DAY ONE: We took the night train from Giza to Luxor, arriving at breakfast time into a bustling throng of opportunistic locals. No chance, guys!
Of course, it was too early to get a room, but arriving at the Bob Marley hostel the friendly staff ushered Emmi, Gwen & Derreck (who we’d met at the hostel in Cairo) & I up to the roof terrace for coffee & fruit.
Amazing hospitality, and a cool chillout area. We didn’t want to leave, but there was so much to see…
So we wandered into the centre of Luxor, past Luxor temple, and then a couple of kilometres up the corniche of the Nile.
Walking rather than taking a caleche attracted lots of shouts & touts, but a leg-stretch was needed after the train, and Karnak was close. I had no idea how huge it was
Later we headed back to the hostel for sunset on the roof terrrace. At 5.15 on the dot, all the muezzins start calling the faithful to prayer. From this height, it’s an absolutely amazing wall of sound, amplified from every direction.
DAY TWO: Up early to head to the Valley of The Kings (no photos, you’re not allowed cameras through the metal detectors as the flash damages the ancient paintings). The tombs we visited were:
- Tausert & Setnakht (the only couple buried together in the Valley)
- Seti II (with the most spectactular paintings)
- Siptah (interesting because unfinished, and also because some clumsy builders cutting KV32 a few years later managed to cut straight in and damage a large part!)
Then on to Deir-el-Bahri, also known as the temple of Queen Hatshepshut.
Bob Marley Hostel team shot at the Colossus of Memnon.
DAY THREE: A proper visit to Luxor temple, rather than just passing by. Here’s one of the ubiquitous caleches (which, somewhat unfortunately, make Luxor smell of things that come out of a horse’s back end…).
I can’t imagine something this big was ever lost, buried in the sand, but in the 13th century they built a mosque on top of part of Luxor temple?!
…and then in c. 17th century the Christians painted over some of the carvings. Ironically, that actually helped to preserve it.
A Cartouche is an oblong with hieroglyphs inside, indicating royalty. This one probably just indicates marmalade…
And this is just plain bloody stupid: 52-seater bus loads of Americans pulling up outside the new (only) McDonald’s opposite the temple to get their “fix”.
We spent our final evening cruising down the Nile (on a motor boat: not really windy enough for a felucca)
Our destination was Banana Island, then back to Luxor again watching a fabulous sunset: