West Bank is an archaeological paradise – so far 800 tombs explored
LUXOR, EGYPT: It was here by the Nile River the ancient Egyptians choose to witness their civilization. Later telling the world that they were the first to create an open human history. Today Luxor is unique, because this city has the largest open museum combining one third of the word´s monuments. And archaeologists from around the world continue searching for more tombs, Kings and Queens.
Tutankhamen and National Day
On November 4th they celebrate the national day of Luxor, on the day the British Howard Carter in 1922 discovered Tutankhamen cemetery when he saw tons of gold at the end of a tunnel in the Valley of the Kings. Today King-Tut is by far the most famous Egyptian pharaoh. The selection at the cemetery located at Kings and Queens Valley includes 358 pieces, some of which were made of pure gold. While the king´s linen-wrapped mummy is visible in a glass box, 3,400 years after he passed away, his gold mask will be on display in Cairo´s new Grand Egyptian Museum, set to be the world´s largest archaeological museum when it opens in 2018 just beyond the Great Pyramids of Giza.
Temple on bank of Nile
The Egyptology lovers have always been attracted towards Luxor and the Karnak Temple. Karnak is well known by its fronting obelisks and by Ramsis II, built over 2000 years, on the east bank of Nile River.
Luxor Temple. The Temple of Luxor is located on the east bank in the town of Luxor and was one of the most powerful temples in Ancient Egypt. It was constructed approximately 1400 BCE.
Kings at The Paradise
The West Bank is even more of an archaeological paradise then the East Bank. The whole area is covered with tombs, not just of the ancient Egyptian Kings, but of their families and the men who served them. Valley of the Kings is the most famous area, then Valley of the Queens and Tombs of the Nobles to name a few. You need more than a day to visit them all.
Habu Temple. Situated near the foot of the Theban Hills on the West Bank, Habu is the second largest complex in the area. Walls contain well-preserved reliefs, some of the reliefs include a religious calendar, hunting the wild bull, battle against the Sea People and Equestrian scenes. Advise to visit Habu with a guide.
Shopping. Luxor Tourist Souk near Luxor Temple provides all the souvenirs, clothing and jewellery – from kitsch to uniquely and crafted locally. More shops, restaurants and cafés in this area.
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Make it Happen!
Touch Down: Egypt Air has flight between Luxor and London, and daily flights between Cairo, Luxor and Aswan. Trains leave Luxor to Cairo and Aswan every day. The bus station is located 1 km from the airport. Agree on price and currency before departure when hiring a horse drawn carriage.
Stay: I stayed at the independent hotel Jolie Ville located on Kings Island next to Nile River. This is the island of escape with three restaurants, large guest rooms, pools and the staff at Kings bar knows how to create cocktails.
Eat: Most of the restaurants in Luxor serve local cuisine, but there are international options. At Jolie Ville Resort there are Italian and French restaurants.
Play: Visit Oum Kolsoum coffee shop in Luxor Souk. This café recall singer Umm Kulthum, The Diva of Arabic Song. The Winter Palace hotel built in 1886 is the place for high tea and river side setting. Belly dance and the Galabiya shows are part of the night life.
Mini Guide: For Nubian lifestyle and watching Nubian women making handicrafts, experience awaits you in a village 7km south of Luxor centre. Choose a felucca ride on the Nile. The sailboat makes a relaxed journey, and take a picnic along the still untouched banks. Up, up and away. Having a tour of Luxor from above you will have a marvellous view from Air Balloon and be able to see all the temples. The tour takes 30-45 minutes and starts early in the morning. Safety: Egypt is a safe place to visit and stay.