Luxor Journals

Sunrise, Sunset: 24 Hours in Luxor

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A November 2007 trip to Luxor by Liam Hetherington

Karnak Temple Photo, Luxor, Egypt More Photos
Quote: Ancient Thebes was home to priests and pharoahs, astronomers and architects. Twenty-four hours is really not long enough to do this incredible place justice.

Sunrise, Sunset: 24 Hours in Luxor

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Overview

Karnak Temple Photo, Luxor, Egypt
Quote:
The great capital of ancient Egypt, Luxor is defined by the river Nile. The river bestowed its bounty in the riches coming downstream from Africa, and upstream from the Mediterranean. Yet if it was a road, the river also functined as a metaphorical barrier. The eastern bank of the Nile was associated with the rising of the sun and hence life in the minds of the ancient Egyptians; it was there that their towns and temples were largely sited. In comparison the western bank was the domain of the darkly-aspected god Set, associated with the setting of the sun and death. This is why tombs were often located to the west of the Nile, whether we are talking of the Tombs of the Nobles across from ...Read More

Sunrise: the East Bank

Karnak Temple

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Attraction

Karnak Temple Photo, Luxor, Egypt
Quote:
"There is a row of sphinxes there. I don't know what that is all about. There is a big wall. Again, don't know why that is there. If you have any questions, ask each other. I will overhear other guides and tell you what they say. I am not a tour guide; I am a taxi-driver" So began our guide Adl taking us around the massive temple complex of Karnak. He was, of course, joking, but his self-deprecation was a good counterpoint to one of the most impressive temple complexes in the world. It is maybe not as iconic as the Acropolis or as atmospheric as Angkor Wat, but Karnak is a sheer spectacle, and was the heart of the religious practices of ancient Egypt for thirteen centuries. Its c...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 15, 2008

Karnak Temple
North Luxor on Corniche Ave
Luxor, Egypt

Luxor Museum

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Attraction

Luxor Museum Photo, Luxor, Egypt
Quote:
At E£70 the Luxor Museum is overpriced - the Egyptian Museum in Cairo is only E£50, as is entrance to Karnak Temple. However it does have some lovely exhibits, particularly statues, murals and mummies, all labelled in English. It is also clean, well laid out, and fully-wheelchair accessible. An added bonus is that it is open until pretty late in the evening, 8 or 9pm, and so is a suitable location to visit if pushed for time. For me, the highlights of the museum are located just to the right once you enter. Down a ramp is the Cachette Hall. There is a sup...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 15, 2008

Luxor Museum
Center Corniche Avenue
Luxor, Egypt

New Windsor Hotel

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Hotel

New Windsor Hotel Photo, Luxor, Egypt
Quote:
For a basic place to stay in Luxor the New Windsor should be okay. The rooms are a decent size, with small (and dark) ensuite bathrooms. They come complete with one of the quieter air conditioning systems I came across in Egypt too. And the hotel is exceptionally central, just behind the Corniche, in a short alley off Sharia Lahaib Habachi. It is less than a five minute walk north to Luxor Museum, and an equal distance from Luxor Temple to the south. There are banks, restaurants,internet cafes and even a pharmacy right on your doorstep. Good things about the hotel include a great complimentary breakfast - one that includes cereal and milk. Criticisms would be the expense of any extras - i...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on February 15, 2008

New Windsor Hotel
Sharia Nefertiti
Luxor
095/237-5547

Oasis Café and Gallery

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Restaurant

Quote:
You remember in the movie Casablanca they say "Everybody comes to Rick's"? I think in Luxor everybody comes to the Oasis Cafe. Oasis Cafe is very nice and plush, if sedate. It is not the largest place in the world, being a series of interconnected rooms off a main lobby. The waiters wear tarboushes, there are 1920's photos on the walls, and they have the International Herald Tribune for reading. The clientele tend towards to the genteel rather than backpackers, and the prices reflect this. But what the American owner and his English friend have done is create a restful... well... oasis in the centre of Luxor's hustle. The cusisine is well cooked and Western, which is welco...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 15, 2008

Oasis Café and Gallery
Center of Luxor
Luxor, Egypt

Sunset: the West Bank

Valley of the Kings

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Attraction

Valley of the Kings Photo, Luxor, Egypt
Quote:
The eastern bank of the Nile was associated with the rising of the sun and hence life in the minds of the ancient Egyptians; it was there that their towns and temples were largely sited. In comparison the western bank was the domain of the darkly-aspected god Set, associated with the setting of the sun and death. This is why tombs were often located to the west of the Nile, whether we are talking of the Tombs of the Nobles across from Aswan, the famous pyramid fields from Giza down to Dahshur... or the infamous Valley of the Kings. It was not just pharoahs who were buried across from the ancient capital of Thebes (modern-day Luxor). There is a Valley of the Queens to its south, there are...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 15, 2008

Valley of the Kings
West Bank of the Nile in the Theban Necropolis
Luxor, Egypt

The Ancient Worker Village at Deir El Medineh

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Attraction | "Deir el-Medina (the Workers' Village)"

The Ancient Worker Village at Deir El Medineh Photo, Cairo, Egypt
Quote:
It was not just the nobility who got in on the afterlife gig in ancient Egypt. The construction and decoration of their temples and grandiose funerary architecture depended upon a specialised class of masons and artists. Well, less a class than a caste really, as fathers passed their prerogatives down to their children. When they were not paid on time, the workers downed tools and waited for their godly overlords to hastily make amends. Trade union militancy in dynastic Egypt got results! One of the privileges these workers had, was the right to create their own tombs in their off time. At Deir el-Medina, you can still see the remains of their township. The main attraction is the tombs t...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on February 15, 2008

The Ancient Worker Village at Deir El Medineh
Deir El Medine
Cairo, Egypt

Africa Restaurant

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Restaurant

Quote:
The Africa Restaurant is on the West Bank, just up from the landing stages for the boats that take you across the Nile. It is a colourfully-muralled place on several levels, though for my money the shaded roof terrace is where you want to be, with a view out towards to the river. We didn't bother with the faff of a menu. For lunches at least they have a set meal for LE25. At just over 2GBP this is one hell of a deal to refill you after traipsing through the barren valleys of the West Bank necropolis. For that price you get two courses of different plates to share - an Egyptian mezze if you will. First course comprised salad, warm flatbread and mouth-wateringly piquant tahin...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 15, 2008

Africa Restaurant
West Bank
Luxor, Egypt