Life in Luxor! Pt. 2 of my Egyptian Vacation
While I would like to say that Luxor was everything that I hoped it would be, it really wasn't. It was MORE! During my birthday celebration in Egypt, I took a flight from Cairo and landed in Luxor a short hour later. The city was rich in history and culture. I was greeted at the airport by my driver who drove me to my hotel. It was a quaint hotel in the middle of what appeared to be an alley way. The streets were lined with cars, people, horses, and children running around playing. Unlike in Cairo, my room had a private bathroom and even included a bathtub! What a luxury!! The things we take for granted at home don't hit us until we're without them. My first night in Luxor, I took a much needed hot bath, and even think I fell asleep in the tub. The next morning, I had a hot air balloon ride scheduled at the crack of dawn. Like, I was up and out of my hotel while the moon was still out. I was whisked away to a boating dock- where I took a short boat ride to the other end of the Nile river, and boarded a bus to the hot air balloon site. Once there, I was greeted by the captain of the balloon, and given instructions of how to fly safe in a hot air balloon.
I climbed into what appeared to be a huge wicker basket, and attached to a balloon. It definitely didn't feel or look safe, but I took my chances at this once in a lifetime opportunity anyway. And what can I say, I enjoyed every second of it- except for the landing. It was a bit unorthodox, but we made it work. I was bundled with a group of other tourist, so I wasn't entirely alone on the flight. We took off at dawn and I was able to see the sunrise, and the moon together in the same sky. It was beautiful. I captured stunning video while soaring over the Nile River, and Queen Hatshepsut Temple. After landing- I received a certificated declaring my ride by hot air balloon from the captain. I thought it was pretty cool. I also collected a massive rock that I'd found on the ground that had a really unique shape and texture to it. I kept it for my memory of Luxor. After my hot air balloon ride- I returned to my hotel for a quick nap. The time difference with arriving the Cairo, partaking in the activities, then the trip to Luxor had me pooped. My nap wasn't nearly long enough, and before I knew it- I was awakened by the staff letting me know that my guide for the second part of my excursion was in the lobby waiting on me.
I met with my guide and off we went to tour the rest of Luxor. We head to the iconic Queen Hatshepsut temple. After about a 40 minute ride through the Nile Valley- we arrive at our destination. It was hot, humid, and I was angrily tired. However, I still went and enjoyed the day. I ventured into tombs, saw magical hieroglyphics on the walls, and even had the chance to take pictures in front of some of the amazing statues. My guide was the best. He took photos of me, and with me, and even took me to get lunch because I was so hungry. We ended our tour at the Karnak Temple. The temple was beyond amazing, and words can't even describe how awesome the large statues of King Tut were! After the temple, my guide took me to his personal favorite restaurant where we did hookah, and ate a meal called 'cosherie'. It consisted of beans, rice, noodles, a special sauce, and was like a comfort food. It was delicious. I also ate falafel with eggplant, and it was amazing as well. My night ended with a horse and carriage ride through Luxor and the Bazaar. The bazaar was this amazing outdoor strip mall of sorts. They had everything you could imagine- from car parts to Animals- and everything in between- it was there. It was so crowded in this place that my horse couldn't move for about 5-7 minutes. There was simply no where to go. But I enjoyed just sitting there and seeing the lives of the Egyptians. It was truly an experience that one has to be there to enjoy.
After my awesome dinner, and delightful conversation with my guide- I was taken back to my hotel where I was able to rest, undisturbed until my flight back to Cairo the next morning. All in all, I can absolutely say, without a doubt, that I enjoyed my time in Luxor, and will definitely go back in the future!