Sunday, January 13, 2008

Luxor, Egypt, Part I

Our three days in Luxor were over before we knew it! After checking into "Happyland" hotel Wednesday night, Thursday we hit the ground running, seeing two of the biggest attractions Luxor has to offer – Luxor Temple and Karnak. We were astounded at the size and scope of these two temples dedicated to Thebian gods and the glory of the pharaohs.

This obelisk has its mate in Paris in the Place de la Concorde:

It’s hard to convey how massive these monuments really were. It literally took us two hours to see all of Karnak and after seeing both we agreed it would be best to take a caleche (horse drawn carriage) back to our hotel as we were so tired walking was out of the question.

We even saw some bee hieroglyphics:

Our driver, Friday, and his trusty steed, Cinderella escorted us safely back to Happyland, our budget hotel (emphasis on budget) that we stayed at in Luxor. We even got to take a shot at driving the buggy.

For dinner, we went to Sofra, a traditional-style restaurant that made us feel like we were in the middle of one the 1001 Arabian nights. On our way there, we walked past a chocolate shop that grabbed our attention and ended up picking up some delicious Arabian chocolate to bring back to the States as well as some oriental desserts for ourselves!

After dessert, we weren’t that hungry, so we just had lentil soup and a bit of cucumber salad for dinner. Noticing sheesha was on the menu, we decided to try it but were disappointed that we were given a cheap, watered-down version that is probably meant to fool tourists. Luckily, it only cost fifty cents so we cut our losses and decided to try sheesha at a more authentic place that we had seen in the souk the next night.

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