Luxor – The Most Extraordinary Outdoor Museum in the World!

While getting ready for a very important, and busy day, we took a look out our cabin window and saw the balloon tours lifting off to view the Nile and the Valleys of the Kings and Queens over on the west bank. We were docked on the east bank of and would stay on the east today to explore the open-air museum of Karnak, and later the Luxor Temple and museums.


It was a short bus ride to the expansive Temple of Karnak, an amazing complex of kiosks, pylons, sanctuaries and obelisks. The site covers 2 square kilometers. The Temple of Amun was the earthly home of the local god. This was the most important place of worship in Egypt during the New Kingdom.

The Temple of Amun-Ra dominates the complex with its hypostyle wall; a forest of papyrus-shaped columns.

Entering the Amun Temple. Amun-Ra was the local god of Karnak. This temple reflected his status. The temple owned 65 cities, 83 ships, 421,000 head of cattle, and had 81,000 people working for it.

Luxor Temple

Early in the evening, we made our way to one of the highlights of the trip, the Luxor Temple complex. The amazingly preserved, expansive complex is carefully lighted at night to provide an entirely new and different perspective – almost feeling as though you are there when it was in its full glory. The darkness outside isolates the site, and the light gives life and depth to the columns, reliefs and glyphs. It’s jammed full of local families and tourists, but large enough to accomodate all.

Interesting how crudely constructed some of the papyrus-like columns
The interior court…waiting for the King

Feeling totally heads expanding with new facts, we made our way back to the boat to expand our bellies – again. And, speaking of bellies, treated to a belly dance show that featured an elaborately costumed young man who spun without pausing on his own axis, in one direction, for close to 10 minutes, creating shapes with his own costume and props. Several audience members fell over, totally dizzy from watching, while the performer simply stopped, bowed, and walked away in a very straight line. Huh?

We hurried to get some rest in anticipation of our trip to the West bank tomorrow to visit the Valley of the Kings, and the Valley of the Queens. It looks like it’ll be another beautiful, cloudless day, in the upper 70s. Wear your shorts. Good night.

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