Published: June 25th 2012June 18th 2012
Hot Air Ballooning
Sunrise over the Valley of the Kings, Karnak Temple and the Nile.
After an amazing time in Cairo we were very excited to continue our trip through Egypt. Luxor has frequently been characterized as the world's greatest open air museum, as the ruins of the temple complexes at Karnak and Luxor stand within the modern city. Immediately opposite, across the River Nile, lie the monuments, temples and tombs on the West Bank Necropolis, which include the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens.
After taking the overnight train from Cairo and feeling a little worse for wear, as the train speed swayed us back and forth in our beds (poor Aaron nearly fell off the top bunk) we checked into our hotel and slept until the rest of our tour group arrived from Aswan. Like Cairo, Luxor had very few visiting tourists while we were there which has an obvious flow on effect to the people of the city.
In the evening we wondered through Luxor Temple with our guide who explained what the temple once looked like. Later we visited a local Egyptian Restaurant where our guide ordered traditional dishes for us. The food was amazing with six courses, we could hardly move afterwards.
morning I arose at 3:30am in order to hot air balloon at sun rise over the Valley of the Kings, Karnak Temple and the Nile. Meanwhile Aaron who is much to afraid of heights enjoyed a nice sleep in. The hot air balloon ride was absolutely amazing and definitely worth the early wake up call. We got an amazing view over Luxor. As well as seeing all of the amazing temples and the Nile we could also see birds eye view of peoples homes (many of which had beds on their roofs as it is so hot at the moment)
, farmers moving their herds of goats and foxes running through the banana trees.
After meeting up with the rest of the group we visited the Valley of the Kings where for a period of nearly 500 years tombs were constructed for the Pharaohs and powerful nobles of the New Kingdom. Our ticket allowed us to enter three tombs and we also paid extra to enter King Ramsies the sixth. The royal tombs were decorated with scenes from Egyptian mythology and give clues to the beliefs and funerary rituals of the period. The colour that still remains in the tombs
was quite amazing, especially in King Ramsies the Sixth tomb. In modern times the valley has become famous for the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun and is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. We saw the treasures of this nearly complete tomb in the Egypt Museum in Cairo.
After exploring the Valley of the Kings we travelled to the Valley of the Workers, an ancient Egyption village which was home to the artisans who worked on the tombs in the Valley of the New Kingdom. At the time when the world's press was concentrating on the Tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922 a team began to excavate the site. This work has resulted in one of the most thoroughly documented accounts of community life in the ancient world that spans almost four hundred years. The tombs here were much smaller but the painting had been much better preserved than in the Valley of the Kings. The scenes were also different representing the life of the worker in ancient Egypt. That evening we walked through Luxor markets where Aaron bought me a silver Kartush necklace with my name written in hieroglyphics.
The following day I
celebrated my 25th
Birthday! We visited Karnak temple the largest ancient religious site in the world. The temple was amazing comprising of decayed temples, chapels and pylons. It was another extremely hot day (45 degrees) and after two hours of exploring the temple we were all feeling completely drained. We returned to our hotel for lunch and swam in the rooftop pool before travelling to Hurghada where we went out for a birthday dinner and cake which our tour guide organised.
The following morning we were scheduled to fly to Dahab however our flight was changed to the evening. We decided to spend our spare day in Hurghada at the Jungle water park which was a lot of fun. We did some hardcore sliding and by the time we arrived in Dahab that evening we were completely exhausted.
There are more photos below