Luxor Journals

Honeymoon in Luxor

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A June 1999 trip to Luxor by wanderluster

Luxor Temple Photo, Luxor, Egypt More Photos
Quote: This journal focuses on the Luxor portion of our month only honeymoon to Egypt and Jordan. Prior to this we visited Cairo, Aswan and Abu Simbel (check out those journals). Luxor was incredible!! I loved it here.

Honeymoon in Luxor

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Overview

City of Luxor along Corniche Avenue Photo, Luxor, Egypt
Quote:
Legendary Thebes, capitol of kingdoms for centuries existed here 4000 years ago on the west bank of the Nile. Today it is the site of the Valley of the Kings and Queens where royalty are buried in maze-like, decorated tombs, and their mortuary temples stand as testimony of their one-time greatness. Across the river is modern day Luxor, built around magnificent ancient temples scattered around the city. Highlights on the East bank included visiting mighty Karnak Temple, Luxor Temple and the Luxor Museum. Although a bustling, tourist-flooded city, we found Luxor to be surprisingly friendly and hassle free. We walked along the riverfront, Corniche Avenue, a multitude of times and were pleasantl...Read More

Novotel Luxor

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Hotel | "Novotel"

Novotel Luxor Photo, Luxor, Egypt
Quote:
We stayed here two nights. It is a four star hotel located at the southern end of the Corniche, which parallels the Nile River. It was a good place to stay, comfortable accommodations and convenient for walking to Luxor Temple and Luxor Museum. Outside, there is a large pool on a floating boat that overlooks the Nile. Across the distance you can see the limestone mountains of the Valley of the Kings where the pharaohs are buried. We hung out at the pool during the hottest parts of the day. It was a popular spot for both Egyptians and tourists. I don't remember seeing any other Americans, yet the music was strangely familiar...a horrible rendition of "Feelings" played over the loudspeaker...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 16, 2002

Novotel Luxor
KHALED EBN EL
Luxor, Egypt
20-20-380924

Luxor Temple

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Attraction

Luxor Temple Photo, Luxor, Egypt
Quote:
Luxor Temple, beautifully illuminated at night, sits in the middle of town amid modern hotels and shops, a block from the Nile. Easily accessible, you can walk here from your cruise ship or hotel and wander around at leisure. It's a somewhat confusing assortment of structures reflective of the many rulers that added his or her mark over hundreds of years. Much of the temple was built by New Kingdom pharaoh Amenophis III in 1380 BC at the site of an older sanctuary, built by Queen Hatshepsut a century earlier. She dedicated the temple to the god of creation Amun, his wife Mut and son Khon. Hatshepsut was also responsible for the avenue of sphinxes that led from Luxor Temple to Karnak Temple, t...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 11, 2002

Luxor Temple
Corniche Avenue
Luxor, Egypt

Karnak Temple

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Attraction

Karnak Temple Photo, Luxor, Egypt
Quote:
Built originally in the Middle Kingdom during the height of Theban power, this huge complex was the most important temple in all of Egypt. Successive rulers built, destroyed, enlarged or decorated structures over the next 1,500 years. A row of sphinxes line the entrance to Karnak Temple. During Queen Hatshepsut's reign these sphinxes lined a paved avenue all the way to Luxor Temple 3 km away. Only the sphinxes near both temples have been excavated. The others are buried beneath the city. Entering the much photographed Great Hypostyle Hall, we were dwarfed by the seeminly endless array of magnificent stone columns, 134 of them to be exact! Built by Amenophis III originally, Seti an...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 15, 2002

Karnak Temple
North Luxor on Corniche Ave
Luxor, Egypt

Luxor Museum

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Attraction

Luxor Museum Photo, Luxor, Egypt
Quote:
Luxor Museum is conveniently located between Luxor and Karnak Temples on Corniche Avenue. We simply walked there from our hotel. And I'm so glad we did. What a great place! If you've visited the temples and want an idea of what used to be inside, visit the museum. Most everything displayed here was found in either Luxor Temple or Karnak Temple. Magnificent statues. Beautifully carved inscriptions and art. Stelas. Hieroglyphics. Jewelry. Canopic jars. King Tut's funerary boat. Even furniture. On the 2nd floor, a large exhibit labeled "Wall of Akhenaten" displays 283 sandstone blocks excavated from Karnak. The reliefs illustrate the pharaoh and Nefertiti making offerings to ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 15, 2002

Luxor Museum
Center Corniche Avenue
Luxor, Egypt

West Bank (Thebes)

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Story/Tip

West Bank, ancient Thebes Photo, Luxor, Egypt
Quote:
Located across the Nile from Luxor, this ancient City of the Dead contains temples and tombs of past pharaohs. During the New Kingdom, a large population lived here as artisians, laborers, priests, and guards devoting their lives to the secrecy of the tombs, hidden in the hills. Each unique tomb contained the mummified remains of the pharaoh and his worldly possessions. Despite the secrecy, most tombs were vandalized by grave robbers. Only the discovery of finding King Tut's tomb, still intact, gave the world any idea what kind of treasures were accumulated. These treasures, which we saw in the Cairo museum, truly are spectacular!The Valley of the Kings contains 64 tombs of...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 15, 2002

Ramesseum (Mortuary Temple of Ramses II)

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Attraction

Ramesseum (Mortuary Temple of Ramses II) Photo, Luxor, Egypt
Quote:
We paid the extra 12 pounds to see this mortuary temple of Ramses II. It was another massive monument built to honor himself, yet it is relatively small compared to other temples. It had a flat, easy surface for walking and took only about ten minutes to go through with our guide. He had very little to say about the site, so we wandered around the terribly weathered columns, statues and walls that Ramses II ironically crafted as his prized masterpiece. There were the broken colossal statues of Ramses II that many people (in)correctly credit as the inspiration for Shelley's poem, "Ozymandias." In his poem, it states: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone stand in the desert... near t...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on March 15, 2002

Ramesseum (Mortuary Temple of Ramses II)
West Bank
Luxor, Egypt

Ramses VI Tomb

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Attraction | "Tomb of Ramses VI"

Ramses VI Tomb Photo, Luxor, Egypt
Quote:
Ramses VI Outside you face a tall white mountain of rock. Near the base a black hole beckons you to enter one of the 64 tombs of the Valley of the Kings. It was the first tomb we entered and my first word was "WOW". I was struck by the colors first, and the incredible designs and hieroglyphic images second. We walked down a wooden pathway, wide enough for three people, that was surrounded by pure Egyptian art all around us. Paintings and text assisted pharaohs into the afterlife, providing them with directions and necessary knowledge before they entered the boat of Ra, their sun god who visited the Valley of Kings nightly. Once aboard, they were brought to Osiris, god of...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 15, 2002

Ramses VI Tomb
Valley of the Kings, West Bank
Luxor, Egypt

Ramses III Tomb

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Attraction | "Tomb of Ramses III"

Ramses III Tomb Photo, Luxor, Egypt
Quote:
The thing that strikes you first about this tomb is that all the colored images and hieroglyphics are behind a shield of dirty smudged plastic throughout the tomb. Only one small area, near a pillar where the plastic had broken off, allowed us to see the real thing. (And of course, there was a tomb attendant standing there, quick to smile and point it out in hopes that you'd thank him profusely and tip him generously for your apparent stupidity in your complete unawareness of that missing piece of plastic...sorry, guess the suffocating heat got to me. We smiled in acknowledgment instead, and declined his opportunity to take another photo in ‘his' tomb, thereby forgoing another tip...You're supposed...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 15, 2002

Ramses III Tomb
Valley of the Kings, West Bank
Luxor, Egypt

Tomb of Amenophis II

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Attraction

Tomb of Amenophis II Photo, Luxor, Egypt
Quote:
Amenophis II reigned from 1427 to 1401 BC. His tomb was the 35th one discovered in the Valley of the Kings. This tomb had just re-opened last month after being closed to the public for five years. There were still men on the scaffolding near the entrance cleaning the ceiling, and we could smell fresh paint that turned out to be varnish on the new wooden stairs. The entry passageway has more than 90 steps slanting downward, and is built over a large pit that was meant to trap grave robbers. It's one of the deepest tombs in the Valley of the King. Amenophis' designer was tricky! Not only did he have this big pit to deter unwanted visitors, but also led them to believe that the tomb w...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 16, 2002

Tomb of Amenophis II
West Bank, Thebes
Luxor, Egypt

Merneptah Tomb

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Attraction | "Tomb of Merneptah"

Merneptah Tomb Photo, Luxor, Egypt
Quote:
We saw his mummy in the Cairo Museum (it was the whitish one with half-eaten toes and fingers...supposedly salt crystals caused his skin to turn white when he drowned...perhaps as the Egyptians claim, following Moses across the Red Sea in the Exodus), and now we saw his tomb! Merneptah was the son of Ramses II. He ruled only a short time, thus the simple tomb. Entering, we descended another steep passage unadorned with vivid hieroglyphics, or artistic images seen in other tombs. There were faint, faint images of Osiris, Isis and Re, guardians of the dead, that decorated the long, 80 meter corridor. At the bottom of the stairs, laid his simple, rectangular granite sarcophagus. Other...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 16, 2002

Merneptah Tomb
West Bank, Thebes
Luxor, Egypt

Amonherkhopeshef Tomb

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Attraction | "Tomb of Amonherkhopeshef"

Amonherkhopeshef Tomb Photo, Luxor, Egypt
Quote:
Amonherkhopeshef was a little prince, being groomed by his father, Ramses III to be the next pharaoh someday. But for some reason he died around age nine. Back then it was fairly common for children to die, apparently from accident, disease, or simply from the imbreeding among royalty. In his tomb, the colors of the walls were decorated in vivid aquamarine blues and oranges in addition to standard colors of gold and black. Images were of the prince being introduced to different deities, such as Anubis, Thoth, and Ptah. Realistic and almost life-sized figures jumped off the walls. In fact, this tomb was considered the best preserved with the brightest paintings until the marvelous...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 16, 2002

Amonherkhopeshef Tomb
West Bank, Thebes
Luxor, Egypt

Nefertari's Tomb

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Attraction | "Tomb of Queen Nefertari"

Nefertari's Tomb Photo, Luxor, Egypt
Quote:
Nefertari's tomb was awesome! Once inside, all we could do was mutter "wow" repeatedly, staring in awe at the vivid, brightly painted images that decorated the ceilings and walls. A visual feast for surprised eyes. Life-like, richly detailed pictures looked like it had been painted last year, not 3000 years ago. The American Getty Institute along with the Egyptian Antiquities Organization spent six million dollars and seven years restoring and preserving this tomb. It was opened to the public in 1995 at the cost of 200 pounds per person. Years later the number of people allowed to visit is still restricted to 150 per day, but the price has dropped to 100 pounds ($35 US)for the ten minute vi...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 16, 2002

Nefertari's Tomb
Valley of the Queens, West Bank
Luxor, Egypt