Luxor Temples

Trip Start May 04, 2011
Trip End Oct 08, 2012

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Flag of Egypt  , Nile River Valley,
Thursday, June 9, 2011

Today we docked in Luxor, disembarked and made the rounds to Karnak Temple and then Luxor Temple. First thing you see when you visit the temple is a topographical map of both temples and what the complex looked like in ancient times. Karnak is the largest and impressive covering 64 acres. It is dedicated to Amounra, the God of heaven, was first constructed during the Old Kingdom although the current structures only date back to the Middle Kingdom. The temple was completed in 2,000BC aka the New Kingdom. Another interesting fact, construction starts from the sanctuary in the back ending at the entrance, so often the entrance might be the least completed. This temple is also different because it has a huge lake.

You can really get a true sensation of the ancient times by walking up Sphinx Avenue. The remains of what was once lined with 3,000 sphinx statues spread over 2.3km connecting Karnak with Luxor.

There are 134 large columns

We broke up the visits between the two temples with a stop at a Papyrus factory per my request. It was fascinating to learn about the process. They take the cane stalk, shed the outer shell, pound out the water and sugar, soak it in water for it to expand, place it in between felt and press out the remaining water. You can identify true papyrus by its transparency and the little brown grains which are remnants of sugar. I considered a few different sizes and designs but of course the one image I wanted, they didn't have.

The timing was perfect by the time we arrived at Luxor Temple. It was around 8:00PM and the sky was a perfect blue backdrop to the lighted statues of the temple. I hadn’t seen the sky this color in Egypt until now because of the terrible pollution in Cairo.

I arrived back to the cruise in the nick of time to catch the belly dancing and special Nubian dance show. It was questionable if the belly dancer was woman or male, but she was definitely the fattest belly dancer I’ve ever seen. More impressive was the single Nubian dancer who spun around for a solid 15 minutes, literally spinning in the same direction while making a variety of shapes with these large discs. See photo for visual.
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