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Well, we  "packed down"  for a several night stay in Luxor.    Didn't do anything in Safaga ... because  there's nothing here.

Frankly ... what you see in this photo ... is all we saw for the several hour drive between Safaga & Luxor.


This was our 2nd time to Luxor.

Of course there were a few repeats  ( which we were actually  looking forward to ).

But on the whole .... it was an entirely different experience than the first ...

 and just as delightful.


Our hotel..Sonesta St. George


Here you go.

 Now you have something to play with.


Since the Ancient Egyptian culture has always held a fascination for me ( since I was 6 yrs. old ... and began dragging my long-suffering parents into the Egyptian sections of every museum we ever visited) .... it was a delight to be able to poke into nooks & crannies which I had missed the first time around.


With  Ramesses II.  This is the guy who had that humongous tomb built in the Valley of the Kings  ( KV 5 ... which is still being excavated ).

Egypt's  most prolific builder  ( and father ) ... also responsible for Abu Simbel .. is thought to be the pharaoh of  Moses' day.


Temple Entrance  &  Ave. of the Sphinxes.       The Ave. of Sphinxes connects the 2 temples of Luxor & Karnak.

Unfortunately there are present-day buildings and a road ,that sit in the middle of this long passage.

As a result, modern man will probably never be able to see it restored.


The famous Hypostyle Hall.     These pillars are so huge that it takes  12 people ...with arms out-stretched ... to circle any single pillar.


Even after all these centuries ... some of the wall paintings still retain areas of the original color.


The  Sacred Pool.  Just to prepare you for a future visit .... it's not always this clean .



Out in the field at 5:15  A.M.

Note: Ballooning is a lesson in  "dedication to a cause"


This was a local companion who helped us pass the time while we waited for the balloon to inflate


You see before you, the look of a man who knows exactly which button to push ... for me to drag my body out of bed at such an ungodly hour of the morning.   ( we had to get up at 4 A.M. )


So  up we went .... floating with the wind , over fields and villages.

Sometimes high ... and sometimes so low we could  almost scrape the tops of trees or see into windows


Feluccas  on  the  Nile


Okay ..... Is this a "Happy Camper" ??!!



Temple of  Ramesses  III   ( Madinet  Habu )


Temple of  Queen  Hatshepsut    (  Deir-El-Bahari )


Temple  of  Amenhotep  III


Temple  of  Ramesses  II


Temple  of  Seti  I


That's our ground crew.  

Thank heavens our pilot was more adept at flying .. than landing.   He managed to set us down in a really big  pile of trash.



It is  SO  GOOD  to be back !!!

Of course .. nothing can quite compare to the magic of  "the first time" ...but this came real close.


We broke off from the rest of the group to do some exploring on our own ... and had some fresh tomb experiences.


One of my passions is to get into

 KV 5 at some point.

This  is the largest tomb ever discovered.  But it won't be ready for viewing for at least another 20 years.


Guess I'll just have to have Roy bring me back when I'm 82.


Tomb  of  Amenhotep  II


Tomb  of  Horemheb   --            He was a general during the reigns of  Akhenaten & Tutankhamun.

Ay took over when Tut died.  Then Horemheb married the sister of Nefertiti -- ousted Ay -- & became Pharaoh.

How's that for a bit Egyptian Peyton Place  ??


Tomb  of  Ramesses  III        ---    This tomb was never occupied.

Actually ... at the time he died, tomb robbery was so prolific... that the priests started transporting royal mummies from one burial place to another.

These transfers were so frequent that  Ramesses III was buried 3 times ... just not here.


Tomb  of  Ramesses  IX    ---  He was one of the last Ramesses of the XX Dynasty.

His reign was distinguished by a long series of internal disorders & famine ...

 and his death ended the political dominance of Thebes  (Luxor) as the capital of the New Kingdom.

Well .... some of us have it ... and others don't.


Tomb  of  Seti  I   ---  To date ,( KV 5  aside ) ... this is the most imposing tomb in the Valley of The Kings.

It's  325 feet long.  There are flights of steps leading to a corridor designed to put robbers on the wrong track  ( it ends in a deep well ).

AND .... it gets really good here .. so pay attention :  When the sarcophagus was moved ..... a hidden gallery  120 metres long, was discovered  on a lower level.

They still haven't discovered the purpose ... or where it led.

However ... there IS an ancient legend that claims the tunnel crosses the entire mountain ... and opens up near Hatshepsut's temple.

Now .... doesn't this just cry out  "Adventure Movie"  to you  ??


Tomb  of  Tutankhamun  ..... oh, you already know all about this guy.


Tomb of  Thutmosis III

This is the guy who did away with his Aunt Hatshepsut so he could become Pharaoh.


Goofing off with the authorities again.

Remember  Darla's  #2  Travel Commandment ?



Tomb of  Nefertari

The most beautiful tomb in the Valley of Queens.


She was the wife of Ramesses II




The  Colossi  of  Memnon  ...  aka:  The Singing Statues

For years , people thought these statues were truly haunted ..... because every morning at daybreak, the statues would emit a long  sound.

Actually ... they were not imagining things.   The statues really do make a noise, which sounds like a sad ... but  harmonious  song.

But instead of spirits of the dead ... the sounds are caused by vibrations produced in the broken surface  ..

due to the rapid passage of cold night air to the heat of the first rays of the sun.


When we finally arrived back in Safaga, after a long drive from Luxor  .....

we were greeted with this sight ... and  champagne.

It seems that while we were in Luxor .... a terrorist set off a bomb in a tourist spot in Cairo  ( killing several tourists ).


After reassuring everyone who didn't go to Luxor, that our group had suffered no mishaps ....

 the ship departed for our next stop.


Possibly due to the incident in Cairo

several gunboats, like these, constantly patrolled the area near our ship while we were in port

( of course it also may have had something to do with  the pirates who had chased us  the night before we arrived ).


Since we had been to Petra before , we decided to  "veg out" on the ship for the day, instead of going on tour



These guys were everywhere along the banks of the canal


And so we pulled into  PORT  SAID ... where we would change passengers & start the 2nd  segment of our trip.

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