Nomenclature can get confusing sometimes. Luxor is a city and Luxor is a Temple. Luckily, because this isn’t a given, Luxor Temple is in Luxor. After visiting the Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut’s Temple, the Colossi of Memni, a ferry ride across the Nile and the Temple Complex at Karnak, we made a mad dash for the Temple of Luxor.
Luxor is on the water and our earlier ferry ride across the Nile gave us a glimpse of the Temple. It looks, well, Egyptian. Giant Kings and Queens sit, hands in laps, waiting. Giant columns carved like lotus flowers stand, while their roofs have long since fallen.
I believe that this temple is older than Karnak and the two were originally connected by a walkway. Our guide said there are plans to rebuild the walk, which would be cool for those of you who have yet to visit. The entrance to Luxor is marked by a giant obelisk. What makes this one special is that it is twin to an obelisk that was whisked away by conquest to …drumroll…. Istanbul (which, to be fair, was Constantinople at the time). Here are the twins together at last.
Getting past the entrance, Luxor is interesting in that it has served as a place of worship for many different faiths. The Egyptian gods were worshiped here, the Christian God, and even today there is mosque in the complex. The more we visit ancient places, the more it seems that certain places do hold something indelible and each people leave their own mark on that shared sacred place. In the case of Alexander the Great, he built an alter at Luxor with him carved as an Egyptian god.
At this point in our day, having spent some 7 geeky hours seeing all the things I was taught in school and read about in the Kane Chronicles, I was pretty much in love with Osiris, and Isis, and Amenotep, and Ramses (all of them), and Hatshepsut, and Nefertiti, and any other ancient Egyptian mortal or godlike. Plus the sun was setting across the Nile and the light was beautiful…
And because the sun was literally setting, our driver was getting antsy because apparently there was a curfew. All tourist must be out of the city and past the checkpoints by 5pm or you can’t leave. So, we rushed to van, said goodbye to Luxor, and Luxor.
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