Wednesday, December 8, 2010

An adventure to the Middle East ( Part 2 ) Karnak Temple in Luxor

SABAH EL KHEER!! ( that is " good morning " in Arabic )

Today let me bring you with me to Luxor.

Luxor has often been called the worlds greatest open air museum. Luxor is also known as the capital of the New Kingdom when Pharoah Ahmos drove foreign invaders from Lower Egypt. The number and preservation of the monuments in Luxor are unpararelled anywhere else in the world. Luxor is a major destination of all the tourists. Today Luxor is a city of 150,000 inhabitants.

We had an early morning flight to Luxor. Our wake up time---- 4:00am... No problem on setting the alarm clock. The arabs are up early chanting their morning prayers. It was a one hour flight from Cairo to Luxor.

Below is a map of the places where this adventure took me....

    ( courtesy of Elizar Masucol who travelled to Egypt and Jordan with me )

Luxor was also the place where we are to take our Nile Cruise aboard M/S Tamr Henna. This is what our cruise ship looked like....

As soon as we arrived at the port.... we were all ushered to the lounge of the ship to have our hibiscus juice. It tasted like cranberry juice with less sugar in it....

 I had a nice room.... with a balcony.

here are some photos which I took from my balcony....

After a quick lunch we were off to visit the temples ..... our first stop... KARNAK TEMPLE

The statue of Ramses II

The temple complex of Karnak was dedicated to the Pharoah Amun. It was a center of worship for King  Amun, his wife Mut and son, Khons. Each of them had their specific area in the temple complex. Here you will see Montu, the falcon- headed local god. This is one of the World Heritage Site.

Its construction begun in the early 16th century BC and lasted up to 1300 years of construction.

What to see in Karnak Temple:

* The obelisk of Thutmose 1. It is 71 feet tall and is the only one of the four original obelisks that is still standing.

details of hieroglyphics on the walls and ceiling

* The temple of Amun which is the most spectacular sight to see in Karnak. This is the only one that is opened to the public.

This is reached by passing through the avenue of the Sphinxes or the Sacred Way.

* The Hypostyle Hall  which is considered one of the greatest architecture achievements. It is filled with almost 134 enormous pillars representing the papyrus flower. These pillars are 70 feet tall and 45 feet around. The hall covers an area of 64,000 sq. meters.

Each pillar is covered with hieroglyhics or battle scenes.

* The giant scarab - according to Randa, our egyptologist and tour guide, if you make a wish and walk around the scarab ( counterclockwise ) 3 times your wish will be granted...

I was very happy with the lighting on the Karnak temple.... perfect time of day... The temple of Karnak is a " MUST SEE " but I would recommend doing your own thing rather than be herded together in a big group. It is an amazing place. The sheer scale is breathtaking, and the history crammed into those walls was just fascinating. Try to go there early in order to avoid huge crowds and high mid-day temperatures or during the afternoon like what we did.

The magnificent and huge temple will make you really feel the grandeur of the Egyptian civilization.

Useful Arabic phrases when you are in Egypt:

Good morning - Sahab el kheer
Good evening - Masaa el kheer
Peace be with you - Salam alekum
Ok - Mashy mashy
Loved one or Friend - Habibi
Let's go - Yah la yah la
No thank you - La shukran
Thank you - Shukran



  1. Thank you for these pics - I have been very curious about the Egyptian tour. It included river cruises as well. But I didnt know what to expect of the boats - and now, I know.

  2. amazing shots, looking forward to seeing your pics of the pyramids