Exploring Egypt: More of Luxor

7th and last of the series on my 7-day stay in Egypt

More sights in Luxor,
Lunch with local family,
And back to Cairo.

 As always, the day began early to see more wonders of Luxor, which used to be the ancient city of Thebes. First stop is the Colossi of Memnon, two 56-feet tall statues on Luxor’s west bank. They represent the Pharaoh Amenhotep III.

Next stop is the royal burial site, Valley of the Kings, where over 60 lavishly decorated tombs of pharaohs are located, dating from 16th to 11th century B.C. We went inside three of the four tombs that were opened to the public that day. To help preserve the artwork, the tombs are rotated every year for visitation and renovation. So, in any given year, usually only four tombs are open for exploring inside.

Another noteworthy royal site we visited was Hatshepsut Mortuary Temple, which was built for the longest reigning female pharaoh in Egypt, Hatshepsut. She ruled for 20 years in the 15th century B.C. and was considered one of Egypt’s most successful pharaohs.

After our historical excursions underground, we went to a local family’s home for lunch, which reminded me of why I love Middle Eastern food.

Our hearty lunch was then followed by some free time, which was spent learning more about Egypt’s rich history in the Luxor Museum and walking around the city.

After sunset, we all went to the train station for our return trip north to Cairo. That overnight ride on the sleeper train took approximately 10 hours. (Once we reached Cairo by early morning, we flew to JORDAN – the next travel series.)

To see the beginning:
1st day: Old Cairo
2nd day: Giza/Cairo
3rd day: Aswan
4th day: Abu Simbel
5th day: Nile River
6th day: Luxor

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Exploring Egypt: Nile River

5th of a series on my 7-day stay in Egypt

 An overnight trip,
Sailing in a felucca,
Eat, sleep, do nothing.

 A Nubian crew,
Steering, cooking, and cleaning,
Took us down the Nile.

 

Next day:
Luxor

To see the beginning:
1st day: Old Cairo
2nd day: Giza/Cairo
3rd day: Aswan
4th day: Abu Simbel

Exploring Egypt: Abu Simbel

4th of a series on my 7-day stay in Egypt

 A four-plus-hour drive,
Close to Sudanese border,
Worth all-day event.

 A temple complex,
King Ramses II’s legacy,
To celebrate him.

About Abu Simbel

Abu Simbel is a small village where Pharaoh Ramses II had built a temple complex to commemorate his victory at the Battle of Kadesh. Within the complex are two temples – the Grand Temple and the Small Temple. The Grand Temple showcases carvings and hieroglyphics that indicate homage to several ancient Egyptian gods, along with a record of Ramses II’s noteworthy life events. The Small Temple is dedicated to Ramses II’s favorite wife, Queen Nefertari.

The temples were relocated about 200 meters further inland and 65 meters higher up in 1964 to save them from going under the Nile River due to High Dam. The Abu Simbel temples are on UNESCO’s World Heritage List (as of 1979).

Inside the Grand Temple

Next day:
Nile River

To see the beginning:
1st day: Old Cairo
2nd day: Giza/Cairo
3rd day: Aswan

Exploring Egypt: Giza/Cairo

2nd of a series on my 7-day stay in Egypt

A sight to behold,
4,500 years old,
Structures in Giza.

Tried a camel ride,
Too high and shaky for me,
Thought I would fall off.

(Not a picture of me)

Another wonder,
Face to face with The Great Sphinx,
From across the dunes.

Drove back to Cairo,
To Egyptian Museum,
So many treasures.


Next:
Day 3: Aswan

To see the beginning:

Day 1: Old Cairo