AfricaEgyptLuxor

Luxor to Cairo and out.

Luxor Travel Blog

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Karnak

Jiyoung and I arrived in Luxor after a luxurious two days of floating down the Nile. We ended up in a really nice place, not a two minute walk from Luxor temple. On our first day we rented some bikes and rode the five kms to Karnak Temple, one of the most famous monuments in Egypt.

Karnak Temple is absolutely massive and it seems that every wall and column is covered with hieroglyphics.
Hatsheput's tomb
We spent an hour or two wandering around checking it all out. Very impressive.

Something not so impressive: our hot air balloon ride. It seems that everyone in our group was duped into believing our ride would start in front of a temple on the West Bank and we'd float over the Valley of the Kings. Not so. We started on the eastern side of the river, in someone's sugar cane field. Then we floated over some other people's sugar cane field, hit the tops of two trees, and then landed in yet another sugar cane field. Irritated? Hugely so. It left a very bitter taste in my mouth to know that we'd been flat out lied to by no less than three different people when booking this trip. We could see all the other hot air balloons in the distance, coming over the Nile. Major bummer.

The next day we rented bikes and headed across the river to Ancient Thebes and the Necropolis.
Cruising the Nile
This encompasses the area that includes the tomb of Hatshepsut and the Valley of the Kings and Queens. We thought this would be a nice 25 km bike ride and it was, but the first 12 km or so were on a false flat uphill into the wind, in the middle of the day, in the middle of the desert. Ouch! Hatshepsut's tomb was quite pretty, but the Valley of the Kings left something to be desired. After paying an absurd $15 dollars to enter (the pyramids were $9… was this supposed to be more impressive?) we discovered that 4 of the 6 best tombs were closed. And the other two? They required an additional $15 to enter! What!!?? This is Egypt, not Europe.  The three tombs we went in were okay, some had some nice paintings and all, but they were small and we were in and out in less than 5 minutes in each one. A bit of a letdown.


Since we booked our train tickets when we arrived, we were stuck in Luxor for another two days after all this. We didn't have much to fill the day, so we sat in McDonald's a bit using their WiFi. We did manage another bike ride, and made a few excursions through the bazaar, but nothing of real interest.

Upon taking the sleeping train back to Cairo, we decided to use our one remaining day to go to the Pyramids again. This time we actually went inside the middle Pyramid of Chephren. Wooo. It is hot inside the pyramids, and super stuffy, and the tunnels in are very, very small. It was kind of neat being inside a 4,000 yr. old structure, but the insides of all the pyramids are absolutely bare; no paintings of hieroglyphics or anything so not a whole lot to see.
Karnak
We crawled in and then back out, taking a huge breath of fresh air upon emerging. Still, I'm glad we got to do it and can look at pictures of the pyramids and think, I've been INSIDE that thing!

We made it to the airport in the AM on Friday for our flights out of Egypt. The airport sucked and we spent a solid 2.5 hours in lines trying to get to our gates. After a very sad and difficult goodbye, we set out on our ways, me to Istanbul and Jiyoung back to Korea. It's always hard to say goodbye, but this seemed doubly hard. I think it's going to be a long four or so months until we see each other again. It's been an absolutely fantastic month, though, and these countries will always stick out more than others because we were traveling together. I can't wait until our next trip.

Anyway, until Istanbul.
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Karnak
Karnak
Hatsheputs tomb
Hatsheput's tomb
Cruising the Nile
Cruising the Nile
Karnak
Karnak
the Nile
the Nile
Karnak
Karnak
Karnak
Karnak
Another go at the pyramids.
Another go at the pyramids.
on our hot air balloon ride. Thar …
on our hot air balloon ride. Thar…
Luxor
photo by: LadyMaja