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gloriajames Luxor - A travel report by Gloria
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Luxor,  Egypt - flag Egypt -  Qinå
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gloriajames's travel reports

Nile Valley Cruise from Luxor to Aswan

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Mmmm…do you remember the Hollywood movies such as ‘The Mummy’, ‘The Mummy Returns’, and ‘Scorpion King’? Did they not entice you to visit Egypt some day?? Well I did just that!!


The Sacred Lake of Karnak Temple, Luxor
The Sacred Lake of Karnak Temple, Luxor
I was as excited as ‘Indiana Jones’ and believed I was in some expedition to explore Egypt known historically as ‘the Cradle of Civilisation’.

After my plane landed in Luxor, I embarked on a cruise boat, ie Magic II, for a 5 days and 4 nights cruise from Luxor through to Esna, Edfu, Kom Ombo and ending in Aswan.

Luxor is home to the ancient capital of Egypt, ie Thebes. Exploring this region would take you to sights both on the East and West Banks and where one would feel like one has just walked into a ‘live’ museum of ancient temples and with history dating back 5000 years to the glorious past.

Tour the East bank with visits to the ancient temples. The avenues of sphinxes at the Temple of Karnak (dedicated to Amun - the king of gods) is the welcoming sight that beckon you to enter and walk through the Great Hypostyle Hall where 134 columns loom over you with beautiful paintings and reliefs. Marvel at the hieroglyphics on the walls and the great statue of King Ramses II with one of his daughters at his feet. If you want any of your wishes to be granted, walk 3 times round the scarab. Head to the Sacred Lake for a picturesque shot of the Temple of Karnak.

When the sun sets, visit the Luxor Temple as the light comes on to illuminate this beautiful temple which has a façade of two enormous seated colossi of Ramses and a huge 25m high pink granite obelisk. Wake up early the following day to go on a balloon flight over Luxor taking in the sights.

Complete your West Bank tour by making a photo stop to see the gigantic Colossi of Memnons which guard the entrance to the region.

Favourite spots:
Queen Hatesheput's Temple
Queen Hatesheput's Temple
A visit to the grand Temple of Queen Hateshepsut’s (which my guide joked that the name was pronounced as “hotchicksoup”!!) is a must. Also known as the “Most Splendid of All”, this magnificent temple is carved out from the limestone hills of Deir al-Bahri with a façade of terraces supported with ramps. What’s really interesting is that the statue of the Queen is represented as a male king with a beard.

Next head to the Valley of the Queens and in particular to visit the Tomb of Queen Nefertari which is regarded as the most beautiful tomb of all. Why? The paintings are simply beautiful and tells the story of the Queen’s journey to the afterlife.

What's really great:
King Tutankhamen, as displayed at the Egyptian Museum
King Tutankhamen, as displayed at the Egyptian Museum
The Valley of the Kings is the burial site of the pharaohs. Explorations to this region began in 1708 AD.

As your entrance ticket only allows you to visit 3 tombs, with separate fees required for Tomb No. 62. I opted to visit the Tomb No. 9 of King Ramses VI, with impressive paintings on the ceilings and walls and Tomb No. 6 of King Ramses IX, with interesting scenes of the afterlife journey on the long steep walls.

Tomb No. 62 of King Tutankhamen (born in 1341 BC) which contains the king’s body inside the 3rd gilded coffin and was only discovered in 1922 by the late Howard Carter, an English archaeologist who lived at the valley for many years. The discovery was the most talked about, as the king’s treasures were still intact and not looted.

To quote Mr Carter, “..details of the room within emerged slowly from the mist,..everywhere the glint of gold…I was struck dumb with amazement …”.

Now, you can see King Tut’s treasures at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

Sights:
Temple of Horus, Edfu
Temple of Horus, Edfu
1. Temple of Horus, Edfu – accessible via horse carriage ride from the cruise boat to the site. This impressive temple is the best preserved ancient temple in the whole of Egypt and is dedicated to the Falcon God.

2. Temple of Kom Ombo of Graeco-Roman design, is dedicated to the Falcon God, Horus and Crocodile God, Sobek, and is best viewed at night.

3. Tomb of the Nobles contains more than 400 tombs of Egyptian nobles and officials with richly detailed paintings on the walls of everyday life.

4. The Ramesseum is the mortuary temple of King Ramses II who ruled Egypt for 67 years. Though the temple is now in ruins, it’s still worthwhile to make a stop to see the former glory.

5. Town of Daraw – a camel market where trading of camels take place.

Accommodations:
Magic II cruise boat
Magic II cruise boat
I spent my trip on a 5* deluxe cruise boat - Magic II. There are about 70 cabins and each room has great views of the Nile River as the boat cruises along.

Alternatively, you can stay at the following hotels:-
Luxor – Winter Palace Hotel which was built in 1887 (tel: 095-380422)
Aswan – Old Cataract Hotel which was built in 1899 and rated one of the world’s best hotel and featured in Agatha Christies’ book – Death on the Nile. (tel: 097-316001)


Nightlife:
learning the egyptian dance!
learning the egyptian dance!
We danced and partied the nights away at the club onboard! Mmmm... and learnt how to belly dance!

Hangouts:
never a dull moment onboard!
never a dull moment onboard!
Most memorable drink on board was the pure mango juice drink! And lemon juice with vodka. Dont forget to try the hibiscus drink!!!

Restaurants:
Egyptian Chef!
Egyptian Chef!
Ibsis restaurant is situated at the basement of the boat, with a different menu each night with theme nights such as Oriental Nite, Egyptian Nite, and Italian Nite. Must add that the desserts were simply divine!!!

Other recommendations:
Boats queuing to pass through the Esna Lock, Nile River
Boats queuing to pass through the Esna Lock, Nile River
At Esna, whilst onboard the cruise boat, do make efforts to check out the Esna Lock where the boats queue to enter. Sight is very interesting as about 360 boats ply the Nile River daily!

NB1: Best time to visit Egypt is during the winter season from November to February.

NB2: For more on Egypt, feel free to check my other reports on Aswan, Cairo and Sharm el-Sheikh for a continuation of my journey which began in Luxor.

Published on Friday March 25th, 2005


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Sun, Sep 25 2005 - 09:35 AM rating by jorgesanchez

Gloria, as always, I enjoy reading your marvellous reports. Your tales about Luxor and your cruise inspired me to prepare my photo album about Egypt. Thanks !!!

Tue, Mar 29 2005 - 12:38 PM rating by mistybleu

Wow, what a memorable journey, lovely report.

Misty

Mon, Mar 28 2005 - 04:55 AM rating by magsalex

Great report. Loved the pictures of the temple, Horus and Tut!

Mon, Mar 28 2005 - 12:09 AM rating by ravinderkumarsi

excellent report gloria
i think u had best time there
ravi

Sun, Mar 27 2005 - 12:27 PM rating by bootlegga

You made me want to go even more! Great job.

Sat, Mar 26 2005 - 01:49 AM rating by rangutan

Marvelous!

Sat, Mar 26 2005 - 12:45 AM rating by bear495

Nice Job, GJ.

Russ

Fri, Mar 25 2005 - 03:13 PM rating by davidx

You are able to write about somewhere which is always being covered by somebody and still make it feel fresh!

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