On our departing the ship today at 10:00 am we were handed a sack lunch to take with us on our charter flight (Judi Bailey’s first charter flight) to Luxor. We went through a metal detector leaving the port in Hurghada, one upon arrival at Hurghada airport and another one inside the terminal before the boarding area - the last one with shoes off and a pat down. Upon our arrival at Luxor after our 30 minute flight, we checked into the Winter Palace overlooking the Nile for our one night stay. We had a short time to refresh before boarding the bus for Karnak.
Karnak complex is an open air museum and the second largest ancient religious site in the world. It is comprised of a mix of decayed temples, pylons, chapels and other buildings - construction began during the reign of Senusret I (1971 BC), Egypt’s Middle Kingdom and continued into the Ptolemaic period (332 BC) - although most of the existing buildings date from the New Kingdom (16th to 11th Century BC). This large complex consists of four main parts - only the largest is open to the public. The Sphinxes at Karnak run all the way to Luxor Temple (over one and one-half miles) and is known as Avenue of the Sphinxes.
After Karnak we returned to the large impressive hotel for high tea on the terrace overlooking the Nile. Then it was time for walking - first to the ATM for Egyptian pounds, along the Nile for sunset and finally to the Souk (market) to be hassled by the many vendors. The Souk went on and on and anything and everything was available for bargaining - but we resisted! Back to the hotel for dinner and bed for a early wake up for the ride to the Valley of the Kings. - JC