Egypt - Luxor - Nile Cruise - Karnak & Luxor Temples - Valley of the Kings - Queen Hatshepsut Temple - Colossi of Memnon

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October 15th 2012
Published: November 4th 2012
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Monday - Cairo to Luxor October 15th and 16th

Karnak and Luxor Temples
We are in the lobby by 5 a.m. and head to the airport for our flight from Cairo to Luxor which is included in our tour package. Our guide is incredible and takes care of everything and helps us through security and check in. An hour flight and we land in Luxor. The area is about a million and a half people, as we are told by our guide Hassan and quite a contrast from what we had seen in Cairo. Lots of green along the river banks, agriculture and livestock.

We didn’t realize that we had a river boat upgrade until we got on the ship for our river cruise on the Nile. We were upgraded to a new boat and a suite as all the rooms on this riverboat were suites. We were so impressed and happy to have a balcony to go along with it, not that we will have time to use it. What a nice surprise!! The suite was beautiful and the staff on board are so helpful and friendly. We had time to settle in and have lunch. We were seated with a couple from Canada and part of the 10 person group that we would be doing all our temple visits with while we are on this four day cruise. The whole group were very nice and interesting people from Japan, US, London and Canada. The ship has 5 stories with a pool and lounge deck on the top which offers easy viewing of all sides of the ship.

We met our guide Alaa and started our tour that afternoon at the Karnak Temple just north of Luxor, which was incredible. Over 3000 years old and walking among the 134 columns just blew me away. Massive site and not all of it is open to the public. Late afternoon and nearing sunset we visited the Luxor Temple which again is massive and an incredible site. Beautiful temples and I sure felt privledged to be here to visit them. I tried to imagine what life and these temples looked like thousands of years ago and who walked where we were walking now! What communities and infrastructure they had. How they managed to do this? The beauty of these temples and the incredible artwork was breathtaking. I find that each place we visit, I can't compare them to the previous, as they are all so different and all have their place in history with incredible stories to tell. Are we really here?

After these incredible temples, we headed back to our ship, docked four deep at the dock. We walk through three other boats to get to ours. Dinner was excellent and we stayed docked at Luxor overnight.

Tuesday - On the Nile - Valley of the Kings - Queen Hatshepsut Temple - Colossi of Memnon
There was an opportunity to do a hot air balloon ride from the West side to the East Side of the Nile and Sian opted to do it. A 3:30 am wake up call and away she went. I was impressed as we have had so many late nights and early mornings. They were back by breakfast and then we all headed out for our day trips to the Valley of the Kings and other sites on the West Side of the Nile. Travelling with just a group of eleven people was really nice.

The Valley of the Kings is just incredible and amazing at what they look like now and can only imagine what they were like when they were created. We visited the toombs of Ramses I, II and IX but had to leave our cameras behind as no photos allowed. Some of the toombs were a longer hike into the hillside and the information on how they were built was really interesting. They were carved into the hillside and the walls are covered with detailed carvings and faded in colour. Would have loved to visit these early in the morning. Some opted to visit and pay the extra for King Tuts tomb. It was very hot and not just the Canadians are melting. We did notice our guides tend to not do the climbing and hang out in the shade. Smart!

We left here and went to the Queen Hatshepsut Temple and we hiked up all the steps to the top. Here some of the carvings in the wall have really held a lot of colour. Alaa our guide, gives detailed information on every site we go to and most of us are hoping we aren't headed for a test. We stopped for a sit down and icecream at the bottom in the shade before we headed to the Colossi of Memnon for a quick photo stop. So impressive. Each area has a bazarre area that you work yourself through to get to the temples and sites and we all just follow our guide through. On the way back to the boat we had a stop at an Alabaster shop where men were sitting outside working on the stone. The shop was beautiful.

Dinner on board is usually around 8 to 8:30 p.m. and they offer incredible food and service and all the people are so friendly. We are well taken care of. Tomorrow we move onto some sailing on the Nile which I am really looking forward to and then Komo Ombo and then onto Aswan.

Additional photos below
Photos: 102, Displayed: 25


19th November 2012

I did this exact trip a few weeks ago! How cool to see your photos and hear your stories!
22nd November 2012

Thank you...wasn't it amazing....I would so do it all again....feel so lucky to have been able to do it.

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