|The Nile River at Luxor, Egypt|
That visit to Luxor was one of the selling points of last spring's cruise - our Magic Carpet Ride - through the Middle East that departed Bangkok,Thailand and sailed to Istanbul, Turkey. Although, truth be told we didn’t know that much about Luxor before we’d boarded the ship, I can tell you now that a day was no where near long enough to explore the treasures of this extraordinary place.
Luxor came to importance nearly 4,000 mind-boggling years ago,during the Middle Kingdom period (2055 – 1650 BC) when the then Upper Kingdom and Lower Kingdoms were united into one. Luxor, or Thebes, as it was then known, became the capital. The city grew and the Arabs are said to have renamed it ‘Luxor’ or “City of Palaces” because of its palaces and huge edifices. It remained the seat of power from 2100 BC to 750 BC.
|Modern highrise hotels like this one line the Nile River in Luxor, Egypt|
|Colossi of Memnon near Luxor, Egypt|
Cameras are not allowed (in fact, confiscated if used). That is a good thing because otherwise with the crush of people in those tiny little tomb entryways, we’d still be standing there while shutterbugs took aim at the ornately decorated walls.
A trip to this area requires both stamina to stand in the sun waiting a turn inside and an ability to walk some distances in the intense heat.
To appease the camera-totting among us, we had brief ‘photo stops’ at Hatshpsut Temple and the Colossi of Memnon – I can tell you that the afternoon heat was so intense that only the shutterbugs hopped off the bus. Many opted to stay inside its air-conditioned comfort.
Memnon was the legendary African king who was slain by Achilles during the Trojan War. The Colossi are in front of the main entrance to an enormous funerary temple, the remains of which are being brought to light, according to our trusty Lonely Planet’s guidebook.Again, while we found the ‘sites’ to be fascinating, it was some of the ‘sights’ along the way that really caught our imaginations. Scenes along the Nile, where dozens of river boats sat idle had us wondering if it was because they didn’t come to life until evening or because tourism is at a record-low thanks to security concerns in the country.
|River boats docked along the Nile River in Luxor, Egypt|
|The Winter Palace Hotel - Luxor, Egypt|
|Luxor Temple Egypt|
We felt small and insignificant walking between these columns.
|The Scribe and The Scout at the avenue of the Sphinxes|
|Avenue of the Sphinxes excavation continues between Luxor and Karnak, Egypt|
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Weekend Travel Inspiration