Day II in Luxor and Day V in Egypt (halfway)
Luxor Travel Blog› entry 14 of 29 › view all entries
We were again off for an early start, but this time much more human; we had rendezvous at 8 am where our guide Maria would take us out the next morning.
The breakfast was as always good in the hotel and I managed to get a couple of bottle of water for the trip as well. We were fortunate enough to check out after lunch which we would have at the hotel.
This morning we were only 3 person on the excursion beside our guide Maria so it was a nice little team that left the hotel that morning. We entered a Toyota Hiace and left for our first stop which was Luxor Temple which is situated in the middle of the city.
The temple was amazing and being there so early gave us the opportunity to have it almost for ourselves. Luxor Temple is a large Ancient Egyptian temple complex located on the east bank of the River Nile.
The Temple is known in the Egyptian language as ipet resyt, or "the southern sanctuary"; the temple was dedicated to the Theban Triad of Amun, Mut, and Chons and was built during the New Kingdom, the focus of the annual Opet Festival, in which a cult statue of Amun was paraded down the Nile from nearby Karnak Temple (ipet-isut) to stay there for a while, with his consort Mut, in a celebration of fertility – whence its name.
The earliest parts of the temple still standing are the barque chapels, just behind the first pylon. They were built by Hatshepsut, and appropriated by Tuthmosis III.
To the rear of the temple are chapels built by Tuthmosis III, and Alexander. During the Roman era, the temple and its surroundings were a legionary fortress and the home of the Roman government in the area.
After a couple of hours in the temple we were off for the next site which was Valley of the Queens, which turned out to be yet a place where we again couldn't take any pictures.
The valley was on the opposite side of The Valley of the Kings and yet a bunch of holes on a desert hill side.
The valley of the Queens was a burial place for Queens and teenagers and the first tomb we saw was for a teenager Titi, which was enormously well preserved. The drawings were all clear and in an amazing condition. It was one of the most impressive tombs on the trip.
The Valley of the Queens is where wives of Pharaohs were buried in ancient times. In ancient times, it was known as Ta-Set-Neferu, meaning –‘the place of the Children of the Pharaoh’, because along with the Queens of the 18th, 19th and 20th dynasties (1550–1070 BCE) many princes and princesses were also buried with various members of the nobility.
This necropolis is said to hold more than seventy tombs, many of which are stylish and lavishly decorated. An example of this is the resting place carved out of the rock for Queen Nefertari (1290–1224 BCE) of the 19th Dynasty. The polychrome reliefs in her tomb are still intact
It was planed that we would see 3 tombs but one of them was closed so after the next one which was in a far worse condition we left for our next stop which turned out to be a commercial visit to alabaster shop which none of us were interested in.
Next stop was a boat trip of the Nile in one of the small and colourful tourist boats that crosses the river.
I still have these wonderful pictures in my mind of people pumping water into their fields next to river and kids taking their animals to the waterfront to have them drink. The boat went slowly up the river before crossing it and letting us of at the Club Med.
When we entered the hotel they were setting the table at the waterfront and we reserved a table in sun before going to our rooms to pack.
The lunch was good and we left the hotel soon after for a four and a half hour bus ride back to El Gouna. The bus ride back felt much faster for me even though the bus was worse. It was an old and small buss that had taken us around Luxor the day before.
The good thing about this little bus was that you could open the windows and there gave us all possibilities to get some good pictures. All the bumps on the road felt worse especially since I was detained in the back of the bus.
When we drove to Luxor I didn't have a feeling that we drove up hill but in this small bus I clearly felt and saw that we drove down hill most of the way but especially after we entered the mountains. The traffic and the way people drive on these roads is a completely different story.