Travel Tale: Egypt (Giza – Medinet Habu – Luxor)

One of my all time travel dreams was to go to Egypt – and as a very excited 25 year old, I got to experience it with two amazing friends from university. Here is part one of what we got up to – which includes going to Giza, Luxor, making some unexpected friends and more.

One of the first places we got to visit was the Giza Plateau and the ancient monuments that make up this awe-inspiring necropolis. The pyramids and sphinx are truly spectacular and produced within me a visceral reaction as this was a connection to a time in history that I have loved to learn about and been fascinated by since I was a child. I am an unashamed ancient Egyptian history nerd.

giza pyramids

The pyramids at Giza

There are three main pyramids which were built over 4,500 years ago as tombs for the kings and queens of the time – the largest is the Great Pyramid of Khufu (and the most intact).

the great pyramid

The Great Pyramid & ticket stub

The Great Sphinx is not only the largest monolith statue in the world but also the oldest known monument as it is believed to be dedicated to the Pharaoh Khafra (son of Khufu – the Great Pyramid dude).

the sphinx giza

The Great Sphinx

The next morning we caught a train to Luxor, a long journey, and settled on our riverboat. We got to explore a bit of the area the following day and met a fantastic jeweller by the name of Hamdy who spent much time chatting to us and telling us interesting stories about the area and everyday Egyptian life.

cairo train station

Train to Luxor from Cairo and train ticket

luxor jeweller hamdy

Hamdy the jeweller in Luxor – he introduced me to his teenage son as his new mother … think that may mean we are married, but I cannot be sure!

Next up in Luxor for us was a trip to Ramses III’s Mortuary Temple at Medinet Habu – a temple of great historical and architectural importance. It is of a truly impressive size and I was amazed to find some areas of the temple complex had faded paint colours still visible.

ramses iii mortuary temple

Ramses III’s Mortuary Temple

ramses iii mortuary temple

Ramses III’s Mortuary Temple – ancient colours surviving

There are impressive, and historically important carved reliefs on some walls that depict the arrival and consequent defeat of the seafaring raiders from the Aegean Sea, all during the reign of Ramses III.

carved reliefs ramses iii mortuary temple

Ramses III’s Mortuary Temple – carved reliefs

Our next stop was the Valley of the Queens and Deir al-Medina, a settlement village that housed the artisan workers and craftspeople who worked on the tombs within the Valley of the Kings … keep an eye out for that in Part Two of my Egyptian Travel Tale!

Have you ever been to Egypt? Where did you go and what did you think? Is Egypt on your travel list for the future?

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