January 15 – 16, Luxor, Egypt
We travel 4 hrs and 30 minutes to Luxor; lunch on the plane. Clear Egyptian Customs and Immigration; check into our hotel: Sonesta St. George Hotel.
Egypt is an ancient culture going back at least to 4000 BC. Approximately 88% are Islamic, 12% Coptic Christians. We had the luxury of three archeologists accompanying us for tours through Luxor, Cairo, and Giza. We toured the Valley of the Kings where another tomb was discovered two days before our arrival, Luxor and Karnak Temple where we had a private evening party, the Sphynx, and Giza Pyramids.
From the Archeologists we learned that there was little concern that Christians would suffer under the new government.
The Valley of the Kings. Note the pyramidal shape of the left-most peak. This valley is on the West Bank of the Nile across from and South of the center of Luxor. Workers creating the tombs of the Kings would walk from Luxor to the valley each day; food was brought for them by the king whose tomb was being built. A new tomb was discovered just two days before our arrival.
We could not take pictures here. We did visit the tomb of Tutankhamen, and saw his mummy and replicas of some of his artifacts. There is an exhibit now in Texas which I saw in Philadelphia in about 2005.
Excavation of the Karnak Temple site revealed a wall and ramp which is thought to have been the landing for boats traveling on the Nile to the temple in times past. The Nile is now about 200 yards away.
Protected from direct sunlight and rain, these cartouches and hieroglyphics are remarkably clear.
These carvings depict ancients at sport: wrestling and fencing are easily made out.
This obelisk was covered by a wall, leaving two shades of color.
A lucky shot of boats on the Nile at sunset.
At every site we visited, there were vendors and musicians hoping for donations. Some of the vendors were too aggressive for comfort.
Before leaving for Marrakech, we were treated to a private party at Karnak Temple with quartet music and a sumptuous feast. The temperature was about 40 degrees, making a coat necessary.
Obelisk at night.
This is the view from our table; we are on the right.
Dear James, I am thoroughly enjoying your trip! I have wanted to go to Africa for at least the last twenty years. I have finally decided to just do it. I have been actively preparing with exercise, PT and most importantly the help of your friend and associate Dr. Bundy. I have had camera and lens angina for the past 6 months. Due to my severe back problem camera/weigh is a big issue. As in life ones choice in gear is a matter of concessions. I was originally going to shoot w 2 camera bodies. One w a wide angle lens one w a teleph. I did a 1 st dry run to a wolf preserve and found the next day my bk was rebelling. Changed directions did much research a chose a new camera, w great abilities (HDR internally) and one single 18-300 lens, plus a new side to side strap and am planning my third dry run this Friday at the Philadelphia Zoo. please forgive me for rambling on. What size (s) of lens did you choose to take w u? (PS, almost forgot to tell u. we r doing this trip w Peggy and Joe Leoni). looking forward to hearing from u.
By now it is clear that I don’t keep up with posts to the blog. For our Nat Geo trip, I took a 16 – 35mm, 35mm prime, 24-105mm, and 70 – 200mm with a 2.0x version II teleconverter, all L series lenses, and a Leica D-Lux 5. In fact I lugged around 24 pounds of equipment and didn’t mind the trouble. JPB
Thank u for getting bk to me. Your trip sounded fabulous!
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