Luxor Travel Blog› entry 32 of 40 › view all entries
We took an overnight train from Cairo the night before and arrived in Luxor early in the morning of the 30th. At the train station, we were greeted by our tour guide who would be taking care of us for the next 5 days while we were doing our Nile Cruise. It was before 8 AM, but it was already in the 90'sF (30'sC) and climbing. Since we were too early to check in on the boat, we went see the Colossi of Memnon on the west bank of the Nile River. These two statues have withstood the test of time to defend a temple that stood behind them. Unfortunately, the temple was destroyed many years ago, but the statues are still there.
Once inside the site (the great thing was that all the admissions were paid for with the cruise), we walked along the tombs and our tour guide told us about the site and the history. Luxor at one time was known as Thebes, and was a capital of Egypt for some years. (The capital was also in Memphis for a time, in northern Egypt.) Some of the greats are buried in the Valley of the Kings, including Ramses II.
After visiting the Valley of the Kings, we headed over to Hashepsut's Temple. Hashepsut was one of the well known "queens" of Egypt. She was married to a pharaoh (Tuhtmoses II), but when he died she took over as "king" instead of letting her son (Tuhtmoses III) rule. She claimed divine birth and ruled wearing a fake beard. She ruled for some 30 years before she died, and there is a large burial temple constructed for her. We were able to walk around this temple and learn all about her rule, and how she was hated by her son for taking his rule.
After visiting Hashepsut's Temple, we went to the cruise ship and checked in. I couldn't believe how nice it was! We put our things in our room and got some lunch on the boat. It was a full buffet spread with lots of things to choose from. We ate and then relaxed for a bit, as we were not required to visit the next site until 6:00 PM. It was very hot that day (although not unusual for southern Egypt), reaching around 120 degrees F. So, we waited for the sun to go down a bit before heading back out!
When we did leave the boat again, we headed to the east bank of the Nile and visited two temples. The first was the Temple of Karnak and the other the Temple of Luxor. Both temples were full of heiroglyph and dedicated to the gods. They were both impressive to see with their pylons and statues, pillars and stories. After visiting the temples, we went back to the ship and got some dinner. Another buffet spread! We then walked around Luxor city a bit before getting some sleep. The boat was scheduled to sail at 5:00 the next morning and I wanted to witness it.