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Guest Solent Richard

Luxor Excursion From Safaga

7 posts in this topic

My wife and I visited Safaga on board Oceanea's Nautica which on this occasion made an overnight stop at the Egyptian port. We decided to arrange for our own private transport and tour of Luxor and, on this occasion chose a subsidiary of Vantage Travel (WHL)...

 

It was clearly explained to us from the outset that we could alter the itinerary, on the guides advice, in order to avoid crowds at certain sites. This protocal worked exceptionally well and the guide in Luxor contacted the escort prior to arrival in Luxor with instructions. It indeed transpired that he had been monitoring the coaches of tourists and so directed us to join him at the Temple of Karnak.

The vast complex that is now known as Karnak was built and enlarged over a thirteen hundred year period. There are three main temples enclosed by enormous brick walls. The complex is more than adequately shown in the site's entrance hall with a detailed model of how Karnak would have looked... 

 

 

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Considerable importance is given during the tour as to the purpose and meaning of the massive Pylon gateways at various stages through the the temples. The first such gateway, with it's avenue bordered by rows of sphinxes...

 

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Passing through the first Pylon brings the visitor into a courtyard style area leading to the second pylon... 

 

 

 

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...which will eventually lead to the Great Hypostyle Hall with its massive towering columns, one of the most impressive areas in the whole of the Karnak complex, 134 columns in all,the 12 in the center being taller than the others, all at one time supporting a roof with...

 

 

 

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Prior to entering the Great Hypostyle Hall our guide, Ayman Amery, a fascinating Egyptologist...

 

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...explained various hieroglyphics as well as the purposes of other side temples such as the Temple of Ramses III...
 

 

 

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...and the colossal statue of Pinedjem... 

 

 

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Further into the complex we came across the Obelisk of Tuthmosis I...

 

 

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...and the Obelisk of Queen Hapshepsut, the tallest ever in all Egypt...
 

 

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They are indeed the last still standing in Karnuk.


There was just so much to see and understand and Ayman's enthusiasm was only surpassed by my wish to take more photographs. Some other notable features within the complex were the Festival Hall and the site of the Botanical Chamber with its wall carved etchings of plants and animals from all over the world that were once on display for the Pharaohs..... 

 

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The level of interest generated by Ayman included pointing out the symbolism of the
Coptic Christian Church high on one of the Pylon Walls
...

 

 

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Leaving Karnak we had an excellent lunch on the banks of the Nile before our guide had arranged a river crossing for us. Our transport had been sent on ahead in order to save time and maximise our time at the next three places of interest....
The Temple of Queen Hatshepsut...

 

 

 

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  1. ...and the
    Collossi of Memnon...

     

 

 

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  1. ...where we did a little promotion shoot for SilverTravelAdvisor
    .


    In between Karnak and the Temple of Queen hatshepsut we spent just under two hours in The Valley of the Kings.


    Photography in The Valley of the Kings is strictly forbidden so for those who may be interested I leave this link which just about covers the place...




    Its secrets are of course underground and we visited three burial tombs during our stay there.


    One unexpected bonus for us on our journey back to Safaga was to take a different route from that which we took on the outward journey. Our escort made a stop at the town of Qena, somewhat off the beaten track but wow, what a fascinating place to see on a Saturday evening. Colour, atmosphere and vibrancy and so unusual to see.


    The cost of the tour including an air conditioned minibus, driver, English speaking escort and English Speaking guide at Luxor, lunch and bottled water was $320.00



    I trust this thread has been of interest. Luxor is one of those must do places to visit and what better way than as part of a Red Sea cruise.

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Did you travel from Safaga to Luxor in a convoy. We travelled from Luxor to Aswan by privately hired bus stopping at Esna, Edfu and Kom Ombo but we had to travel in a tourist convoy. We used the o/night train from Aswan back to Cairo.

 

How come you did not visit Luxor temple? Time constraints!

 

I found travelling across the arid dry Egyptian terrain very tiring, boring and 'drying'!

 

Regardless of the sites, a guide is essential otherwise it is little more than a ruin.

 

We visited the V of the K's first and then hiked over the mountains to the Temple of Hatshepsut where our driver met us.

 

We loved the sights of Luxor but felt the city itself was too Brittaniaised! Too many people trying to sell us things that were cheaper than ASDA! Too many restaurants selling full English breakfast!

 

Great review of Karnak etc.

 

Geo!

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Did you travel from Safaga to Luxor in a convoy. We travelled from Luxor to Aswan by privately hired bus stopping at Esna, Edfu and Kom Ombo but we had to travel in a tourist convoy. We used the o/night train from Aswan back to Cairo.

 

How come you did not visit Luxor temple? Time constraints!

 

I found travelling across the arid dry Egyptian terrain very tiring, boring and 'drying'!

 

Regardless of the sites, a guide is essential otherwise it is little more than a ruin.

 

We visited the V of the K's first and then hiked over the mountains to the Temple of Hatshepsut where our driver met us.

 

We loved the sights of Luxor but felt the city itself was too Brittaniaised! Too many people trying to sell us things that were cheaper than ASDA! Too many restaurants selling full English breakfast!

 

Great review of Karnak etc.

 

Geo!

 

Funny you should ask.

 

We started in a convoy but from Safaga but as the journey continued so that kind of disappeared. The return journey was completely un-escorted, hence I mentioned the detour to Qena.

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Interestingly there were many passengers on the Oceania Nautica that had arranged their own tours to Luxor.

 

The view as we docked...

 

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There were also some coaches, but this was our air-conditioned transport, just for the two of us plus driver and guide...

 

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I enjoyed the journey both ways for differing reasons, the outbound journey because I enjoy dessert/mountain vistas.

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How come you did not visit Luxor temple? Time constraints!

 

 

 

Great review of Karnak etc.

 

Geo!

 

I did say... 

 

'It was clearly explained to us from the outset that we could alter the itinerary, on the guides advice, in order to avoid crowds at certain sites. This protocol worked exceptionally well and the guide in Luxor contacted the escort prior to arrival in Luxor with instructions. It indeed transpired that he had been monitoring the coaches of tourists and so directed us to join him at the Temple of Karnak'.

 

We did pass the Luxor Temple...

 

 

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...but, as you say, given the time constraints with the journey from Safaga I guess seeing two similar Temples would not have been conducive to the  overall visit we made.

 

It sounds as though you were indeed fortunate to have the overnight train at your disposal. 

 

 

 

 

...but, as you say, given the time constraints with the journey from Safaga I guess seeing two similar Temples would not have been conducive to the  overall visit we made.

 

It sounds as though you were indeed fortunate to have the overnight train at your disposal. 

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Interestingly I spotted a member of this forum asking a question on another forum about this very excursion.

 

I'd be more than happy to answer any specifics Wansbrough.

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I did say... 

 

'It was clearly explained to us from the outset that we could alter the itinerary, on the guides advice, in order to avoid crowds at certain sites. This protocol worked exceptionally well and the guide in Luxor contacted the escort prior to arrival in Luxor with instructions. It indeed transpired that he had been monitoring the coaches of tourists and so directed us to join him at the Temple of Karnak'.

 

We did pass the Luxor Temple...

 

 

11218490493_b38170678a_z.jpg

 

 

 

11218369574_d18a7ecca4_z.jpg

 

 

...but, as you say, given the time constraints with the journey from Safaga I guess seeing two similar Temples would not have been conducive to the  overall visit we made.

 

It sounds as though you were indeed fortunate to have the overnight train at your disposal. 

 

 

 

 

...but, as you say, given the time constraints with the journey from Safaga I guess seeing two similar Temples would not have been conducive to the  overall visit we made.

 

It sounds as though you were indeed fortunate to have the overnight train at your disposal. 

I was there in the pre-digital age and when I came home and got the pics developed I was not sure which temple was which! I think as they are both so similar, you made a very smart choice and just did the one as the sights on the opposite side of the Nile are definitely worth the look!

We spent 4 days in Luxor

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