Luxor by Night

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Luxor Temple

Dinner on the ship was good. Plenty of nicely cooked food and the company of 3 other English speakers, one From New York via Krakow and two from Las Vegas, one via Lodz.

After dinner we toured Luxor by night. We were assigned to a horse and carriage. Our driver was Mohammed and the horse was Susie. She was well cared for. We travelled a short distance to the Luxor Temple which is adjacent

Luxor Temple

to the Nile. This is a site of huge columns and statues, all heavily engraved with hieroglyphics. The scale is incredible, the statues were 14 metres high, and I could not help but wonder how the ancients managed it. Again, we were the only visitors.

Unlike the other temples in Thebes, Luxor temple is not dedicated to a cult god or a deified version of the king in death. Instead Luxor temple is dedicated to the rejuvenation of kingship; it may have been where many of the kings of

Luxor Temple

Egypt were crowned. To the rear of the temple are chapels built by Amenhotep III of the 18th Dynasty, and Alexander. Other parts of the temple were built by Tutankhamun and Ramesses II. During the Roman era, the temple and its surroundings were a legionary fortress and the home of the Roman government in the area.

In 2013, a Chinese student posted a picture of engraved graffiti that read

Luxor Temple

“Ding Jinhao was here” in Chinese on a sculpture. This discovery spurred debate about increased tourism after the media confirmed a Chinese student caused this and other defacements. The engraving has since been partially cleared.

We spent at least an hour going through the ruins. They are not runs in the Greek sense. They are mostly intact.

Luxor Souk

We also saw the beginning the beginning of the avenue of sphinxes which goes from Luxor to Karnak.

After we left here we toured Luxor town. We were so impressed with Susie. Cars and motor cycles were going everywhere, thankfully at relatively low speed. Still she was calm as you like. The major

Luxor

thing we noticed that no one used headlights. The street lighting was good but… Some cars used parking lights; others used nothing. We did not see any accidents though there wee plenty of close calls.

We travelled through major shopping centres and also along narrow allies and through night markets. The shops were very busy. Apparently this is an artefact of Ramadan. Anna and I agreed that we would not have ventured to many of these spots alone. In some of the streets were cut up by motorcycles.

Our carriage

They came amazingly close to cars and carriages. On a few occasions I noticed the hands of the pillion passengers reach inside our carriage. They could not see inside from behind so I am guessing it was speculation but I kept my camera well our reach. If it went there was no way we could ever catch up.

A particularly interesting, also scary site, was passing through a souk, or open

Anna and the water pipe

air bazaar. It was incredibly crowded and we felt seriously unsafe. All sorts of items were on sale and there seemed to be many more women than men. Female dress varied from western to full bags. Most women wore the hijab, a full cover from head to foot but with the face showing.

Al-Sahaby Lane menu

Our night finished in Al-Sahaby Lane coffee shop. We started off with a drag on a hookah. It was truly horrible. Anna’s face was priceless. Clearly it was not among her favourite things. Then Anna and I had cardamom coffee. This was on the recommendation of another couple. It was on a par with the hookah. It will be a one off experience.

Eventually Mahomed drove us back to the ship alongside the Nile. He spoilt things by asking for a tip. We had already given him 10USD which was much more than other couples. We think he had forgotten but it did leave a bad taste.

We were so tired when we returned to our cabin. I had over 13,000 steps on my Fitbit.