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Here, there, everywhere... A modest attempt at chronicling my around the world adventure over the next year (or so).

The house that Bob Marley built

EGYPT | Wednesday, 6 May 2009 | Views [2532]

After leaving thecruise for our hostel in the center of Luxor we arrived at the Sherif Hotel AKA the Bob Marley house. We were not sure why they had the other name before we arrived but knew immediately why after-posters, art, music, lyrics, etc. of Bob Marley all over the place-walls, floor, ceilings, everywhere! They really love Bob Marley, which most hostels worth their salt do plus I think theysmoked much hash, they were really channeling Bob Marley's spirit! Besides noticing the plethoria of Bob Marley items we also were greeted by the guys that work there who turned out to be the nicest people I think we have both encountered at a hostel in a long, long time if ever for me. They were so helpful from taking us to get our "teacher" identity cards to buying our bus tickets while we were out touring sights and they made a fabulous bbq dinner for everyone friday night, it was delicious. We considered moving to another place after our first night that frankly was nicer for the same money but the guys just made it so hard to leave and in the end it was a good decision for us.

That night we set out for the Luxor Temple which is right in the middle of the city by the Nile. They say it is best an sunset and after dark and it did not disappoint. I got some great pictures of the fading light and moon after dark. Unfortunately, for my partner in crime whose passion is photography, her battery died shortly after we arrived so she had to enjoy it as just a spectator with no photos:( We walked back to our hostel through the horse carriage and felucca boat touts to end a great evening and to prepare for an early rise to our next temple-Karnak. Karnak is about 3 km away from the Luxor Temple and was once connected with what is known as the avenue of the sphinxes. Not much remains except right by each temple but you can see remains as you cross through town. The temple is best viewed early in the morning as it gets hot and crowded later on. We caught a minibus to the temple entrance and made our way through the huge temple complex, I think it coverd several acres. Jessica was armed with a freshly charged battery and all was right in the world! After about two hours oftemple touring we exited and crossed the street to catch a minibus back to our hostel. Karnak was an impresive temple in sheer size and in the amount of people showing up as we left, good thing we went early.

The next day was our first day to cross the Nile as visit Luxor's west bank (we were staying on the east bank)where many of the famous ancient sights lie such as the Valley of the Kings and Queens. Most of the sights are within an easy distance from each other so after taking the public ferry across the river we hired bikes and set out for the sights. There are more sights on the west bank then we would see but we had several to see that day before it got to hot. Hiring the bikes turned out to be an excellent way for us to zip across to various sights in the valley including mostly temples, a stop for a cold drink break then a final temple on the way back to the ferry landing. There is too much to describe in detail about each temple so Iwill let the pictures speak for themselves hopefully adding some detail later. I think we enjoyed most of the temples except Seti I, it was our last and just not as impressive as Medina Habu and Ramses temples. We also planned on visiting the Valley of the Queens that day but after we rode to the entrance and discovered that Nefretiti's tomb was closed we opted to skip it and instead see some of her tomb artifacts at the Egyptian Museum back in Cairo. We were alsosaving the Valley of the Kings, where King Tut's tomb among many others is located for the next day because it was further afield and we wanted to hike up the mountain after visiting it to Bahir Al Dehir,our last temple in the area.

The next day we got even earlier then the day before, 5:00am I think, so we could beat the heat for ourhike after the Valley of the Kings (VOTK). We had "made" a taxi driver friend the day before on the ferry and negotiated a special fare to takeus to the VOTK and pick us up after hiking up and over the mountain to Bahir Al Dehir for our return to the ferry. We were over 45 minutes late but the taxi driver was still waiting and after giving us a hard time he took us to the entrance of the VOTK. When you enter it is really like a valley although not a pretty one, all rock and sand with tombs that have been built into the mountain on both sides. We said goodbye to our driver and went to get our tickets. We have our our teacher identity cards that I mentioned earlier that help us get discounts to all the historical sights throughout egypt and so far had worked well.Except today-the ticket guys had decided that teachers make money and therefore should pay full price. We protestd and argued to no evail so we just put out the money and entered the sight pissed off. On top of paying full price (which is almost $20) you are only entitled to visit only three tombs. Of course all three of the tombs we chose were closed for further excavation. We also wanted to visit King Tut's tomb but it was an extra $20 which we could not afford after paying theentrance price. Too bad, we heard it is pretty cool inside. They were also doing some excavating on several tombs which was pretty cool to see them digging. Again you can not take photos inside the tombs so I snuck a few butnot very good ones so you will just have to use your imagination. Some of the tombs are still very detailed inside with the paint still showing and good shape overall. ALso some are very deep into the earth and it was pretty interesting to see how far they dig these tombs into the ground to protect the individual inside. After visiting our required three tombs we set off to hike over the to of the mountain(not a big one) to visit our last temple. It was a great view at the top of the Nile valley surrounding Luxor. About 30 minutes later we came to the bottom on the other side, paid our entrance fee for Bahir Al Dehir ourlast temple on this leg. The temple again was in good shape and impressive on approach as it was done in three terraced levels. I don't have much more to say other then what is in the pictures because by this time I think I was getting 'templed' out and it was hot. The pictures are the best description for how it was. We finished early so we started walking towards town and ran into our driver. He whisked us to the ferry, we crossed and made our way back to the hostel. We were taking the bus back to Cairo that night but had 7 hours to kill before it left. We got cleaned up, used the internet, ate some food and said goodbye to our awesome hosts at the Bob Marley house. Next stop Cairo, again!

Tags: luxor, valley of kings

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