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The next stop on the Egyptian vacation was Luxor.  We took an short, early morning flight from Cairo to Luxor to board a cruise ship.  The itinerary included visiting sites in Luxor then cruising down the Nile River, stopping in Edu and Aswan.  I was definitely looking forward to cruising down the Nile River.

After checking in and having breakfast, our tour guide arrived.  He stopped to pick up a family and then headed to our first stop, Karnak Temple.  The sun was definitely brutal.  I dressed in layers, as it was cool in the morning.  However, I regretted not taking off the leggings from under my shirt dress as soon as I arrived at the temple.

This temple along with Luxor Temple a few hours later, was just as amazing as all the others we’ve seen.  There were plenty of standing columns and stuctures all around, with beautiful hieroglyphics.  Of course, Ramesses II statues were there.

The next day, we got up super early for a 3 1/2 hour ride to get on a hot air balloon.  I am scared of heights, but don’t let it prohibit me from experiencing things.  They group about 12 people into each balloon basket.  Beforehand, they gave instructions on what to do and not do while in air, as well as how to prepare for landing.

Once we finally got in the air, it was amazing.  The balloon was slow moving, and up in the air is the perfect location to see views of ruins.  We took lots of photos and video of the area.  For the landing, the operator could not pick a definite spot.  He had to let the wind guide us, until we were over a safe spot to land.  At that point, he lowered the fire and we descended to a smooth landing.

Over the next day, we visit Valley of the Kings, a burial ground for pharaohs, queens and other royal elite.  The ticket only allows entry into 3 tombs.  Our guide choose Ramesses III, VIII and IX, I think.  It was so hard to keep up with all the ‘Ramesses’.  The underground tombs were amazing, with colorful hieroglyphics and huge coffins.  The originally contained furniture, jewels, food and drink and even pets, all the things the royals believed they would need to continue in the next world.  Of course, they were long ago stolen by tomb raiders.

Luxor had plenty of great temples and pyramids, just like Cairo.  After awhile, it was hard to keep track of the all the history the guides would explain at each location.  However, we looked forward to the remainder of cruising the Nile River, where we stopped in Edfu and finally Aswan.