Luxor, Capitol of the Middle Kingdom on the NIle
Trip Start Oct 24, 2010
51Trip End Jan 16, 2011
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Where I stayed
Nefertiti Hotel Luxor
Read my review - 4/5 stars
Read my review - 4/5 stars
The Valley of the Kings was full of tombs that were open to display, however, per normal, there were no photos allowed. Not even photos of the valley itself, from a 1/2 mile away. Unbelievable. Another thing that irked me a bit was the fact that you buy a ticket to visit the tombs, and you pay the 30-40 bucks to see them, then you find out that the ticket is only good for a visit to three of the many (50+) tombs available
The tomb graphics were in great shape. They showed the King and told the story of his life. Inside the God's were shown welcoming the King to the afterlife and there were depictions of boat trips with Gods across rivers that would carry the newly dead King through the twelve stages of the underworld and into the world of the Gods, where he would reside forever. (sound familiar?)
I was very impressed with Hatshetsup's temple. It is the only temple that was designed by a woman and it is special indeed. Wide and long with three levels, it is split down the middle by ramps and stairways. It looks as though it was wheel chair accessible! Way, Way ahead of it's time! It is one of my favorites so far. It was here in 1997, I believe, that a group of armed terrorists choose to attack unarmed civilians on tour. About 60 were killed. The terrorists did not choose to attack the Karnak or Luxor temples as there are many armed guards there
The first day, we visited the Valley of the Kings (sorry, no photos allowed), the Colossus of Memnon, and the Luxor Temple at night, the last two built by Rames II. Ramses II was certainly a prolific builder, having left temples from the Sudanese border in the south to middle Egypt. He was prolific in other areas as well. He had 52 wives, fathered 170 children, and lived to the ripe old age of 97 years. He actually outlived 12 of his children. When he died, his successor, a son, was in his 60s. The visit to Luxor temple in the evening was fabulous. The crowds were down, the night air cool, and the lights gave the place a golden glow. I tried my best to become a "Human Tripod" as I did not carry one. The shots are all hand held, sorry if there is some blurring.
While I am aware of the terrorist attacks years ago, the people here seem very friendly
Next, we will travel north to Middle Eqypt by car to visit Abydos and Dendara Temples. These two important temples were off limits for years. They are located in middle Egypt, which is quite conservative, and much more rural. There were some incidents there that caused the government to stop tourists visits to the area. More recently the government has organized armed convoys for the three hour drive through Qena, and onward to the temples. The convoys were stopped last year and now you submit your passports to the hotels and they arrange for permission to travel to Abydos and Dendara Temples. We choose to make the trip, submitted our paper, and we will post the report next.