One Way to Do Luxor from Safaga

My wife and I visited Safaga while on board Oceanea’s Nautica which, on this occasion,  made an overnight stop at the Egyptian port. We decided to arrange for our own private transport and tour of Luxor and, for this purpose chose a subsidiary of Vantage Travel (WHL)…

http://www.safaga-shoreexcursions.com/

It was clearly explained to us from the outset that we could alter the itinerary, on the guides advice, in order to avoid crowds at certain sites. This protocol worked exceptionally well and the guide in Luxor contacted the escort prior to arrival in Luxor with instructions.

It  transpired that he had indeed been monitoring the coaches of tourists and so directed us to join him at the Temple of Karnak.

The vast complex that is now known as Karnak was built and enlarged over a thirteen hundred year period. There are three main temples enclosed by enormous brick walls. The complex is more than adequately shown in the site’s entrance hall with a detailed model of how Karnak would have looked…

From the outset our guide explained the considerable importance given to the purpose and meaning of the massive Pylon gateways found at various stages as we walked  through the temples. The first such gateway, with it’s avenue bordered by rows of sphinxes…

Passing through the first Pylon brings the visitor into a courtyard style area leading to the second pylon…

…which will eventually lead to the Great Hypostyle Hall with its massive towering columns, one of the most impressive areas in the whole of the Karnak complex, 134 columns in all,the 12 in the center being taller than the others, all at one time supporting a roof with…

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Prior to entering the Great Hypostyle Hall our guide, Ayman Amery, a fascinating Egyptologist, explained various hieroglyphics…

…well as the significance of the side temples such as the Temple of Ramses III

…and the colossal statue of Pinedjem

While moving ever further into the complex we came across the Obelisk of Tuthmosis I

…and the Obelisk of Queen Hapshepsut, the tallest ever built in all Egypt…

There was just so much to see and understand while Ayman’s enthusiasm was only surpassed by my wish to take more and more photographs. Some other notable features within the complex were the Festival Hall and the site of the Botanical Chamber with its wall carved etchings of plants and animals from all over the world that were once on display for the Pharaohs…..

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No detail was too small and the level of interest generated by Ayman included pointing out the symbolism of the Coptic Christian Church high on one of the Pylon Walls that would have otherwise escaped attention…

( the above picture was taken using a very high powered zoom lens)

Leaving Karnak we had an excellent lunch on the banks of the Nile before a pre arranged Nile River crossing. Our transport had been sent on ahead in order to save time and maximise our time at the next three places of interest….

The Temple of Queen Hatshepsut…

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The Valley of the Kings…

In between Karnak and the Temple of Queen hatshepsut we spent just under two hours in The Valley of the Kings.

Photography in The Valley of the Kings is strictly forbidden so for those who may be interested I leave this link which just about covers the place…

http://www.touregypt.net/kingtomb.htm

Its secrets are of course underground and we visited three burial tombs during our stay there.

and the Collossi of Memnon…

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One unexpected bonus for us on our journey back to Safaga was to take a different route from that which we took on the outward journey. Our escort made a stop at the town of Qena, somewhat off the beaten track but wow, what a fascinating place to see on a Saturday evening. Colour, atmosphere and vibrancy and so unusual to get the opportunity to see.

The cost of the tour including an air conditioned minibus, driver, English speaking escort and English Speaking guide at Luxor, lunch and bottled water was $320.00

I trust this thread has been of interest. Luxor is one of those ‘must do’ places to visit and what better way than as part of a Red Sea cruise.

Safaga-shoreexcursions.com were an excellent company to deal with and I have no hesitation in recommending their service…

http://www.safaga-shoreexcursions.com/

2 responses to “One Way to Do Luxor from Safaga

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