Luxor (Safaga) Day 2 – Desert Jeep Safari

November 12, 2011

Today we had an adventurous tour we began with a scenic drive in a 4 X 4 jeep from the port of Safaga to the Red Sea resort town of Hurghada. We drove onto the Eastern Arabia Desert. We had great photo opportunities of the deserts that we’ve seen in movies. We drove to a Bedouin camp (settlement), where we were welcomed by the locals (nomads). We had a chance to taste their sweet tea and ate some of their flat unleavened bread. After seeing how the locals lived and what they ate, we rode camels through the desert.  My luck I get the angry Camel who was spitting at the handler.

Follow us on our journey the next stop is Aqaba, Jordan.

Dusty Desert
Bedouin settlement

Where the locals live

Maria on the angry Camel
John on his Camel
Camel tamer & handler
Local woman making flat unleavened bread

Luxor (Safaga), Egypt – Day 1 – Ancient Luxor

November 11, 2011

Arriving at the port was interesting, we saw piles of duffle bags from Egyptians who were traveling to the Mecca. It seemed unorganized I don’t know how they would find their luggage when they arrive at their destination. Today we were going to have the longest day of driving 3.5 hours to get to Luxor to see ancient Egyptian architecture and see fascinating mysteries of centuries old culture and hieroglyphics. Once again it was nerve-wracking to know that we had a security guard on our bus who had an Uzi.

Duffel bags heading to Mecca

Security guard with an Uzi
Security guard with an Uzi

We arrived in Luxor we had a nice lunch at the Sheraton Hotel. After lunch, we continued our drive and crossed the Nile River proceeding to the West Bank area for a visit to the Valley of the Kings. We had a chance to see the tombs of Egypt’s ancient kings, their families, and other Egyptian nobility. It was amazing to see the hieroglyphics and how old they are, the colors were so vibrant. The only thing that was upsetting was that they didn’t allow any photography but luckily I was able to take two pictures before they told me I couldn’t.

Maria & John by the Steigenberger Hotel in Luxor
Valley of the Kings Entrance (I was lucky enough to take two pictures)
Valley of the Kings (I was lucky enough to take two pictures)

Next stop was the Hatshepsut Temple. This mortuary temple was buried under sand for centuries and was built by Hatshepsut, the only woman to rule and become a Pharaoh. Built into the mountainside, it stands as an incredible monument to the powers held by pharaohs.

Hatshepsut Temple

Following that tour, we had a second photo stop to see Colossi of Memnon, two massive statues that originally flanked the entrance to Amenhotep III’s mortuary temple. Unfortunately, the temple itself was destroyed in an earthquake; the magnificent statues still stand guard today.

Colossi of Memnon
Maria & John at Colossi of Memnon

The final stop was the most impressive Luxor Temple complex. The complex was a collection of breathtaking ruins, obelisks, and temples that date back to the 14th century BC.

Obelisk in Luxor
Maria & John at Luxor
Maria at Luxor
John at Luxor
Maria at Luxor
The Avenue of the Sphinxes

Local goats