Exploring in Ancient Thebes

I am going to write about our 12 days in Luxor. I won’t be doing it in order but that makes no difference. The first site we saw here was Luxor Temple which was directly opposite us, on the other side of the Nile.

You can either catch the ferry for 1 L.E or you can take a private boat for not much more. The main transportation around the temple was a horse carriage so we got one of them just to stop them hassling us. I have also seen my first tuk-tuk in Egypt and Jordan.

The temple was spectacular. I have never seen hieroglyphs before so I went a bit mad with the photos. TUT (the Ultimate Traveller) has been to Luxor 10 years ago so he was our guide even though he couldn’t remember much (I don’t think he even went).

As you walk in the entrance, to your right there is the beginning (or end) of the avenue of Sphinxes.

Avenue of Sphinxes - Travellingminstrel #
Avenue of Sphinxes – Travellingminstrel #
Sphinx - Travellingminstrel #
Sphinx – Travellingminstrel #

This avenue led all the way to Karnak but the Sphinxes in between there are all under the houses.
To the left are the Pylons on each side of the entrance with an obelisk at one side.

The entrance - Travellingminstrel #
The entrance – Travellingminstrel #

There was another one (obelisk) but it was taken by the French so it’s now in the center of the Place de la Concorde in Paris. At the entrance I spotted a bird on the ground with a crest and realized it was Hoopoe. I knew it was straight away as I’ve been wanting to see one ever since I knew about them so that was a highlight to the day(no pictures as I have a better one for another blog post to come).

Hieroglyph - Travellingminstrel #
Hieroglyph – Travellingminstrel #

Every temple was made of either sandstone or granite. Each temple and hieroglyph had unbelievable skill gone into them. Instead of writing most of this blog I will just show the pictures with a few details now and then;

Travellingminstrel#
Travellingminstrel#
Hieroglyph - Travellingminstrel #
Hieroglyph – Travellingminstrel #
Travellingminstrel #
Travellingminstrel #
The Roman temple - Travellingminstrel #
The Roman temple – Travellingminstrel #
Travellingminstrel #
Travellingminstrel #

After our first temple we went back to our roof terrace to enjoy the sunset.

Karnak:

We arrived at Karnak by boat which was great on it’s own. Then we stayed in Karnak for 5 hours of the day.

Karnak is the biggest most religious site in the world. Even though Karnak is way more famous than Luxor temple i preferred Luxor more. For one there are more tourists here (but we did hit the Egyptian holidays) and the temples weren’t as good. First you walk through the avenue of sphinxes.

These sphinxes were very different from the Luxor ones. At Luxor they had a lion body and a human head but here they were larger and they had more of a Ram face than a humans.

Avenue of Sphinxes - Travellingminstrel #
Avenue of Sphinxes – Travellingminstrel #
Travellingminstrel #
Travellingminstrel #

That leads you into some temples and out into the Hypostyle hall which has 122 (according to wikipedia) columns.

Hipostile hall - Travellingminstrel #
Hypostyle hall – Travellingminstrel #

After here are the obelisks which is supposed to be one of the tallest in the world but I’m not sure. Now I will leave it to the pictures.

Travellingminstrel #
Travellingminstrel #
Travellingminstrel #
Travellingminstrel #
Scarab - Travellingminstrel #
Scarab – Travellingminstrel #
Hieroglyph - Travellingminstrel #
Hieroglyph – Travellingminstrel #
Silly baby - Travellingminstrel #
Silly baby – Travellingminstrel #

We also found a temple with a sort of “a 7 door way” which I heard later on from a guide ( I was ear wigging) was called a “False door”. It was an entrance to the other-world and they used to make sacrifices (not humans) for the other-world (at least that’s what I heard).

Travellingminstrel #
Travellingminstrel #
Travellingminstrel #
Travellingminstrel #
Travellingminstrel #
Travellingminstrel #

After all that we decided to walk it back to the boat. But on the way through “the field of rocks” which were ruins,

A baby stole my scarf - Travellingminstrel
A baby stole my scarf – Travellingminstrel

we saw a sign to Khonsu temple. We had to give a small baksheesh (tip) to the guard but it was worth it.

Travellingminstrel #
Travellingminstrel #

We looked around the main part of the temple with all the columns and a few hieroglyphs. After that he unfastened the barrier and let us in the other part and showed us into some of the tombs. The first one he showed us was by far the best so far in Karnak for the colours and detail.

The end - Travellingminstrel #
The end – Travellingminstrel #

We rode back in the boat with sun setting colours reflecting on the Nile.

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