Our journey through Egypt led us along the Nile by ship from Luxor to Assuan , and onwards by bus passing the huge Nasser highdam to the temples of AbuSimbel and then back to Luxor again. Afterwards we had one week relaxing in the "Winterpalace" -Hotel. The northern part to Kairo we had spared for another journey, which we haven´t carried out yet.
In Luxor (the ancient Theben) everywhere you stumble on relics of the pharaone´s epoch.
The river Nile then was a very significant boundary. In the east of the Nile (where the sun rises) were the residential areas, the temples and so on, that means life. The western bank and the desert behind (that means the side of the setting - the dying - sun) was the realm of the dead. So in East- Theben the Karnak- temple and the Luxor- temple are situated, which btw. are bond by a long alley of sphinges, while at western Theben the valley of the kings is found, where the tombs of the pharaones Thutmosis...., Ramses...., Amenophis.... and Tut-anch-Amun too had been arranged. Also the death- temple of Queen Hatschepsut is in the west of the Nile. Further on the valley of the Queens und different private tombs of high functionaries, priests and aristocrats.
Assuan in the south of Egypt, which is mostly inhabited by Nubies, has a quite different aura than Luxor Not for nothing it is called "The beauty at the Nile". Here all is a little bit more leisurely, what depends of course on the mentality of the people, but also on the more southern location and so increased temperatures.

Luxor-Temple was build in honour of the gods Amun, Mut and Chons by the pharaones Amenophis III and Ramses II.
At the temple´s entrance thright obelisc is missing. It was taken away by Napoleon I. and erected in Paris on the "Place d´Etoile".

The entrance of Luxor- temple

Collonades at Luxor- temple
Karnak-temple was extended and changed gradually by different pharaones. It was one of the most important temples in ancient Egypt.
Horus-temple at Edfu was, as the name tells, dedicated to the god Horus and was built by the Ptolemaens in the last centuries B.C.

The alley of sphinges to the Karnak- temple

Horus- temple at Edfu
The temple of KomOmbo espacially was dedicated to the crocodile- headed Sobek and the falcon- headed Haroeris. Therefore holy crocodiles had been kept here. Still today you can see mumified crocodiles in glass cases.
The temple of KomOmbo

Reliefs at KomOmbo
The temples of Abu Simbel were built by Ramses II for the gods Amun, Re and Ptah. On Ramses´ birthday and a half year later, that means on 21.2. and 21.10., the rising sun is shining through the entrance and enlightening Amun and Re each for 6 minutes and then Ramses for 12 minutes, while Ptah never sees the sun.
Entrance of the Ramses temple of AbuSimbel

from l. to r.: Ptah, Ramses II, Re, Amun
The smaller temple at AbuSimbel on the right side of the Ramses- temple is dedicated to the goddess Hathor and Ramses´ wife Nefertari.
Both temples aren´t only woth seeing because of their outside view, but are full of impressing statues and frescoes in the interior..

Statues in the Ramses- temple of AbuSimbel

Nefertari- temple: Hathor blesses Nefertari
On the western side of the Nile, opposite of Assuan, there is the mausoleum of Sultan Aga Khan, which was built by his wife, the Begum, errichtet. She herself lived secluded in her whita villa at the bottom of the hill.
The "Old Cataract"-hotel inspired Agatha Christie to her crime novel "Death on the Nile".

The Aga Khan-tomb and the villa of Begum

The "Old Cataract"- hotel at Assuan
The temple of Philae is lying near the Assuan- dam on an island. It too was, like AbuSimbel, transferred to a higher place on another island due to the new high dam.
Near Assuan is the rose- granite- quarry where the huge obeliscs for the egyptian temples had been hewed

The temple of Philae

Obelisc which was broken during hewing
On the left the temple of Hatschepsut, the daughter of pharao Thutmosis I, and the wife of her half-brother Thutmosis II. The temple is lying near the Valley of the Kings, the king´s funeral area at western Theben.
On the right: the "Winterpalace", a distinguished hotel which dates from the colonial aera, was our domicile after our tour.

The death- temple of Hatschepsut

The "Old Winterpalace"- hotel at Luxor

Five days after our visit of Hatschepsut- temple and still during our stay at Luxor in the "Winterpalace"- hotel the grave massacre at the Hatschepsut- temple occured, at which islamic terrorists shot more than 50 visitors. From that time the mood was rather depressed. Had the terrorists changed their schedule only a little bit, they could have caught us. Besides we didn´t know if they still planned another attempt. Then the colonial "Winterpalace" surely would have been an imaginable point of attack.
Nearly each resident of Luxor wanted to apologize for that massacre; they didn´t want something like that and they did be friends of the tourists. And we only could accent that of course we didn´t blame that terrible act to them.
But they as well as we knew, that hard times would begin for them now. Nearly every inhabitant of Luxor lived from tourism, maybe had just bought a new coach ore a new shop and now was ruined.