We arrived in Luxor a few days ago and after attending to a several details and getting our final paperwork in order, we will be working soon. Luxor is located about 400 miles south of Cairo and is the site of ancient Thebes, a major ancient political and religious center. Here are found numerous monuments attesting to Egypt’s grandeur before, during, and after its age of empire. On the east bank of the Nile are two of Egypt’s great temples: the Luxor Temple and the immense, sprawling Temple of Karnak. On the west bank are found the major cemeteries belonging to the elite including the Valley of the Kings, and the giant funerary temples of several of Egypt’s rulers.
In modern times, the two sides of the river are dramatic opposites. The east bank is a busy urban city with numerous hotels and Nile cruise ships for the millions of tourists who, during better times, flocked to Luxor for the sun and antiquities. Although busy, it is certainly calmer than Cairo; horse-drawn carriages plod along the riverfront road, the sunsets are spectacular, and the temples are beautifully lit at night.
|An ancient temple and MacDonald's:, horse carriages and tour buses: the intersection of the old and new in Luxor.|
A ferry boat across the river transports one to a completely different rural world of farms and traditional villages. Most tourists arrive in buses from the east side to stop at the major attractions in the west and then return to their east bank hotels. Like many archaeological projects, we have chosen to live on the west bank where we are closer to our work and it’s a lot quieter. We have rented an apartment from Flats in Luxor and it nicely accommodates our team. From its balcony, we have a beautiful view of the Theban Mountains in which the Valley of the Kings is situated. Here are a few images from our surroundings:
|Lush fields, palms and village homes on the Luxor west bank.|