Let’s get one thing clear right away: Uwe and I are NOT danger chasers. We don’t pick areas to visit that are experiencing unrest or natural disasters. When we went to Luxor for a week in May 2013, tourism in the area was wa-a-y down. But it’s so far from Cairo that we never felt threatened.
A week after we were there Egypt imploded, and we would not have made that trip. As it was we had Luxor, the Valley of the Kings, and the ruins up and down the Nile banks to ourselves. What an experience, like getting a private tour of the world’s greatest antiquities!
Egypt was a special wish of mine for decades. My mom was a teacher, and when she died the last unit she was teaching was on ancient Egypt. At her funeral my family was touched to receive drawings from the children she’d taught. They’d drawn mummies, and Mom’s spirit as a bird. There was even a drawing of a mummified feline with a caption: Mrs. Campbell’s cat.
Some of the world’s most spectacular ruins, and there were almost no other tourists. Occasionally a lone bus pulled in with a group from a cruise ship or daytrippers from Hurghada on the coast, but most of the week we wandered in amazement all by ourselves.
I can’t even begin to understand Egyptian iconography. Gods with the heads of cows?
or an ibis? how about an alligator? A giant scarab as an object of worship — huhhh? It’s so foreign to me that Luxor was a glorious dip into an age that I didn’t even bother trying to grasp.
The scale of what we were looking at was also beyond my imagination, both in age and in sheer height! At each site we admired impossibly high ceilings. We could see the original paint, thousands of years later.
Even the air feels like it contains the dusty molecules of ancient dynasties…. We sat each evening on the hotel balcony and enjoyed the view and the heat. On the day that I became older than my mother was when she passed away, I sat looking out over the Nile.
Aside from dishonest horse carriage drivers, the Egyptians were all kind, helpful, and incredibly friendly. I look forward to returning!
NOTES: All photogaphs can be enlarged by simply clicking on the image. More of Uwe’s images from Egypt and his photography may be viewed at viewpics.de.