On our last-minute splurge to Luxor, we spent several hours at the Temple of Hatshepsut. The Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut is a spectacular tribute located on the west bank of the Nile. The site has been immortalized in legions of photographs of the region, Indian movies have songs shot in this picturesque location and more recently the site was witness to the massacre of several tourists in 1997. Our guide, as previously mentioned showed no desire to accompany us and so we actually enjoyed happening upon images and statues unexpectedly. Do drop in a line if you have visited the site or simply tell us what you think of the place based on this visual journey.
As mentioned in our last post, our last minute splurge on visiting Luxor was one of the most memorable 24 hours for us packing in history, stories, architecture and more. During our visit to Karnak, we happened upon a newspaper article that talked about the latest discovery from the day before. Talk about being part of history in the making!
We did on our last trip to Egypt and it turned out to be one of our most memorable spends. We were returning back to our hotel after an amazing visit to the Pyramids of Giza when our guide asked if a trip to Luxor and Karnak was on our eight-day itinerary. When we stated that we wanted to explore just Cairo and Alexandria on this visit, he looked at us like we were crazy. How could we make it to Egypt and not make it to one of the most significant parts of Egyptian history? A place where it feels like the monuments and statues lean over and whisper the history of Egypt. Within minutes, he had made a few phone calls. Getting there during Easter holidays was next to impossible…there was one way to do so and it entailed flying business class on Egypt air in the darkness of the night from Cairo and returning back very late into the night. Our trip would include round trip air tickets for the three of us, a car and a guide when we got to Luxor and finally entry to all the attractions. The price? $1,200. We conferred amongst us….a message was hastily sent to a faraway spouse to get consent and within minutes we had reservations to get to this bed of history and Egyptian civilization.
After our brief flight from Cairo (really mom, you finally get us in business class and there is no time to enjoy complained my younger one), we landed in Luxor. We were met by a car and a guide and knew right away that the guide would offer little and we would be left to figure out the places on our own. He was sleepy, looked almost a tad upset that someone would awaken him early in the day for this! Ok….so we paid all this money for what? As we started our day, we heard what would come to be his defining statement for the rest of the day….”Do you need me to come in?” Why don’t you guys go in and see all the rich history and meet me by the gate when done.” I asked if he planned to take us to all the places promised and he nodded affirmatively.
So out came our trusted National Geographic and Frommer’s guidebooks. Each of us took turns to read and know about every spot we would visit during that long day. Between our long reads and eavesdropping on tours in each of the areas and discussing our own lessons in history, we were blessed with one of the richest cultural and historical experiences one could fit in a 24 hour period. An added bonus? When we finished our very long, very hot day, we stopped at a local hotel and got luxuriant pedicures. The women at the salon spoke no English, we spoke no Arabic and yet we spent two hours communicating about the beauty of life, Luxor, Nefertiti and more!
Over the next several days, we will bring you a visual journey of what we experienced. We hope you will come and visit and share our adventures through Luxor, Karnak, the temple of Hatshepsut and more.
If your ever make it to Egypt, we would strongly urge that you spend time here to learn about, absorb and live in a tremendous era from the past.