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If You stay in Luxor Do a day trip to Abydos & Dendera as they are two of the most important sites of Ancient Egypt.
There are 3 ways to get there By boat, Taxi or coach(minibus). By boat is the most relaxing & is how the Dead Pharaohs made their final trip to Abydos but is double the price than Taxi. Boat £37 Pp Taxi £35-£40 return & waiting time. Taxi was how we did it & pleased we did as we saw all the towns villages & cities on the way. We also saw how it is in the real Egypt including the farming of Sugar cane & bananas. The market was amazing as we had never seen such red Tomatoes & green peppers & honey being sold fresh at the side of the road. Truly a great experience not usual for the average package tour.
The countryside so contrasting between the arid desert & lush green countryside kept so by the Nile ( remember this country gets virtually no rain at all) Once in 4 years according to our Driver Tariq number 1617.
Abydos has the Kings list important for our knowledge of Pharaonic history. This temple Seti 1st is beautifully decorated with amazing reliefs representing The rituals of death & offerings to the gods of the underworld Osiris, Hathor, Anubis & so on. The colours are beautiful still after thousands of years. A must see.
Dendera is also amazing because of Its tie in to the Ptolemaic period & Roman Emperor Tiberius who completed the temple, Although the earliest foundations it is built on date back to the great pyramid builder Khufu nearly 5000 years before. Queen Cleopatra v1 is an important figure whose relief can be seen on the rear of the temple outside. The is also in one of the upstairs rooms a map of the signs of the zodiac. The temple downstairs though is beautiful & mainly painted in blues. The column capitals have the face of hathor on all four sides & the wall reliefs are also beautifully painted. The only sad thing is the damage done to reliefs by the early christians something common thruout ancient Egypts tombs & temples. There is also outside by the Temple rear wall a Temple to Isis that has suffered the same fate which is a shame. The earliest christians who did this damage should be ashamed of themselves much like the Damage done to The Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan by the Muslims. For me a God who needs humans to defend his interests is no God at all. Dendera & Abydos must be seen by any visitor to Luxor.
Updated Oct 5, 2012
Alabaster historically was a symbol of purity and great honour. It s also thought to have been associated to the Egyptian Goddess Bast. Abcient Egyptians used alabaster to line sarcophagi and the walls inside of te temples.
Updated Apr 24, 2012
Colossi are two massive stone statues of pharaoh Amenhotep III, standing in the Theban necropolis since 1350 B.C. The twin statues depicting Amenhotep III in a seated position, while two shorter figures carved alongside his legs are his wife Tiy and mother Mutemwiya.
The statues are made from blocks of quartzite sandstone and both of them are seriously damaged during the centuries. The original function of the Colosi was to standguard at the entrance of Amenhotep's memorial temple (mortuary temple). The temple was built during the pharaoh lifetime where he was worshiped as a God on Earth. Very little remains today of Amenhotep's temple. It was largest and most opulent temple in Egypt.
The statues are better known as Colossi of Memnon, and Memnon in ancient Egyptian means "Ruler of the Dawn".
Updated Apr 18, 2012
If you want a break from the noise and hassle of Luxor try Al Salam Camp in Ramlah village on the West Bank (if you get off the ferry from the East Bank turn left and walk along the Nile path for about 10 minutes and you can't miss it; or if you're travelling with luggage ask a taxi driver). We had a fabulous meal of local fish, duck, home-made bread and salads, and relaxed round the fire chatting till late. Ahmed and Yasser who run the camp are fun and friendly, and can tell you all about local life as well as organise transport and trips. Highly recommended for chilling out and seeing another side of Luxor after you've done the tombs, temples and tourist-traps. The huts (£5 per night) look spotless and comfortable - we'll definitely be staying there next time. A paradise for kids, who'll find plenty of local playmates, language not an issue.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Phone: Ahmed: +20 1068 24067
For over two centuries, since its beginnings in France and well before the invention of the airplane, ballooning has been an exciting form of travel. It offers the rider a chance to see the world from an aerial perspective. My first time ballooning just happened to be in Luxor, Egypt and based upon the positive experience I had, it won't be the last. The fantastic views from the basket were astounding. We got lowered right into Edu temple and then we were raised a few thousand feet in the balloon where we were treated to a spectacular view of the Valley of the Queens.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Phone: +02-0952370437-010 3307708
My favourite places are not mentioned in replies to your query - Medinet Habu)Rameses III well-preserved temple) and the Nobles' Tombs. These tombs I have told three lots of friends who went to Luxor are not to be missed. Their value is slowly being appreciated. They are such a surprise. I can tell you my favourites if time is limited and how to get there. All are on West Bank near Valley of the Kings. Have fun!
Written Sep 22, 2010
Dendera Temple is not that far off the beaten track, but many first time visitors to Egypt miss it. It is DEFINITELY worth a visit. It can be done as a very long day trip via the Lotus Boat or combined with the temple of Abydos and done by road.
Will add more info...but in the interim, please enjoy the photos!
Updated Oct 22, 2009
On arrival in Luxor, the Thomson Rep recommended tours organised by the company. However. I found the price steep.
Instead I organised all trips/ activities through the Hotel, St Josephs in El-Mahdry Street.
For E£776 (£77, I secured 6 hours on the West Bank, 1 hour camel ride and a felluca trip to banana island.
The trip to the West Bank was fantastic, an air conditioned taxi arrived promptly at 7.30am. The tour guide, George, was superb, completely professional. Very knowlegable and instructive. He helped us not only understand the hisory of the valleys but also guided us through hoards of local salesmen and taught us basic arabic.
I recommend George to anyone hoping to visit Luxor, I travelled as a single mum, with 3 children.
George can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Written Aug 22, 2009
Just returned from my first visit to Egypt, and stayed in the beautiful apartments owned by Jane and Mahmoud of "Flats in Luxor". In the heart of the rural West Bank at Luxor, the experience was like a magical trip back in time, but with all modern comforts! Stunning views over lush farmland, as far as the Theban Hills and Hatshepsut's temple, hot air balloons floating aloft at dawn - yes, we'll definitely return! A fabulous experience!!
Written Sep 8, 2008
Medinet Habu is often visited at the end of a day seeing the other well known sites like the Valley of the Kings, Deir el Bahari and the Valley of the Queens. Because it's at the end of the day many people may feel 'templed out' and so leave it for another day. Well if you can summon up the energy make the effort because it's a treasure.
It's a smaller version of Karnak, but because it's less busy it's quieter and you can dawdle around at your own pace. The one thing I did find though was that the guardians were more obtrusive and didn't seem to take NO for an answer very quickly. Once you've shaken them off though it's great to just wander around and marvel at the paintings, inscriptions and structures. As with all of the sites there is an entry fee but I think it was cheaper than most of them.
Updated Jul 1, 2008
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