Al-Deir Al-Bahary from the air
Queen Hatshepsut ruled Egypt from1486 till 1468. She tried her best to be a stong Pharaoh. She even ordered the schulptors to add a beard to her stautes. And cut her temple in a uniqe style to adapt the slope of the hill.
To have a full panorama zoom out from the sky, enjoy and explore.Related to:
- Hot Air Ballooning
Karnak and Luxor temple complex from air
Luxor —the city— is the world's greatest open air museum.
Ancient Greek poet Homer described it as "Thebes of the hundred gates". Luxor —the name— was derived from the Arabic word "al-qusoor" i.e. "the palaces".
Take a better taste, and go little bit higher to explore more.
About Cost? It is a bit less than one air ticket!Related to:
- Hot Air Ballooning
Egyptian Music on CD from Luxor Bazaar
In Luxor's Bazaar I found a store that was selling CDs with Egyptian music.
Our tour leader recommended me a compilation of the most famous Egyptian singer Hakim.
I paid something like USD 5-6 for the CD.
Now, back home, I must admit that it the perfect way to remember the days spent in Egypt.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
On Yer Bike!
Definitely get a bicycle for at least one day! You don't get hassled by all the horse drawn carriages and street-sellers and its all flat so you can travel a long way quickly and cheaply. It also gives you the opportunity to venture into the small villages surrounding Luxor. This is what we did and actually came across a little shop in one of the villages where we didn't have to haggle for our coke and chips etc and paid the real price!! Quite a relief after 2 weeks of arguing over the price of a loaf of bread (usually 3-5 times the correct price is what they'll try to sell it to you in Luxor). We met these young boys while riding around the back of Karnak temple and they gave us sugar cane in return for a pen. They also asked us for money (baksheesh) Please don't give the children money unless you feel you REALLY have to as they begin to see tourists as money for nothing and you just make the situation worse for those to follow after you.Related to:
- Budget Travel
Canals along the Nile
The valley of the Nile is crossed by numerous channels which take water from the river. Owing to this the width of the valley has several kilometers. Where channels are not present, the desert comes closely up to the river. Unfortunately, banks of channels are dirty enough.Related to:
- Road Trip
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!
When we had Felucca ride we saw how local fishermen are drawing toils.
For me it was really surprising - i know that water of the River Nile is very impure, and think, that there isn't possible to get some fish :-) But i was wrong.... ;-)
The view was really interesting!
But we shouldn't forget our guides! Yes, these two guys were our guides. The one on the right is Vladan, our tourist guide, and the one on the right is Ahmed, a local guy. Very nice and very young
Why did I put this as a tip? Simply because people usualy don't have fun with their guides on travels, unless they are having a friend as a guide. So this is definitly an "Off the beatten path" tip by all means.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
A colossal attraction no more
Said to be the larger than Karnak, the funerary complex of Amenhotep III had been reduced to two giant statues - officially called Colossi of Memnon - that stand forlorn near the entrance to the Valley of Kings. This is what most tourists first see on their way to visit the intricately-designed funerary complexes of the Theban pharaohs. Inundation of the Nile over hundreds of years had been the primary culprit behind the destruction of Amenhotep III's giant funerary complex.
The monument, housed in white sandstone with gold throughout and floor covered with silver and doors with electrum, would have been a fitting tribute to one of the greatest Egyptian pharaohs. It was during Amenhotep III's reign that Egyptian culture and power reached its zenith. Among other achievements, it was him who built Luxor Temple.
Over the centuries, hundreds of statues and other artifacts were not only destroyed by the flooding of the Nile. Some monuments were vandalized by other pharaohs, and some moved to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Many others had found their way to the British Museum and in Turin, etc.
Sadly, only the two colossi remain of this once magnificent monument, and the whole place had been reduced to a minor tourist attraction whose only value is to provide tourists with a short photo op session on their way to the Valley of Kings.Related to:
- Historical Travel
Strolling down Al-Mahatta
OK, let's face it - Luxor is not a pleasant town to walk around with touts hassling you minute by minute, meter by meter. But that should not prevent you from enjoying the simple pleasures like gawking at the dolled up builidings along Al-Mahatta, the main road leading to the train station, and the station itself, which was in the finishing stages of being spruced up. It's a pretty cool area to walk around with lots of interesting stuff like:
1) Colonial architecture which reveals a lot about Luxor's importance as one of Egypt's tourism centerpiece as early as the 1800s. The buildings have been given a new lease of life with fresh coat of paint and refurbishing. While the effect could be contrived and Disneyesque, one could take comfort in the fact that these were authentic colonial buildings - only spruced up.
2) Lots of interesting merchandise displayed here from traditional spices to mobile phone accessories to funky summer wear (in picture here).
3) Humor is something Al-Mahatta does not lack in - that is if you find this "naughty" moviehouse humorous (3rd picture). From the looks of it, it specializes in skin flicks like the one shown here - movie titled "Haram," which means "forbidden" in Arabic. I just have to take a photo of it to show to my Egyptian friends back home - who now all deny having seen the movie. Really now.
4) At the end of this grand boulevard is Luxor's train station, which was in the final stages of sprucing up when I was there. The main hall is now adorned with beautiful reliefs and colorful stained glass - all nicely done. One thing hasn't changed, though - touts still lurk around waiting for their next prey. Oh well, welcome to Luxor.Related to:
- Historical Travel
West Bank's simple pleasures
Arguably, the west bank contains some of the highest concentration of ancient monuments in the world with the Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, Hatshepsut's Temple, Ramesseum, and many others all situated here.
After you've had your fill of tombs and monuments, why not enjoy west bank's "minor attractions?" The most striking feature of this more laid back area of Luxor is the sudden contrast in vegetation - from the green fields stretching a few kilometers from the riverbank, to the suddenly arid land where the tombs of ancient Egypt's great nobles lie - a very interesting study in contrast.
I had a wonderful time snapping the picturesque wheat fields set against the brown arid mountains, locals going about their daily lives, canals flowing through an otherwise desert landscape, and of beautiful sunset. The place also provides a refuge, however fleeting, from the touts at the east bank.
After these, reward yourself with a nice, relaxing meal and a cold beer at Africa Restaurant near the ferry terminal.Related to:
The village of Sheikh Abd el-Qurna
The village of Sheikh Abd el-Qurna (or simply Qurna) is built on top of the tombs in the Valley of the Nobles. Most of these houses have been cleared and the people removed to a new village but some of the locals refuse to go. There is no water in the village so the locals have to fetch the water in carts drawn by donkeys. The locals are very friendly and they will show you which tombs you can visit. They also like to have their photographs taken and expect a fee so be warned!Related to:
- Historical Travel
Colossi of Memnon
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".
The Weekly Market
There is a weekly market, held every Wednesday on the west bank. It is not far from the local ferry pehaps a five minute taxi ride. If you have time it is well worth a visit as this is where the locals come to shop for their fruit and vegetables as well as clothes shoes ect. you can also buy your fresh chicken here (live) plus your lamb also live. You will get some excellent photographs here as the brightly coloured fruits contrast well with the black clothing of the women. We bought bananas here and although they did not look as attractive as they do in the supermarkets back home they were better tasting and so very cheap, only a few Egyptian le's for 2 kilos. There is always lots of children around and they always make for good photographs. When I was writing my notes I found the children wanted my pen so next time I go I will be taking a few BICs with me.
The Temple of Deir El-Medina
This small temple was dedicated to the Goddess Hathor and Ma'at. It was built by Ptoemy IV. The temple was later used by the early christians, whose incribed crosses can be seen on the walls. If you want to visit this temple, you can get a taxi to the Valley of the artisans. Walk past the worker's village and you will find it about half way to the valley of the Nobles. It is no more than a fifteen minute walk. You will find the ground littered with shards of pottery some of which have rather nice pattens on them. The large hole in the ground is an ancient well.Related to:
- Historical Travel
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