After breakfast, we bade a sad farewell to our life of temporary
luxury on the "Nile Treasure", donned our backpacks
and trudged into town to the Horus Hotel recommended by our
friend Jay. (EP55)(A$12.55) including breakfast.
Our room, with our own bathroom, was at the front of the hotel overlooking
Luxor Temple and the Nile. A trifle noisy with passing
traffic and the mosque opposite but we thought it worth it to get
the fantastic view.
Hot air balloons could be seen on the West Bank of the Nile,
soaring over the Valley of the Kings.
deposited our bags and checked our email, we walked to Karnak
(Entry EP20) (A$4.45). Lunchtime is a good time to see
the Entrance and Hippostile Hall as there are no tour
groups going through at this time - you can move around in peace without
too much jostling.
We were totally awestruck. The First Pylon sets the scene as
you gaze in wonder. Temple upon temple, statues and everything carved
with intricate drawings and heiroglyphs. Colour still remains on some
drawings done 1200 years BC. The Great Hippostyle Hall is 6000
square metres and the largest in the world, with 134 columns. These
columns represented lotus flowers - the symbol of life - and were
built by Seti I and continued by his son Ramses II (1292-1225
BC - New Kingdom).
large red granite obelisk on the right is one of two erected by Queen
Hatshetsut in the hypostyle hall of her father, Tuthmosis I.
These were quarried at Aswan and, according to the text on
them, took seven months to complete. It was interesting to note how
much sharper the carving was on the red granite than the softer sandstone.
to our hotel, we ran into Jay, who had just arrived from Aswan
by bus and taken a room at the Horus Hotel near us. We all
lunched at a nearby cafe and then hunted in the bazaar for a bootmaker
to sew the sole of my boot back on. (Costing EP10.00 (A$2.20)
for both boots).
Poor boots - they have tramped through East Africa, Japan and all
across Australia but I think they are nearing their end.
the evening we dined at the Ali Baba, a pleasant restaurant
recommended in Lonely Planet where we enjoyed chicken and salad.