Africa

Luxor: tombs and temples

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Although the cruise included the main excursions of LuxorWe decided to go a couple of days before to see more things that normally nobody visits due to lack of time. We stayed at the Mara House, that more than a hotel is a guest house run by Mara, an Irishwoman who decided to tie the blanket to her head and move to Egypt. The room, which looked more like an apartment, was huge. I had a room with a double bed, living room, bathroom and balcony. The hotel is very new and clean and is located in a residential area five minutes from the train station.

Room in the Mara House

And the breakfast

We went down at 9 and they prepared breakfast for us. That day we wanted to visit the tombs of the nobles and the temple of Seti I. We asked Mara if she recommended us to do it with a guide and she said no, that we could do it alone perfectly, since on the cruise they would give us tons of information. We were looking for a taxi driver for the whole morning and he told us that if he took us to stores (to take commission) that we would tell him that he would screw up. Although Luxor is not a very large city (it is more a town), from the city to the western shore there are about 20 minutes by taxi. Half of the streets are unpaved and there is hardly any traffic. And on the road you see people riding their donkeys going to work in the fields.

Road to the west bank

Tickets for the west bank monuments are bought in tiny lockers that are shortly after the Colossi of Memnon. There we saw that for the tombs of the nobles you had to buy the tickets of the concrete tombs that you wanted to visit. The truth is that I did not know and I had not prepared what graves we wanted to see, so we ended up buying tickets for almost all of them and left with the taxi there.

The tombs of the nobles are scattered through an arid landscape.

When we arrived at the big field, a boy approached us, told us that he was a student and that he accompanied us to all the graves for 70 L.E. We replied that we did not need it, since we could find them alone, but in the end after haggling we decided to accompany us for 50 L.E. And that he did, he accompanied us to the first grave that was only 20 meters away. LOL! I felt a little scammed, but hey, I took it with humor. Then he accompanied us to see the other graves that were not so easy to find (although with a little patience and sweating very sure that you just found them).

Interior of the tombs of Sennefer, mayor of Thebes during the reign of Amenhotep II.

Reliefs at the entrance of the tomb of Khaemhet, write royal and superintendent in the time of Amenhotep III.

Reliefs of the tomb of Ramose, vizier under the reign of Amenhotep III and Akhenaten.

In the western part of Luxor are the graves and funerary temples. They are in this area because it is where the sun sets and it is related to Ra's journey through the underworld. We visit seven tombs of the nobles, those of Nakht and Mena, Rekhminer and Sennofer and finally those of Ramose, Userhet and Khaemhet. The tombs of the nobles are very good because while the pharaohs decorated their tombs with passages from The Book of the Dead to guide them in the afterlife, the nobles decorated their tombs with scenes from everyday life.

With a mirror in the door and another inside they illuminated the interior of the tombs.


In each grave there was a guard who opened the grave and with a system of mirrors illuminated the inside of it in exchange for a tip. The tombs of the nobles are very well preserved and the best of all is that being not within the tourist circuit, there is no one visiting them. After being almost two hours tumbling in full sun by the tombs, we went to the taxi to visit the funeral temple of Seti I. As this was the first funeral temple we visited, the truth is that we liked it a lot. I suppose if we had seen it at the end of the trip we would have thought it was a churro, and at the end of the cruise we were a little saturated with temples. This one is quite well restored and there is an absolute peace, basically because inside we were only the watchman and the two of us. In the temple of Seti I maybe we were only 30 minutes, but it was enough.

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