Blogs from Luxor, Upper Egypt, Egypt, Africa - page 4

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Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Luxor September 24th 2012

Our alarm clock went off at 3:15 in the morning for this. I had bragged to all my friends back home, "I'm taking a hot air balloon ride over Luxor...how cool am I?" They'd say, "Oh, that is amazing. You're so brave. You do the most adventurous things on your trips..." Well, besides seeming like an adventurous once-in-a-lifetime thing to do, I also thought it would help me conquer my fear of heights. They say when you have a fear you should face it head on. I get sweaty palms climbing the ladder to clean my windows in the spring. Surely after floating for an hour high above Egypt I'd finally get over being afraid of heights. So, we signed up for the hot air balloon ride. I should of known that no good can come ... read more
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Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Luxor September 5th 2012

Days 3 - 5 September 3 - 5th Hi! I haven't written in a few days because I've been on the run for what feels like the ENTIRE time! Ok, so day 3 we had to wake up at 3:30 am so we could meet the shuttle in front of the hotel lobby at 430 am in order to catch a flight from Cairo to Luxor. That sucked! Anyway, once we got the airport, I finally started to feel alive again....sort of. We flew to Luxor and arrived in Luxor around 8 something. The scenery in Luxor is much different than Cairo. First of all, it's a WAY smaller city. Cairo is ridiculously busy. They have 20 million people living in Cairo and you can tell. Isn't that almost twice the population of NYC? Anyway, Luxor ... read more

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Luxor July 16th 2012

Finally slept in for once, and in general had a very relaxing day. My last two places in Luxor were Luxor Temple and the Mummification Museum. The nice thing about both is that they are just down the street from the hotel. Started at Luxor Temple. This is the other great temple in town right after Karnak, and while it isn't as big as Karnak, I think it is the more interesting ruin. It's compact and obvious how the temple was put together. Karnak is so massive you feel like you're only seeing 1/10th of the entire place. And, oddly enough, I did see some similiarities between Luxor in Vegas and this temple. At least the main entrance I feel like resembles the main entrance to the casino once you're inside. Did the architects in Vegas ... read more
Avenue of Sphinxes
Sphinx Close-Up
Missing Obelisk

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Luxor July 15th 2012

Left bright and early to escape the heat, and had a driver arranged through the hotel take me across the Nile to the West Bank. This is the land of the dead, and probably the greatest burial ground in Egypt outside of Cairo. During the New Kingdom days, nearly 1,000 years after the pyramids were built, pharoahs typically hid their tombs away in the hills surrounding Luxor, or Thebes. All of this was an attempt to stop grave-robbers. The main sites are the Temple of Hatshepsut, the Valley of the Kings, the Tombs of the Nobles, the Ramesseum, and the Temple of Medinat Habu. Since the Temple of Hatshepsut in one of the hottest places in the world, I started here, at around 8:30ish. Next it was the Valley of the Kings. This is where Howard ... read more
Stark Beauty of Hatshepsut Temple
Walkway Up
Statues on the Third Terrace

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Luxor July 14th 2012

Set off today after a hearty breakfast for the 20 min. walk up the Nile to the famous Karnak Temples. This is one of the absolute largest religious centers in the entire world. To put it into perspective, St. Peter's in Rome and St. Paul's in London could easily fit side by side, and there's still be plenty of room to spare. In its hey-day during the New Kingdom period of Egypt (1500-1000 BC) Karnak was one of the wealthiest and most important centers in all of Egypt. The reason why Karnak is so massive is because each successive pharaoh wanted to leave his mark (or her mark - the one great Egyptian woman-pharaoh, Hapshetsut) in such an important area, and of course try to out-do in size and slendor the additions of past rulers. So ... read more
The Avenue of the Ram-Headed Sphinxes
Close-Up of the Sphinxes
First Great Pylon

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Luxor July 13th 2012

Another almost too easy day of travel. Left on a short flight South to Luxor (around 1 hour) from Cairo at around noon, and then at Luxor, a driver was waiting, and drove me the 15 minutes or so to the hotel, the Old Winter Palace. I'm still shocked by this hotel, mainly because I wasn't expecting the sheer opulence of the place. This is an old Victorian gem of a hotel right along the Nile, and has housed every single royal dignitary that has ever travelled to Luxor. It was actually built to attract European aristocracy to the area. It feels like being in the Brown Palace in Denver, but honestly even more so. What's even cooler is that Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter both stayed just down the hall from my room. They were ... read more
The Grand Staircase
Fountain in the Back of the Hotel
Beautifully Manicured Garden

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Luxor June 18th 2012

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 ... read more
The Valley of the Kings
Karnak Temple
Karnak Temple

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Luxor May 24th 2012

Hey hey! Today started off with a 4 hour drive to Luxor which was probably the worst trip known to man. Imagine a 450km drive in a small van with no suspension and there are uneven speed humps every 100 metres and pot holes all over the place. Then having to share the tiny road with cars, pedestrians an donkeys. lol We got to the hotel and just chilled for a bit before going to Karnak temple. We actually ran into james, izzy and nana who have been on a different tour! It was seriously hot and shama got heatstroke so we came back to the hotel. Happy travels!... read more

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Luxor May 14th 2012

May 8, 2012 Luxor, Egypt Nautica arrived in the Egyptian port of Safaga early May 7. Safaga is an ancient port city on the Red Sea. It is not much to look at but it is the closest port to Luxor and the Nile valley. I boarded one of 15 buses that left in a convoy across the desert. The journey took more than 3 hours. There was a military vehicle at the front and rear of the convoy. The Egyptians are extra cautious ever since a deadly attack on a bus load of Germans about 20 years ago. There were police checkpoints every 20 kilometers, but the officers on duty seemed totally uninterested in our purpose. Most of them were sitting in the shade smoking and hardly even looked up as we slowly lurched over ... read more
from the balloon
valley of the kings
Nile River




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