a warning, the sellers and touts and hawkers in the walkway going to the sphinx is the more aggressive of them all around the Giza Complex, so be sure to be in a big group when going to the Sphinx.
the sphinx is the iconic guardian of the pyramids and is where the light and sound show plays everynight (unfortunately i did not have time to see it). the sphinx is the largest monolith structure in the world at 73.5 meters (241 feet) long, 19.3 meters (63 feet) wide, and 20.22 meters(66.34 feet) high and is made from a single large block of sandstone during the reign of Pharoah Khafre during the fourth dynasty and it was believed to be called the horus of the horizon and there are conflicting theories on what it was made for and the origins. even the destroyed nose and beard of the sphinx has several theories on when it was defaced like napoleon's soldiers, ottomans, sufi saint and more.
according to wikipedia:
The Great Sphinx of Giza (Arabic: أبو الهول Abū al Hūl, English: The Terrifying One), commonly referred to as the Sphinx, is a limestone statue of a reclining or couchant sphinx (a mythical creature with a lion's body and a human head) that stands on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile in Giza, Egypt. The face of the Sphinx is generally believed to represent the face of the Pharaoh Khafra.
It is the largest monolith statue in the world, standing 73.5 metres (241 ft) long, 19.3 metres (63 ft) wide, and 20.22 m (66.34 ft) high. It is the oldest known monumental sculpture, and is commonly believed to have been built by ancient Egyptians of the Old Kingdom during the reign of the Pharaoh Khafra (c. 2558–2532 BC).
In Aswan I took a minibus very early in the morning, together with a dozen of foreigners, all backpackers, in direction to Abu Simbel.
We all were anxious to admire one of the marvels of the world, a Patrimony of the Humankind according the Organization UNESCO.
Apart from Abu Simbel we had made an agreement with the minibus driver to stop in the Nasser Dam in the way back to Aswan.
The minibus employed almost four hours crossing the desert until Abu Simbel.
We were given 4 hours free time to admire the two temples erected during Ramses II times.
We could notice the cuts made by the machines to divide the two temples into pieces.
The first temple is devoted to the gods Ra, Ptah and Amon, while the second is dedicated to the goddess Hathor, where Ramses II wife, Nefertari, is represented.
I understood that paying the entry fee you had right to a guide, so when I saw a group of tourists explaining the history of the site in Spanish language, I joined them.
Not only the view of those temples was something fantastic, but inside you had a feeling that I would define of eternity.
I was especially happy to have reached Abu Simbel, because Spain was one of the four countries to answer to a UNESCO call to help to change the emplacements of those two temples of Abu Simbel when the Nasser Dam was being constructed. In compensation Spain received a gift from the Egyptian Government: the Temple of Debod, which is located in Madrid, at a few meters of the Plaza de España. Italy was given Ellesiya (today is in Torino), USA received Dendura (today is in New York), and Holland received Taffa (today is in Leiden).
There is no better way to experience the wonders of Egypt’s past than by Nile Cruise. A seven- night cruise involves a round-trip journey southwards from Luxor to Aswan...Nile cruisers are distinctive in appearance and are designed for comfort, with opulently decorated interiors on-board facilities vary from ship to ship, but all have restaurant, lounge, bars, sun deck with pool
Cruise of the Nile is one of the highlight or central activity of the trip, cruises up and down the Nile stop for shore excursions to the pyramids, archaeological sites, historic temples and city tours
Our guide told us that half of all the monuments in the world were in Luxor. We easily believed. Maybe not in quantity, but in size and expression.
The temples and palaces in the east bank, and the burial places in the west bank justify that you spend in Luxor all the time that you can. Of course, Luxor deserves a separated page, and I tried to do it. You're invited!
A cruise in the Nile is mandatory but things will be different according to the quality of the boat that you take.
We were in the Nephtys and everything worked fine. Some passengers were moved from another boat with severe complaints, but they also found Nephtys perfect. They have been really relaxing days, with isolated visits serving well to break monotony.
Another aspect to have in mind is the option of going up the river or down. We did it from Aswan to Luxor, and I think it was the best option.
1. Buy the overnight train ticket from Cairo to Aswan (it takes time!!)/ PM Cairo Museum
2. Giza / Dahshur/ Saqqara (night train to Aswan)
3. Aswan Philae, hang around
4. Abu Simbel (short trip package), evening Felucca
5. Nile cruise (Kom Ombo+Edfu)
6. Nile cruise (Luxor), Luxor East shore (Karnak, Luxor temple)
7. Luxor west shore (VOTK)
8. Early morning Balloon ride, back to Cairo
9. Cario hang around
the weather in December is pretty warm, not hot (like 30c) but warm enough to sunbathe, especially in the south Luxor & Aswan, where the best attraction is the nile cruise trip. u can try come to egypt tours www.facebook.com/events/306431869474465/?context=create or www.cometoegypt.com or call them on +201277007070
One of the strongest reasons to visit Egypt is the Red Sea. Diving, or only snorkeling, there you may have a remarkable experience. Most of the people go to Hurghada, maybe because it is more accessible, maybe because the publicity. I think that Sinai is a better alternative.
The hotels are also excellent (maybe better), the reefs are magnificent, and, if you don't want to fly there or drive from Cairo, you have a hovercraft from Hurghada at a reasonable price. And, being there, there's St, Katherine only a few kilometers away.
Much more information about Sinai in my Sharm-el-Sheik page
Kom Ombo is the best point of the Nile cruise, standing in the deck, and watching the history coming closer, growing by the river, and inviting you to step outside to an easy visit.
That's also the place where everybody their his boat party, and, knowing that, the way to the monument is lined with merchants selling you the local costumes everybody wears for diner.
Under 42 degrees Celsius, we didn't appreciate much the ruins. As a matter of fact, we saw some bigger, some better preserved, some more decorated, but this location by the river values for itself.
Cairo is a huge, dirty, noisy, and marvellous town.
We didn't have time to explore it extensively, maybe we will, in another visit.
The strongest impressions that remain are Khan el-Khalili, the heart of old town, the City of the Dead, where thousands of people solved the housing crisis lodging in the cemeteries, Saladino's Citadel, and the Egyptian Museum.
This one, was the most impressive collection of artefacts, fighting for space, in an interesting building that should be tem times greater to old the collection with the dignity it deserves. And Tutankhamum's treasure it's... well... go and see for yourself.
The best place to enjoy the red sea.
Either snorkelling or diving, or only swimming, the hot waters and their rich fauna are in Sharm-el-Sheik at their best. Surrounded by the desert, local life is clearly pointed to the tourists needs and opportunities.
So good, that we went there again and collected much more information for a Sharm-el-Sheik page.
This is familiar to everyone.
Everybody has seen the pyramids and sphinx from all the angles, in all lighting conditions. The only thing that the visit ads is… proportion. You know that everything is so big, but it’s different to feel it in place.
Tito went in advance, and, as he approached the sphinx of Kheops, it was looking bigger and bigger, until he almost disappeared against a simple block of stone. One of the million blocks weighing several tons pilled in the building.
God! We are really small…
I must confess that Hurghada was one of my biggest travelling disappointments: a very ugly place, dirty and dusty.
The only thing that made me happy was my previous decision to replace the stay in Hurghada by Sharm-el-Sheik.
Of course, the hotel in Gouna was great, and some other hotels in the area may be oasis in that desolation, but the only trump was... the sea.
That splendid sea, that, I knew, was also waiting for us in Sinai.
You have two Egypts, in the middle of the desert and separated by it: one lining the Nile (and that one is mainly history), and one lining the Red Sea .. and there, no matter where you are... go and dive.
Hurghada it's an ugly place, Sharm-el-Sheik a little bit better, the coast is nude and wild, but once in the water... you will have the best.
PS - I went back to Sharm-el-Sheikh, and found some of the best spots, but that is something for you to discover in my Sharm-el-Sheikh page.
The best preserved temple of Egipt stays in Edfu (or Idfu, to VT), in the Nile cruise itinerary, and it is a mandatory stop and visit to all ships.
At the harbour hundreds of horse-drawn carriages grab the visitors and hurry to the temple. It surely deserves the visit, but after Luxor, the best is really the agitation and effervescency in the harbour, breaking the peaceful hours of the cruise.
You must go through a street barrack and through metal detectors just to get to the elevator and get...more
We had a fabulous time! We were pampered from top to bottom. I am feeling very relaxed. Excellent...more
Good family hotel. Not diver friendly. The hotel Diver Center although member of PADI doesn't...more
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