Homer's Travels: 2022 Fall Travels, Part Three - Egypt - Luxor And The Nile

Friday, December 02, 2022

2022 Fall Travels, Part Three - Egypt - Luxor And The Nile

We left Cairo and flew to Luxor where we were picked up by our second Egyptologist (I suspect all tour guides in Egypt are considered Egyptologists).   Now I want to say something before I go on.  We were in southern Egypt for five days.  Every day we were there the daytime temperatures were above 105℉ (40℃).  It may have been a dry heat since we were on the edge of the Sahara desert but it was hot.

The massive column of the Temple of Karnak.
Our first stop in Luxor was the Oberoi Philae, our river cruise ship and our home for the next four days and night.  We went to our rooms to freshen up and had lunch.  The food onboard was a bit high end for my tastes but I always found something I liked and they had incredible crème brulee ice cream.

Mid-afternoon after things had cooled down a little bit we (the Wife and I, our tour mate, and two solo travelers who joined us on the cruise tours) joined our guide and visited the Temple of Karnak.  The temple has magnificent painted columns, obelisks, and ram-headed sphinxes.

After Karnak we went to the Luxor temple.  One time the road between these two temples were lined by ram-headed sphinxes.  Only a few remain or have been restored.  This temple had incredible statues of Ramesses II and painted walls.

Rows and rows of ram-headed sphinxes once lined the roads connecting Karnak to Luxor temples.
As the sun got low we went back to the ship for a formal dinner (oops … I wore shorts … big no-no … back to the room to change into long pants).

Inside one of the tombs.
The next day we went to the Valley of the Kings and explored several tombs including King Tut's.  There are at least sixty-three tombs here.  We explored four.  The size (and depth) of the tombs were essentially based on the age of the King when they died.  They would start digging a tomb shortly after the Pharaoh got on the throne and would stop when he died.  This resulted in a great variation in size, decoration, and depth of each tomb.  King Tut's tomb was rather small as he died very young but the tomb did have King Tut's mummified remains on display.

Next on the agenda was the Temple of Hatshepsut.  Hatshepsut was the mother of a two year old who had inherited the throne.  Hatshepsut ran the country as he grew older and, when he came of age, she decided to remain Pharoah (The second confirmed female pharaoh).  When she died her son became pharaoh and erased all evidence that his mother had ever been pharaoh.  A tragic story.

Statues outside of the Temple of Hatshepsut.
Next was the burial places of the workers who built the tombs often as decorated as the king's tombs followed by a stop at an alabaster workshop where we saw them work the stone and where I purchased nearly all my small treasures for my collection.  This included a carving of a cat, jackal, and a falcon.  The Horus figure of a falcon with a crown is my favorite.  I ended up with a fascination with Horus after the Jordanian Falcon incident.  I ended up taking a lot of pictures of Horus in his various forms.

Cruising up the river Nile.
We had a brief stop to learn about the Colossi of Memnon before we returned to our ship and it set sail up the Nile.  The cruise was relaxing.  The wife spent most of her time on the top deck near the pool.  I avoided the topside most of the time … I can not handle the heat. The ship went through a set of locks.  Small boats with people trying to sell things to the cruise goers went in the locks with us.  They threw up products in plastic bags.  If people wanted them they would yell out prices and, after negotiating, would put the money in the bag and drop it back to the small boats.

Horus on the left and Ra, king of the gods in the middle. Very similar but Ra has the large sun.
The next day we went ashore at Edfu to visit the Temple of Horus where I saw more of my falcon-headed god.  While I liked every temple we went to, I was getting a bit templed out.

Mummified crocodiles.
We returned back to the ship and cruised further south to Kom Obo.  That evening we visited a very crowded Temple of Kom Ombo.  The temple is special as it is dedicated to two gods instead of only one - Haroeris (an old form of Horus) and Sobek (the crocodile god).  After the temple we visited a small museum with mummified crocodiles on display.  By this time I was hot and tired and a remember moving through the hot museum very quickly so I could get back to the ship to cool off and eat.

The Temple of Kom Ombo lit up at night.
The next day our adventure would continue is Aswan.

Pictures can be found in my Egypt 2022-09 Google Photos album.

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