Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Road to History (a.k.a my trip to Luxor) 1

Hello everyone, I'm back! As I promised you,I'm going to tell you all about the lovely week I've spent in Luxor & Aswan on the back of a Nile cruiser.

Because there's so much to tell you and I'd really love to document my visit on the blog in full detail, this should be divided into parts, each part is a whole day with all of the temples, tombs, sites I've been to.
I'll be referring to Wikipedia every once in a while just in case someone out there is interested in some more historical facts.

It's a rather long post with plenty of photos and descriptions, a cup of coffee would be a nice companion.

So, on Sunday the 29th of Jan. afternoon, I finished packing my bags and I jumped into the bus which should take me to Cairo (the capital of Egypt) to stay there for the night and then catch the plane early in the morning.
Well, I've been to Cairo hundreds of times before, and it's 3 hours away from Alexandria (where I live) but the bus driver took 5 and a half awful hours to get there! Don't ask me, it just happened!
The good thing was, we stopped for a meal from McDonald's. The bad thing was, my stomach was so achy from the freakin' bus and I couldn't eat 'till we reached the hotel.

And we're finally there! Midnight, tired, sleepy, I just wanted to lay down on the comfy bed and think of the quality time I'll be spending in Luxor's warm weather.
But guess what? My magnetic card didn't want to open the door! No matter how many times I tried, it always peeps with a red light as if saying "You're not going anywhere hun!"

That's when I decided to sit down, and eat my McDonald's. This is how miserable I was:

Epic I know! XD hey, we all get this way at times, no?

After finishing my burger, I called the reception and they said that I had the wrong card (!) Oh yeah, it happens.
Oh yeah, and I stayed at Seven-o-seven.
Anyways, the night passed (night? it was 5 hours of sleep actually) and I woke up at 6 am. Off to the airport I went and boy was I excited! I've never been on a plane before so this part was quite a hit. hehe
Right there was a nice little huge plane waiting for me and the rest of the peeps to get in.
If you're wondering about my weird hand pose, it's part excitement and part freezing!

 "Not that we're planning to crash or anything." Said our pilot Leo something. :D

Wee! Look how everything is teeny weeny! ^^

When we got off the plane we were accompanied by one very sweet guide named Mahmoud to the Temple of Karnak, our first site in Luxor.
Once you walk past the gate, you're faced with a wonderful sight, Kebash Road.
A wide road with a row of beautifully carved statues on each side.
Kebash road leads to the Temple of Karnak and connects it to the Temple of Luxor.
Here's another photo, this time from Wikipedia.
You can see from the previous picture how big they are compared to a human.

And then you descend a couple feet of stairs to find yourself in a dazzling area with many many colonnades of HUGE (really, I mean it) columns .

134 carefully decorated columns stand in this grand area of 50,000 sq ft (5,000 m2).
Not merely decorated, each and every column tells a story. The carvings are actually Hieroglyphic (ancient Egyptian language) letters that tell you, in detail, the story of the pharaoh who demanded to build this temple. Or, at many times, explains how the Ra the god of sun always manages to beat Apep the god of evil and shine his light on the underworld.

And when you wander, you'd encounter some carefully carved pieces like this one in the photo above.
This signs that looks like a cross is called the Key of the Nile or the Key of Life. It's the most important thing a king should take with him to the underworld, so that when he rises back, the Nile would give him its power to live a long, mighty life. 
All of this is described before your eyes on the walls of this beautiful temple.
It's a major work of art I mean, look how each and every carving is exactly the same as the one before it!
It's like they have a stamper or something!


Okay this one here has to be one of my favorites. If I explain what this picture shows, will you carefully listen to me? Okay then. 
  Ancient Egyptians had a popular habit of giving offerings to the gods in a regular basis.
On the right, you can see Ramses(the pharaoh) offering the gods (3 folks on the left) something in his hand, which is okay (so far) because this is what they all do. What's so special about this drawing is that is shows how arrogant Ramses was. You wonder how?
See these leaves (tree) behind him? This is supposed to be the family tree where each king is a leaf.
But Ramses announced himself the greatest king of his family and he pictured himself as the trunk of the tree (see how he sits right in the middle?). As if the family wouldn't be without him.
Magical, no?

This is me with my ancient grandparents! 

 The sun beaming through the colonnades.

This is the obelisk of Hatshepsut. It is 97-foot high and it's made of polished red granite.
This 3,450-year-old obelisk remains to remind us of the brilliance of ancient Egyptian culture.

There are plenty of photos of me of course, and the family, but I want to keep this interesting and I'm sure you're not very keen on seeing pictures of my mum and dad making pharaoh poses in front of the statues!

On my way out, some sight stopped me.. a face, one old face that I had to capture on film
Look at him, at the wrinkles on his face, it tells you all about him, what he's been through, how life treated him not so kindly. But yet, he's still right here, appreciating history.
This old man shows the tourists around. Don't be fooled by his look, he knows something between 7 to 9 languages. 

 Another thing that caught my eyes were the hands of this man. Dedicated as can be, he reconstructs the floors of the temple. After all, it's what his grandparents have left him. His only glory.

And before I was off to the Nile cruiser, I took one last photograph of the magical temple
To see the full size panorama please click here

And that's how my first day at Luxor was.
If you enjoyed the journey so far please leave me a comment, I read each and every one and they make me happy. 


  1. Hi Roudi,

    Your trips sounds magical. I would love to visit Egypt - especially after seeing your photos. It sounds as if your trip had a rough start but ended up being a lot of fun.

    I can't wait to see your future posts about your trip. You're quite a great photographer (and storyteller).


    1. Oh my bloggy friend Kay and her sweet comments! ^^
      Thank you for the compliments, I'm so happy about the "great storyteller" part because English is actually my second language. :D

      Mhmm, it was a pretty rough start but everything else was heaven. The rest of day 1 would be here this evening. :)


  2. Wooow que hermosos paisajes... bellisimo viaje espero ver mas :)

    1. Gracias, más escenarios se añadirán en breve. :)

      I hope this text makes sense! lol

  3. Wow your pictures are awesome. I didn't know Egypt was so beautiful!

    1. I'm glad you liked them. :) You should come visit sometime. ;)



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