Anobel & I had to kill 12 hours in Cairo after a misunderstanding with the train times, but getting to Luxor worked out fine in the end.
The train – not too bad. I think it cost around £175L.E., but you can pay double that and get a sleeping cabin which is meant to be pretty good – but yeah that is quite pricey for a 10 hour train ride in the middle east i think. Was a bit painful for me as usual (when it comes to travelling i hate being tall).
For £20L.E. each we got a room at the Nubian Oasis (Bob Marley) hostel which is a couple of hundred metres from the train station on the ‘east bank’ of Luxor. Pretty cool place, nice folks working there and a rooftop that does a happy hour! Rooms are basic but for the price what else should you expect.
Luxor is a cool place, lots of touts in the centre but still a reasonable atmosphere.
Closer to the river, maybe 1km from the Nubian Oasis, is the Luxor Temple. £50L.E. a ticket. This was my first true close up experience with Hieroglyphics and giant statues in the wild 🙂 Massive pylons/columns and court areas.
A 10 minute horse & buggy ride north gets you to the Karnak Temple (or maybe the temples of Karnak). A gigantic site that is full of obelisks and columns, and one of the buildings still has a roof.
Many of the rooms/buildings still have colour on them!
The next day we took a tour to the west bank of Luxor to checkout ‘the valley of the kings’ and the other sites nearby.
The Valley of the Kings, whilst being extremely well preserved and easily accessible, is a bit of a sham i think. Firstly, you pay £60L.E. or so to get it, then £4L.E.for a little train that take you 500m up the road, then you can only get into 3 of the tombs. If you want to see more you have to pay more money, and you have to do this back at the entrance. I paid an extra £100L.E. to get into Tutankhamun’s tomb. Also, no photography is allowed. Why? I asked and they said that the flash photography ruins the artwork. That is fair enough, but I told them I wasn’t going to use my flash. Then they said that when the camera takes a photo if sucks the colour off the wall. 🙂 haha! what voodoo! You can’t take photos inside the tombs, yet there was a research team in King Tut’s tomb, who had a bunch of strobes going off. And, outside the tombs there are more touts selling photo sets of the inside of the tombs – where did these photos come from? Errrrrrrrrr!
Ramses 3 Funerary Temple – a.k.a Medinat Habu
(I think that was the name of this place!)