Africa

Nile Cruise: visit the Luxor Temple and the Karnak Temple

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And I thought that we would not have to get up soon the day we embarked on the cruise in Luxor. You are right. They called us when we were in Abydos to tell us that we had to be on the boat at 9 the next day because at 9.30 we had the first excursion with the group. This was the only part that we had contracted with an agency and we were going to do in an organized plan: the Nile cruise. For reasons of day planning, in the end we decided to do the 5-day (4-night) cruise that goes from Luxor to Asuan. As I said in the travel guide to Egypt and Petra, the Nile cruise was what cost us the most to decide. Everyone said it was a must, but we discarded the faluca for discomfort (and thankfully because you eat mosquitoes there) and the cruise seemed too touristy. In the end, after much debate, we ended up in one of the ships offered in the circuits of El Corte Inglés (also by dates it was the one that suited us best), but we hired it directly with the owners of the ship in Egypt: Galaxia Tours agency. This is one of the most important agencies in Egypt, basically because they are the ones that take all the trips of El Corte Inglés (and they move a lot of people and money). This agency is of a marriage formed by a Catalan (Maricel) and an Egyptian. And precisely Maricel is the owner of the ship.

Our ship docked in Luxor, as guests began to arrive.

In the morning we checked out at the Mara House and wished us to enjoy the cruise, which was a very romantic experience. The same taxi driver who took us to the tombs of the nobles took us to the corniche where he had docked about 30 ships. Since everyone does not fit in the port, there are up to five aligned, so, depending on how high your ship is docked, you have to cross other boats before reaching yours. Luckily, ours was right in front of the Luxor Temple and on the front line, so it was easy to find.

You could tell that the ship was of category and the room was not bad at all.

Upon boarding the ship, Essam, our guide throughout the cruise, was waiting for us. They served us some welcome drinks and explained how everything would work. Our group was fortunately not going to be very large (17 people, although that seems like a crowd to me. Essam told us that they had groups of 50 people! (O_OU dear!) And that everything was on the cruise It included less drinks that were paid at check-out and no tips, which were already included too. We were talking to Essam, he was dressed in a lujito and spoke perfect Spanish. He explained that the boat was full of Spaniards and sometimes worked with groups of Chinese (charging triple that with Spaniards.) We explained what we had done and how we had visited and hallucinated a lot and I think at that time it was clear that we were not the customer prototype .

And if we are alone during the whole trip, we pass to the fascinating world of organized mogollón. Socorro!

When we left our bags we went down and met the rest of the group that had already arrived, 9 people, with whom we would share a table every day (on the cruise you always have to sit in the same place). We left the ship and got into a coach to make the visits that day: the Karnak temple and the Luxor temple.

It cost me, but I could take a picture of Karnak's hypostyle room without anyone.

First visit: the Karnak temple. Although we had already been two days before during the light and sound show, seeing it during the day was even more impressive. Karnak is formed by a set of temples that were successively expanded by various pharaohs, including Ramses II. Each important city of ancient Egypt had a particular sacred triad, that is, father, mother and son. The father god of Luxor or Thebes was Amun, the ram god, who later merged it with Ra to create Ammon-Ra and thus endow the temple with more importance. The columns of the first hypostyle hall are spectacular and huge. It also seems that it was the first religious building with three naves, the main one taller than the two aisles and this form is the one that would later be adopted to build the Christian basilicas. The Karnak complex is amazing, but there we found thousands of other tourists (of the other cruise ships that had docked in the city) and I was a little overwhelmed.

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