2017-10-10 Cairo to the Sanctuary Sunboat 1V, Luxor, Egypt Last night due to an unfortunate flight delay leaving Amman, we unfortunately missed our connecting flight to Luxor from Cairo (mainly due to flights being booked too close together). Instead when we finally arrived in Cairo, we were booked into the Le Meridien Hotel for the night. Because of this occurrence we missed our first night aboard the Sunboat 1V……..our 7 night Nile Cruise ……which was disappointing This morning we took the first flight south to Luxor which left mid morning and took approximately one hour Arriving in Luxor we were collected by a representative from Abercrombie & Kent, the company which we booked the trip through As the cruise boat, the Sanctuary Sunboat 1V had already left Luxor very early in the morning, the tour company organised a driver and an experiences Egyptologist called Mohamed to take us by car and visit the sights which we would have otherwise missed because of the delay The first stop for us in Luxor was to freshen up at a local hotel and collect some lunch boxes to take on our excursion by car north to Qena where the ancient Temple of Dendera is located We make our way through Luxor, which was originally called Thebes and was the ancient capital of the Egyptian Kingdom Passing the Temple of Luxor situated on the east bank We then pass the avenue of sphinxes as we continue north out of Luxor Departing Luxor we start our 84 km drive north on the eastern shore of the Nile to the town of Qena where we will visit the ancient site of Dendera Piles of pumpkins and gourds are for sale along the road Security is very noticeable at many intersections along the route A Comprehensive Agricultural Development Plan has been set up for the city of Luxor and beyond…we noticed extensive farming all along the Nile as we head north We arrive in the city of Qena which is mainly known for its ancient site of Dendera. The Qena area has a population of over 3 million however most people reside in the rural area surrounding the city We cross the Nile to the west bank and head for Dendera On arrival we make our way along the lengthy stone path which leads us to the magnificent Temple of Hathor which is dedicated to the Goddess of Love The Temple of Hathor is believed to be the best preserved temple in all of Egypt, with parts dating back to the Ptolemaic Period (332-32 BC) The path is flanked by what remains of an avenue of Roman columns with Corinthian capitals A relaxed guard at the Gateway The Gateway was built for the Emperors Domitian and Trajan at the end of the 1st century AD Our very informative guide Mohamed who is an Eygptologist explains the history of the ancient site Some of the artifacts on display here, for their age, are in perfect condition Once we go inside the massive Temple of Dendera, just beyond the court is the absolutely spectacular Outer Hypostyle Hall The Outer Hypostyle Hall consists of 24 rather cumbersome columns which support the roof of the first hall The ceiling is decorated with wonderful scenes and also astrological signs and symbols which is one of the finest and best preserved in Eygpt Unfortunately some of the faces have been disfigured in the Hall however surprisingly many are still in very good condition The original paint colours are still quite vibrant Next we approach the inner Hypostyle Hall The Santuary Reliefs on the Sanctuary walls record the sacred barques of Hathor and Horus The New Year Chapel We explore the narrow tunnels After quite a lengthy visit to the temple we return to the entrance A happy book salesman On the trip returning to Luxor we again experience the military presence everywhere Numerous tractors share the road finishing their work for today Quite a load!!! Our very pleasant guide and driver deliver us to the Sanctuary Sunboat 1V so we can begin our Nile Cruise Fortunately the boat returned to Luxor this evening so we could join the cruise The welcome party was ready to greet us when we arrived Our pleasant cabin aboard the boat After a long day we look forward to a nice glass of wine and a delicious dinner Belly dancing ………. ……and a whirling dervish show for entertainment aboard tonight Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.