Thursday, October 05, 2023

Israel/Egypt/Jordan 2023 - Day #9 - Karnak Temple and Luxor Temple

Karnak Temple & Luxor Library

Luxor Monument and Historic Exhibits

Visit the Temple of Karnak, among the world’s largest ancient temple complexes.

Marvel at its great Hypostyle Hall, a forest of 136 ancient columns that once supported a towering ceiling, and its huge sacred lake. This massive complex, embellished over centuries by every major pharaoh, could fit the equivalent of ten cathedrals within its walls. After time here, continue to the Luxor Heritage Center, the aim of which is to enlighten visitors on Egypt’s long and rich history. Explore the center’s interactive showcase documenting the country’s history from ancient times to the present on nine connected flat-screen televisions offering a 180-degree panorama. Tour the Forsan al-Sama’a Hall, with its exhibits featuring astrological equipment, and the 3D Show Hall, home to selected archaeological pieces from the Pharaonic, Coptic and Islamic eras. Afterward, visit the library, which houses more than 10,000 books on Egyptian history in several languages and features a dedicated map room.
Up at 4 am, we put our bags in the hall at 5 am and then went down for a quick breakfast. All fifty-seven people were on two buses before 6 am. Viking took the group to the Cairo airport for a private charter flight to Luxor. We were on the ground just after 9 am and in the buses about 9:30 am.

The plan for the morning was to vist the Karnak Temple. The Karnak Temple Complex is a vast mix of temples, pylons, chapels, and other buildings. It is the largest religious building ever constructed, covering about 200 acres. The complex is made up of three main temple precincts, each dedicated to a different deity. Construction started about 2,000 BC.

We made a quick stop at the Luxor Hertiage Center to see a video about the Karnak and Luxor Temples. Although the excursion talks about the Luxor Library, we didn't go there.

We finally got to the boat about 1 pm. We will be staying on the MS Antares for the next seven nights in Suite 203. It is very nice. I will post the floor plan in future.

We had lunch on the boat. Afterwards, we got settled in the room.

In the afternoon, we went to the Luxor Temple. The temple was originally connected to the Karnak Temple by an Avenue of Sphinxes which was a two-mile long road lined with over 1,300 sphinxes. The temple was built over hundreds of years by Amenhotep III, Ramses II, Tutankhamun, and other pharaohs. The Luxor Temple was built about 1,400 BC.

Although I probably shouldn't have been, I was shocked at the number of tourists at the two sites. It feels like we are in the middle of nowhere, but both sites had lots and lots of visitors!

Back at boat, we got cleaned for dinner. Donna worked with the boat staff to set up a table for 10. We invited Mark and Evelyn to join us.

With another early start on Friday morning, Sharon and I crashed about 9:15 pm.

No comments:

Post a Comment