Visiting Luxor – the monumental city
In the first moment I tried to put all my tips and photos in my Egypt page. Crazy thing. Luxor is too big to may be contained in Egypt. It’s a whole world. So, I had to resign and start its own page. And believe, when an Egyptian guide tells you that half of the world’s monuments are in Luxor, that is not exaggeration.
Amenhotep’s colossi aka Colossi of Memnon
Generally called Memnon’s colossi, this two big statues is what remains from Amenhotep’s temple built in the 14th century BC.
Noises caused by he wind or evaporation in the rock, gave the statues a “singing” reputation, after an earthquake that broke of of them. In 199 AD a roman emperor had the statue repaired, and the “music” stopped
Memnon has nothing to do with the statues – he was a king from Ethiopia who fought Trojan war, and the name was given to the statues by Greeks.
Madinet Habu – The Temple and paintings
Madinet Habu was not included in my travel package, but after visiting three tombs in Kings Valley, the guide suggested us to replace the two missing tombs by that temple.
Having read about it I accepted immediately, and everybody agreed.
You really must try to go there. That’s one of the open air places where the colors are better preserved.
Our guide studied the temple for an academic work, and we felt the love he had for each stone and painting. Watching the naked stones of almost all monuments in Egypt we have no idea of the richness they had with their original decoration. Madinet Habu helps a lot to get that notion.
Maybe, the most interesting thing is to look from distance In Luxor. You will have a look of modernity, the building seeming a recent classical construction (maybe because it may have been reconstructed) .
It’s a good opportunity for you to imagine the opulence of all those palaces, when they were not ruins but living places.
Of course, when you approach the temple the centuries come out of the building to confirm it’s authenticity. Then it will have nothing very important to add to the others. But the history…Really a woman?
Or one of those natural sexual accidents that, nowadays, are gold for some media and must have been a drama to antiquity and history to deal with?
Tip on Tip: If you are lucky enough to see people or animals in the mountains behind the temple, use their size to get a exact idea of the proportions of the temple.
The Hidden Treasures in Valley of the Kings
In the west bank of the river (following religious believes, tombs were allways built in the west bank) a common arid valley between two hills is being dug meter by meter, because it was the location of the pharaohs tombs. So far (they keep digging) more than 50 tombs have been discovered and explored, but only a few are opened to the public, allowing a controlled visit.
For a studious it may mean months of analysis, since each chamber is “a book”, telling in images the story of its owner.
For a common tourist it is a very interesting visit, but after the third it becomes repetitive. That’s why the base ticket includes the visit of 3 tombs. Tuthankamon demands a separated ticket but, since his treasures were moved to Cairo’s museum there’s no special reason for that extra cost except, maybe, controlling the people that, otherwise, would flock to that tomb.
No photos, no large explanation inside, no stop, only a continuous line flowing slowly along the corridors.
With the feet in the Nile
The location, a little far from the centre, but in the Nile, gave us the opportunity to return to the hotel by feluca. A smooth experience!
The silence… the pace… only some excitement when arriving, because the feluca was not allowed to use the hotel’s pier. No problem, my friends! Well, the hotel had everything we demanded, with wonderful views over the river.
Address: Crocodile Island
Phone: +20 952 374855
In our way from the Valley of Kings back to Luxor, we stopped in a stone factory with some appealing statues in its front, where we bought a wonderful head in lapis-lazuli (not cheap).
As a reward, the owner offered my kids two necklace of small beads, also in lapis-lazuli – he said and… it seemed.
They had it on when diving in the pool, back to the hotel, and suddenly… the miracle! The lapis-lazuli beads were gone, the kids had only the string on their necks. Of course, the beautiful beads were… plaster.
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