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Published: July 11th 2019
Hot Air Balloon Ride
Filling up the Balloons
Today, Renata and I are going on our first ever hot air balloon ride. We are so excited to witness the mesmerizing ancient monuments of Luxor from high in the sky. Hot Air Balloon Ride
After an early morning pickup (around 3:00 a.m.) with Sinbad tours, Renata and I traveled to the east bank where we boarded a boat that took us to the west bank of the Nile river. In the boat we were given a brief safety demonstration and we had to fill out a waiver form in case anything happened. When we arrived at the Hot Air Balloon site, it was pitched black and Sinbad tours was just starting to slowly fill up the balloons.
We boarded our Hot Air Balloon and the group had to shuffle around to distribute weight equally in the basket. Then we ascended off the ground with the heat of the flames propelling the balloon. Our captain, Khalid, explained the various sites we were witnessing below including the Temple of Queen Hapshepsut and the Valley of the Kings. The best part was having a birds eye view of the beautiful sunrise over the valley below. Unfortunately, I was not allowed
Hot Air Balloon Ride
The beautiful sunrise
to bring my DSLR camera on board the hot air balloon but I was allowed to take pictures from my phone.
It was a little nerve wreaking when Captain Khalid finally had to land the balloon. The group had to all sit down and put our weight onto one side of the balloon in order to prevent the basket from toppling over. We landed safely in a green field and headed back to our hotel for much needed coffee and breakfast. Karnak Temple
Before we knew it, it was time to head to our next stop, Karnak Temple. Karnak Temple is the largest ancient religious site in the world. About 30 different Pharaohs contributed to the development of this one temple.
There are some interesting facts to note about the temple. Near the sacred lake there is a scarab beetle statue. It is said that if you walk around the statue seven times in an anti-clockwise difertion your wishes will come true. I decided not to walk around the statue because it was way too hot but some of my group mates did. I wonder if their wishes came true!
Another interesting fact about the
The Scarab Beetle. Walk around it counter-clockwise 7 times for good luck
Karnak Temple is that it is connected to the Luxor Temple via a row of hundreds of carved ram headed sphinx. I guess in ancient times, the people used to walk between the temples for various ceremonies or gatherings.
Furthermore, like the Luxor Temple the Karnak Temple also had two obelisks. One of the obelisk was removed from the Karnak Temple and re-erected in Rome. Wow, ancient Egyptian culture can be found in various places in the world.
One of the highlights of the Temple, Renata and I found was the Great Hypostyle Hall which is supported by 134 columns and 16 rows. It was fun weaving in and out between the pillars and it was a good place to escape the heat.
After visiting the temple it was time for us to head back on our long bus ride back to Cairo. Tomorrow, we get the chance to visit the famous Egyptian Museum and tour the city of Cairo. Until then!
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