Luxor, Valley of the Kings and Karnak Temple

Trip Start Jan 05, 2011
Trip End Mar 29, 2011

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Flag of Egypt  , Red Sea and Sinai,
Friday, March 18, 2011

Safaga Fri 18 Mar 2011
                                                                                                              Temp: Mid 90's 
                                                                                                               Quite searing heat
The Port of Safaga has a small but thriving tourist industry based mainly on diving.  It is also the gateway to the land of the Pharaohs and some of the most amazing sites of the Ancient World.

Our journey from the port was initially through miles of desert on route to Luxor , punctuated every few miles by army and police checkpoints.  As we got nearer to Luxor the landscape gradually changed to fertile, benifitting from the Nile Valley area.

Arriving in Luxor we drove across the Nile to the West Bank and the Valley of the Kings, known as the City of the Dead.  Here we were able to visit three of the Royal Tombs, unfortunately there was absolutely no photography allowed within the Valley Complex, cameras were left on the coach.  The Tombs with their painted relief figures and hieroglyphics really do need to be seen to be believed, fantastic, some going back over three thousand years!

Following lunch in a top Luxor Hotel the afternoon was spent visiting the Great Temple of Karnak.  The sheer scale of Karnak surpasses any other complex in the entire ancient world with its solidity of structure and size being quite staggering.  The original Temple was built in honour of Amon-Ra, the Son God, but successive Pharaohs have enlarged and enriched the sanctuary over a period of nearly two thousand years.  

We had to leave Karnak before 6.00pm, some curfews are still in place and our return journey, in full moon and dazzlinng array of stars was quite spectacular across the desert landscape. 
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