauliflower and lemonade with mind =)
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  • Day11

    Luxor Temple at Night

    January 19, 2019 in Egypt ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Returning from the West Bank, we were free to explore the rest of the day, and did we pack it in! I had a craving for McDonald's french fries, and then we browsed through Aboudi Bookshop next door which had a number of neat souvenirs and a great book selection.

    We then wandered down the corniche (path along the Nile) to the Winter Palace, popping into a few shops along the way. The hassles are constant annoyingly with guys offering feluccas or wanting to chat you up and follow you for a bit, but it's more manageable with two people than if one were wandering on their own.

    The Winter Palace is a fancy-ish old hotel, like the Old Cataract Hotel in Aswan. I'd read it was a great place to have a drink and watch the sunset. I think the writer was probably there at a different time of the year though as we checked out the view and sun appeared to be dipping behind some trees. With that, we skipped the drinks and headed right down to the corniche and found ourselves a spot to watch sunset and try a time lapse on the go pro. What we'd hoped would just be a peaceful viewing was interrupted by the constant conversation by one local man and then another. Imagine trying to invent a boyfriend and giving fake names to fend them off!

    As soon as the sun disappeared, we headed off to Luxor Temple. Our guide had mentioned the best time to go was around 5pm, just as natural light was disappearing and the artificial light was coming up. This way you could still see the details in natural light and appreciate the beauty of the night views. It took a little while to find the ticket office as it's tucked away just below street level and there was still a number of people streaming in and wandering about.

    We got a little addicted to the multitudes of columns and took many photos. For once, it was nice not to be on a time constraint and wander as long as we wanted. Some of the lights weren't on yet, so we turned on the flashlights and admired some of the hieroglyphics in two "alcoves", giving us a very different experience than all the previous temples. It felt like how early archaeologists must have felt when they first came across the temple and they had no light but that of candles or torches.

    By the time we left, much of the crowd was gone and more lights were turned on. Luxor Temple was a place we could have just continued to linger. I suspect given the opportunity, we would have liked to have done the same at all the other temples on this trip.
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  • Day125

    Luxor, Egypt

    April 18, 2018 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 38 °C

    On Wednesday we docked at the port of Safaga and drove to the southern Egyptian city of Luxor to visit the temple complex at Karnak and the Valley of the Kings. The temperature was about 106 degrees F, and the air was extremely dry. Karnak, which was called Thebes in ancient times, is amazing. It was the capital of the New Kingdom, lasting from 1550 to 712 BC. The site contains a complex of 10 temples, each of which is large enough to hold about 10 European cathedrals. It is hard to imagine the size of the temple at Karnak without actually experiencing it. It boggles my mind to think that this enormous city of religion was visited by no one but the priests and royalty. Common people woshipped in much smaller local temples near their homes. These temples must have been mysterious, beautiful, and awe-inspiring.

    At the Valley of the Kings Glenda fulfilled a childhood dream. When she was a little girl she would often fantasize that she was discovering the tomb of a pharaoh. Several years ago when we came to Egypt, she had hoped to have that experience at the Great Pyramid. However its passageways are simply unadorned empty shafts and she was disappointed. Today she fulfilled her dream. As we entered the tomb of Ramses IV we were in awe. The hieroglyphic inscriptions are beautiful, and the colors are still alive and fresh. We were not allowed to photograph the interiors of the royal tombs, but I hope you can go on the internet and see photos of the tombs of Ramses IV and, of course, Tutankhamen. On my Facebook post I have Included a virtual reality presentation of the tomb of Ramses IV. Nevertheless, one must see the beauty of this place to believe it.
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  • Day13

    Luxor, Egypt

    March 17 in Egypt ⋅ ☁️ 29 °C

    Instead of sailing down the Nile today, we went on the bus to explore the Valley of the Kings, known as the "Gateway to the Afterlife"; which provides a window to the past. Many of the tombs within the valley were once filled with an abundance of antiquities. Though many suffered at the hands of grave robbers, others thankfully remained unscathed. Next is a visit to Deir el- Bahari, the mortuary temple of ‘Pharaoh Queen’ Hatshepsut. Rising out of the desert sands in a series of terraces, it’s an incredible sight to behold. On the way back to the river Nile, the road passes by the famed Colossi of Memnon, two massive stone statues of the Pharaoh Amenhotep
    III. However, on the bus we found out that Sharon and Ron had organized flights to fly out from Cairo tomorrow morning. We also found out that the Cairo airport is definitely closing after midday on Thursday. With the help from Cath and with little internet along the way, Sil managed to book new tickets to get out. (Nile Airway from Luxor to Cairo the next morning $455.00/ and Cairo - Abu Dhabi- Sydney for $2500.00 on Thursday b4 midday) We left the group on the boat and booked into the Karnak's Mercure Hotel near bý, this way we could get to the airport quickly in the morning. We thought that was the best chance to get to Cairo and back to Aust.

    About

    The Valley of the Kings is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. This is a royal burial ground, with exquisitely decorated tombs for the pharaohs who ruled Egypt between 1539 and 1075 BC. There are over 60 tombs in this small area, although only a handful are open to public.
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Khaled Ibn Al Walid

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