Egypt & Jordan Tour with All One WorldAuthor: Dileep
Date of Trip: December 2010
Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010
This morning we checked out of our hotel in Giza-Cairo to take a short 1-hour flight south to Luxor at 7:40am.
Here in Luxor we see the temples and tombs from the New Kingdom era (1550-1070 B.C.). We began our sightseeing on the West Bank of Luxor, where some of the most famous artifacts have been found, including the King Tut collection. We started with a visit to Hatshepsut's Deir El Bahari Temple. Called "The Most Splendid of All," it was built at the very beginning of the New Kingdom and served as an inspiration for the generations to come.
Although they no longer allow us to take our cameras inside the Valley of the Kings, we visited this site because it is one of the most famous in the world. This is where Howard Carter found King Tut's tomb and amazed the world with the many marvelous things found therein. The tomb of Ramesses VI was recently restored and is truly spectacular. You also get to choose another 3 tombs to visit.
Next stop was thoroughly enjoyable lunch at a local family's home.
One of the temples is not on the normal tourist route, so it is particularly nice to visit. The mortuary temple of the famous Ramesses II is called the Ramesseum.
Check in to Hotel Sonesta St. George, Luxor on the Nile.
Early evening visit to the Luxor temple and we stayed for the evening lights. The Avenue of the Sphinxes leads to us to this picturesque temple with its obelisk and colossi statues of Ramesses II guarding the entrance. Built mostly by Amenhotep III, there is a wide open court that portends the open-roofed temples of his successor, Akhenaten, worshipper of the sun-god Aten.
Thursday, Nov 18, 2010
At 9 am we traveled north of Luxor for 3 hours to the legendary temple of Abydos, the place of pilgrimage from the dawn of Ancient Egyptian history. Here is where many of the oldest artifacts have been found. The Temple of Seti 1st is from the New Kingdom and is heralded as the "High Art of Ancient Egypt”. The reliefs here are incredible!
Next we visited the Hathor Temple at Dendera which was built during the Ptolemaic (Greek) era to honor the Goddess Hathor.
Early dinner at our bus driver, Mohammed's home -- nice new modern 2 story home with western toilets! Had very tasty lamb that was cooked for the Eid Festival 2 days ago!
Friday, Nov 19, 2010
4:40 am departure for a spectacular sunrise balloon ride over the West Bank of Luxor.
We visited the largest temple complex of all, Karnak on the East Bank of Luxor. Not just a temple, but a whole series of temples with the magnificent Hypostyle Hall in the middle of the central axis. Karnak is so stunning one could spend a week photographing here.
Late lunch at a nice new restaurant near the temple. Buffet and cold beer!
Sunset Felucca cruise on the Nile was spectacular. There was no wind, so we had to be towed by a motor boat!
Saturday, Nov 20, 2010
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