I can personally attest that a 3:30 wake-up call for a 4:30 departure is pretty dang early!! The flight was fine and we arrived to a much warmer climate (84 degrees) and a MUCH clearer and smaller city. There were no piles of trash, litter in the streets or sidewalks and the streets were much wider and traffic much more normal. We got checked into our cabins and spent the rest of the day pretty much doing nothing – which was great. The others had signed up to go to the Luxor Museum thinking it was later in the week so they trudged off to see it at 5:00. The Nile river divides Luxor into the West Bank and East Bank and the next two mornings we are scheduled to explore each one. Because of the Nile, Luxor has lush foliage and rich farmland on each side but it abruptly ends at the desert which goes on and on.
It's on the site of ancient Thebes, the pharaohs’ capital at the height of their power, during the 16th–11th centuries B.C. Today's city surrounds several surviving ancient monuments: graceful Luxor Temple, Karnak Temple, the grand Pyramid and the famous Sphinx, The royal tombs of the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens are on the river’s west bank.