I had the beautiful opportunity to spend the day in The historical city – Luxor. Once the capital of Egypt, Luxor brings with it a multitude of stories, grounded in Egypt’s history. From the valley of the kings to Karnak Temple, there is something to see here for everyone.
Luxor in a day
9:00am Hatshepsut temple
No movies have been made about her, but Hatshepsut is the greatest woman in Egyptian history, being the only female to rule as a pharaoh, she was liberating women before your mum was burning bras. Daughter to a pharaoh and then married to a pharaoh, Hatshepsut found herself at somewhat of a loss when her husband died. Having only a daughter she would no longer have a claim to the throne and it would fall to her stepson …
So, with the help of a priest she convinced everyone that she was the daughter of a god and gave a detailed description on how the god impregnated her mother. Could you imagine the disbelief when she came out with such an elaborate depiction. Yet, the priest says it’s true, so no one would dispute it – which from the Roman Catholics we know is a grave mistake – and so she dressed as man and went on to rule for 22 years.
Loving herself as much as she did, she of course built herself a Temple, found in the best location in all of Egypt. Opposite her fathers temple and going 30 meters into the mountain her temple has stood for over a thousand years. Yet, any likeness of her has been cruelly defamed by her vengeful stepson – well if you had your kingdom taken from you for over 2 decades, you might be a bit salty to. One of the only likeness of her that remains is her as a God which is placed on the columns of the temple. This is because he was not bold enough to deface any likeness of a god.
11:00am Valley of the kings
One of the things you have see is the valley of the kings. Yes, we have the pyramids in Cairo, but the Pharaohs soon realised that their burial places were too obvious with robbers stealing their valuables as soon as they had a chance. So, Hatshepsut’s father tasked his architect with finding a “mysterious” place, far away from man, where he could be buried. This place became known as the valley of kings and at least 161 Pharaohs after him were buried here. I saw three tombs while I was here one being o Ramses 9th, his tomb was …
You may be attracted to visiting the tomb of Tutankhamun (for and extra cost), but from what I understand, no tomb matches the opulence of Ramses the 9th. In fact, the size and grandeur of a tomb is largely dependent on the number of years the Pharaoh reigned. Tutankhamun reigned for only 9 years and his tomb is a reflection of his brief reign. In fact, as. A Pharaoh, he did not accomplish much, the only reason he is famous is because he tomb – unlike the others which had been robbed- was found untouched. In essence he was better at hide and seek than the others.
1:30pm River Nile (Luxor Temple)
I took a beautiful boat ride down the River Nile – which is the longest river in the world spanning 11 countries and a quick way to get from the valley of the kings to Luxor Temple 😉. I wouldn’t say it is a must do, but the farm that we visited on the way was real cute and they were super hospitable.
3:00pm – Papyrus Paper
The Egyptians were the first to have paper and write. Whilst not a must visit, it is super interesting to see how they did it by stripping a Papyrus plant and leaving it to soak in water.
3:30pm – Karnak Temple
This is the one of the places you have to see after the pyramids if you are visiting Egypt. This temple was built over 40 years (or pharaohs) to worship the god Ra and it is HUGE. It is almost like a little city with a million stories behind each facet. You will find 3 onyx there, one built by Hatshepsut which was then blocked by a ton of bricks by her step son – petty much 🙄🙄🙄. And there is a whole section dedicated to the god of fertility. Legend has it that he was supposed to go to war, but then became sick so remained at home while all the other men went to war. When the men came back they found that all the women in the town had been impregnated by him (the women didn’t believe the men would come back from war), so they cut off one arm and one leg. This is how he became the god of fertility.
There is so much to behold here, so much to understand of the people that came before. It is truly beautiful and I would say that if you are to visit anywhere in Luxor, it is the Karnak Temple. Ramses wanted to add to it so built temple in temple.
4:30pm – Return
I am enchanted by this ancient city, its tales and its mysteries. If you are interested in ancient history, Luxor is definitely one for the books. Over the years time, thieves and colonisers have tried to reduce … but its beauty still remains. I travelled with Red Sea.. for 70 euros (you have to negotiate everything in Egypt) and I had a private guide with a true passion for the city’s history, a truly unforgettable experience, next time I am taking it all the way back and I am going to see the pyramids!
Stay blessed y’all,