The three days we spent in Luxor came and went in a blink of an eye. After our very early wake up call and flight we went straight to Karnak Temple which was huge. After following along with the guide for a while I went off exploring on my own and found the back 40 of the Karnak Temple. Nancy and I went back to the boat about two, had a late lunch then took a nap. After the nap it was dinner and then an early night because we had to be up at 3 am to meet Dr. Zahi Hawass at Luxor Temple at 4 am.
Luxor Temple at night with the beautiful lights was worth the second early wake up call. The temple was beautiful with a quiet peace and a nice warm glow. Dr. Zahi Hawass meet us in front of the temple and gave us a talk about Luxor and also his opinions regarding the news story on Tutankhamen's tomb. During our time at Luxor I found a path around the building and got several lovely pictures. After Luxor Temple we headed to breakfast. We spent the day on the East bank of the Nile visiting. Now to get from the West Bank to the East bank one must ride a river ferry and the ramp down was very dodgy. They even had us walk on a staircase that was turned on its side. I am impressed no one ever fell there. Our itinerary for the day was the village of the temple, Hatshepsut's Temple and the Valley of the Queens. The weather was in the 90's and the sun was beating down on us. It was interesting to see how they tried to erase and write over Hatshepsut's images within her temple while leaving all the parts of the gods intact. They would chisel out her image in a perfect shadow form of the person being removed. In the optional add on trip of the Valley of the Queens we went into two princes' tombs and the color was beautiful. It was hot and our feet hurt but I think it was worth the trip. By the time we returned to the boat it was for a very late lunch and we were hot and sticky. After lunch Nancy and I went with a woman we met named Karen out to the Luxor Museum. This was not part of the tours offered to us but it was listed as a must see museum and only about two blocks from the boat. The Luxor museum was a fantastic museum and very much like the ones you would find in the USA. Great lighting, everything was labeled so you knew what you were looking at and it has a good flow through the museum. I may not have had a chance to catch up on any sleep and my feet were killing me but I'm glad I went. That night we had to skip the belly dancers show to get some sleep because we had a 4 am wake up call to get us to our dawn balloon ride.
Once up in the balloon I was glad we had gotten up early. Totally worth it! And as an added bonus the winds were blowing the correct way and we were able to cross from the East Bank over to the West Bank. We flew right past Karnak Temple. We understand that maybe once a month the balloons are able to cross the Nile and we were very lucky. It did give us a limited time for breakfast when we got back as we were spending the day in the Valley of the Kings and the boat needed to sail at 3 pm. Have I mentioned yet our schedule has been very tight? Well back on the ferries and over the Nile to the Valley of the Kings. Nancy and I visited 6 tombs including Tutankhamen's and Ramesse's the V and VI. It was Tut's original tomb and not the replica. It was tiny in comparison to many of the others but seeing his mummy was like National Geographic. As we walked and climbed through the tombs we were amazed by the amount of color and details that went into each tomb. Valley of the Kings was significantly cooler than the Valley of the Queens and we were grateful. We finally got an afternoon off as the boat left Luxor to travel down to Edfu.