Egypt: Luxor

Luxor is a city on the east bank of the Nile River in southern Egypt. Luxor has frequently been characterized as the "world's greatest open-air museum", as the ruins of the Egyptian temple complexes at Karnak and Luxor stand within the modern city. It's on the site of ancient Thebes, the pharaohs’ capital at the height of their power, during the 16th–11th centuries B.C. Today's city surrounds 2 huge, surviving ancient monuments: graceful Luxor Temple and Karnak Temple, a mile north. The royal tombs of the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens are on the river’s west bank.

🙂 More incredible temples!

🙁 More incredible temples! LOL.

On arrival in Luxor we were taken straight to Luxor Temple which was constructed in 1400 BCE. In what was then Thebes, Luxor Temple was “the place of the First Occasion,” where the god Amon experienced rebirth during the pharaoh’s annually reenacted coronation ceremony. It is famed for having a row of sphinxes and the hieroglyphics are holy and it is said that if you touch them your wishes will come true. The temple is well preserved and areas still have original colours.

Next stop was Karnak temple which is a complex of pylons and obelisks dedicated to Theben gods and Egyptian Pharaohs. The Karnak Temple dates back from around 2055 BC to around 100 AD. It was built as a cult temple and was dedicated to the gods Amun, Mut, and khonsu. Being the largest building for religious purposes ever to be constructed, the Karnak Temple was known as “most select of places” by ancient Egyptians.

Our hotel for the night was a desert oasis palace situated on the west bank of Luxor called Al Moudira where you felt you were swept away by the atmosphere of an Arabian night….It is spacious with a big swimming pool. The rooms were large and domed. We enjoyed a swim and dinner was fantastic. We had big fluffy towels and robes and sleep was wonderful for Trent and the girls as it was air conditioned! Sadly our air con was broken so we slept with damp towels to cool us down! It was still a lovely stay!

We were up at 05h00 to take a long taxi ride to the Valley of the Kings.

We were the first to arrive. First we saw the tomb of Ramses III which is fantastically well preserved with all the original oil paints. This tomb has multiple side chambers off the first and second corridors which are decorated with unusual scenes. AMAZING. King Tut’s tomb was a bit of a let down – very small with no colour or hieroglyphics. Just his sarcophagus with no colour. We saw another tomb where only the first part of the area was decorated exquisitely. We drove to the mortuary Temple of Hathepsut which is cut out of the cliffs and spectacular. Next up was the Valley of Nobles where we were perpetually harrassed by locals. We saw the tombs of Mena and Nakht where all the reliefs are also incredibly well preserved.

Finally we visited Medinet Habu where the Temple of Ramses III is – one of the best we had seen – very quiet and perfectly preserved. Amenhotep III is entombed inside the limestone hills of the Theban Necropolis, a sprawling cemetery on the banks of the Nile River opposite modern-day Luxor, where pharaohs and their queens, priests, and royal scribes were buried between the sixteenth and eleventh centuries B.C. Amenhotep III ruled Egypt for nearly four decades, until his death in 1349 B.C. at the age of 50. His reign was marked by prosperity, political stability, and the creation of some of ancient Egypt’s most magnificent complexes . His legacy includes an elaborate mortuary temple intended for rituals and offerings to honour the pharaoh in perpetuity. Amenhotep III built on a grand scale. All that remains of the pharaoh’s funerary temple were the Colossi of Memnon, two gigantic statues, seated on thrones, both effigies as tall as a six-story building and each weighing an estimated 720 tons!

We took photos of the Collossi of Memnon…back to the hotel to relax by the pool and enjoy another fine dinner.

Go To: Cairo

Go to: Aswan

Go to: Nile Cruise

Go to: Dahab

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