Africa

Cruise on the Nile: excursion to the west bank of Luxor and ... let's sail!

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It should be forbidden to wake up so soon! At 5:30 a.m. they called us in the cabin to wake us up. The agenda of the day was very complete and we had to get up soon to take advantage of the last tomorrow in Luxor. At the table, all half zombies still, we had breakfast and, at the agreed time, we went to the bus. First stop: the Colossi of Memnon. The colossi are two 18-meter high statues at the entrance to the temple of Amenhotep III, the largest built in Egypt. Of that temple there are only these statues, so the visit basically consists of getting off, taking some pictures and getting back on the bus.

The majestic Colossi of Memnon welcome the visitor on the western shore.

Second visit: the Medina Habu temple or funerary temple of Ramses III. The temple was one of the first associated with the god Amun and although it is very complete, luckily it was not as full as that of Karnak, so the visit was not so overwhelming. The best of the temple are the bas-reliefs with scenes of wars, which I had not seen so far. After the explanation and 15 minutes to take pictures, we returned to the coach.

Write: Let's see, how many prisoners of war have we done in this campaign?
Soldier: A moment, I count my hands.

Columns of the temple of Medinat Habu

Third visit: the Valley of artisans. Like the tombs of the nobles, those of the artisans are also very interesting. In principle, nobody could live on the western shore, since it was a place destined for the rest of the pharaohs once dead, but of course, someone had to make the graves, so all the artisans lived on the western shore to facilitate them job. And of course, they also made graves that were not bad at all. We visit those of Anherkha and Sennutem. In the graves you could not take pictures, but really.

Bas-reliefs of the funerary temple of Ramses III

Before going to the fourth visit that was in the plan of the day, the inevitable happened. They took us to an alabaster store. The excuse was to show us how the alabaster was worked in ancient times and there waiting for us at the door were some gentlemen who, according to what they told us, were making the vessels that were sold in the store by hand. After the demonstration, we were invited to enter the store and there the avid salesmen tried to do their job and were very successful with my excursion partners. I, by mere chance, asked the price of a vessel and asked me 350 L.E. (42 euros). When I said no, he asked me how much I offered and when I told him that 30 L.E. (3.60 euros), the negotiation stopped abruptly. Interestingly, much later, in Cairo, in Jordi's shop (shop with fixed prices in Khan el Khalili) the vessels were worth 30 L.E. The guides tell you that what they have there is not of good quality, but how do you know who tells you the truth? The one who tries to sell you at a fixed price or the guide that takes commission? When we got on the coach, the people stopped working and as soon as another tourist coach approached, they got down to work.

Craftsmen demonstrating how alabaster was worked in ancient times.

Fourth visit: panoramic view of the Hatshepsut temple or also known as Deir al-Bahri. We only saw this temple on the outside because, as we were told, there is little left inside to see and it is seen that many tourists had complained about having to walk a lot to not see much and now they only visit outside. The architecture is still spectacular and by the way it seems incredible that it is 3,500 years old.

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