The overnight train from Cairo got us in to Luxor a couple of hours late, but the experience was better than I had expected. We traveled in a first class car with recliner seats that were actually quite comfortable. Other than the train stations not having escalators nor elevators (which meant having to schlep heavy luggage when moving between platforms) this was an enjoyable trip.
After checking in, we had lunch on the rooftop of our hotel, with a spectacular view overlooking the town and the Nile, with the Valley of Kings in the distance across the river.
This afternoon we are off to explore the Karnak Temple and Luxor Temple complexes in town here on the east side of the river. (The ancient Egyptians built their temples on the east side of the river and their tombs on the west, mirroring the path of the sun during the day, as they assumed the sun died each night, to be reborn the following dawn.)
The Karnak temple was a huge complex with some well preserved structures to explore. Sam, pictured above, is the local Egyptologist who served as our guide at Karnak and at the Luxor temple afterward (he'll take us across the river for the tombs tomorrow, too).
After our temple tours and before dinner, our group wandered through the Luxor bazaar, wherein the vendors routinely called out to us, recognizing the Aussies among our number and directing the occasional unwelcome compliment to our female contingent. I was repeatedly called “Rambo” by these people trying to get my attention; go figure! At one point, as three of the women in our group were walking behind me, a passing local called out: “Very lucky man! Three wives!”
We have an early 7 a.m. departure to the Valley of Kings in the morning; not so lucky, perhaps!
This was a breakout hit, originally used to open an episode of Saturday Night Live: "King Tut" by Steve Martin. It coincided with the touring exhibit of Tutankhamen artifacts in the U.S. You can probably figure why I threw this one out there today: I am off to the Valley of Kings, site of Tut's tomb.