Egypt Photography travel

Temples of Luxor

After our brief time in Giza walking among the pyramids and the sphinx, I thought we had seen the highlights of Egypt. Wrong. Though for me, the pyramids were beyond incredible, I have to admit the temples of Luxor further cement the fact that ancient Egypt truly is the pinnacle of ancient civilizations.

We started our introduction to Luxor at the Valley of the Kings. Wow is the simplist description. We walked into four of the tombs in the valley. You can do more, but it would be easy to be overwhelmed and numbed by the sheer volume of history and information to be absorbed.

I have made an effort to restrict the number of photos of the inside of the tombs and just give a glimpse of the scale of them. To be clear, the only thing I have done to these photos is correct the colour cast of the interior lights. I have not enhanced the colours and we were informed that the painting had only been cleaned but not repainted. This is important when you remember these tombs were finished around 3000 years ago.

As you walk deep into the tombs which stretch for over a hundred metres into the ground the detail and beauty is a bit overwhelming.
The ceiling.
Just to prove we were actually in them.
Everything was put in the tombs to make the king comfortable in his next life. Frequently the tombs were started as soon as the kings came to power as they took many years to complete and they viewed their time on earth as only the beginning of their existence.
Just a short distance from the valley of the Kings tombs is the Temple of Hatshepsut. This is one structure that has been partially rebuilt to try and show the actual scale of what had existed. Most other relics have simply had the sand and dirt removed from them and we see what has survived through the millennium.

To say I was impressed by the Valley of the Kings is a gross understatement. Everything about it screams of a society that in ways is far more organized than many that followed it around the world.

The only down side to our day in the Valley of the Kings was being informed near the end of the day that due to weather and pollution our sunrise hot air balloon ride over Karnak Temple in Luxor had been cancelled. We had to be satisfied with watching the balloons landing in the smog.
And in the towns the smog was indeed bad.
The last thing on our itinerary was visiting Karnak and Luxor Temples in the city of Luxor. An interesting side note to those of you who have been to Paris and seen the Egyptian Obelisk on the Champs-Élysées. This is where it came from. You can see its base to the right of its twin which marked the entrance to Luxor Temple. One other awesome detail, these obelisks are carved from one solid piece of granite.
These solid one piece granite obelisks keep popping up in both the temples in Luxor. This one is in the Karnak Temple.
To make the temples in Luxor even more impressive, the ancient Egyptians joined the two temples with a 2.7 kilometre long avenue lined on both sides with sphinx’s. Our driver was good enough to stop on a major overpass at sunset to allow me to get this shot.
The scale of the temples is awe inspiring. It certainly helped me understand how the ancient Egyptian kings would be seen as half Gods and how their egos must have been incredible.
At the Luxor Temple it was entertaining to walk around the walls and see modern day Luxor in all its glory edged right up to the epic ancient structures.

We are well aware we only scratched the surface of what is to be seen of ancient Egypt. However we are very happy with what we did manage to see. In spite of the dirt and significantly different culture than what most westerners are comfortable with I would have to say that visiting the ancient sites is worth the effort. In my opinion nothing I have seen in the world compares to what the ancient Egyptians created. Do yourself a favour, check it out.

Welcome to our travel blog. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to say, "I'm out of here?" Well we did, and in 2013 we made it a reality. We sold or gave away all of our possessions other than what fit in our luggage and we set off on an endless adventure. Part of our goal is to share our experiences with others and hopefully provide some information, motivation, or just a moments escape. The general idea was to look for a place that would be ideal to settle down in. However in the meantime it is about experiencing life in different countries amongst different cultures and learning how to understand and appreciate each other. A large part of our time is spent housesitting which provides an excellent opportunity to experience more of the "normal" neighbourhoods as opposed to the tourist locales. Though we make sure to enjoy those as well. So through plenty of photographs and a running commentary come and share with us our life on the road.

1 comment on “Temples of Luxor

  1. Julie McLean

    Wow, on my bucket list

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