Having caught an overnight bus from Cairo we arrived in Luxor at around 0730 this morning. We were met by our hostel owner who came to meet us so we would avoid being hassled by the many taxi/horse cart drivers. It was only a short walk to the hostel.
After checking in and dropping our bags in our room we had to wait a while as we had requested bikes. A little while later two ancient, steel framed, upright billed appeared, neither of which had a proper saddle just a metal frame with some old cloth wrapped around it. Not to be put off we cycled a couple of kilometres along the Nile to Karnak. Karnak is a huge temple complex and is one of the largest religious structures in the world. There were handy signs at each section describing what was there. Both of us where again impressed at the sheer detail which still remained thousands of years after it was constructed.
On our way back along the river we stopped at Luxor Museum. Compared to Cairo Museum it wasa tiny but compared to Cairo it was expertly displayed with proper plaques detailing what each exhibit was and they were all well lit and maintained. The AC was also an added bonus.
We had lunch in a local restaurant and then had about an hour to wait before going to the Nile. We were picked up by motorbike and driven to the bank of the Nile where we boarded our Felucca a medium sized, traditional sailing boat. Due to the current and the wind going against us we were towed by a tug up river to ‘Banana Island’ where we were shown the banana crops (which grow all year round) and got to try some, they tasted no different to normal. The two me who were operating the boat then rowed up river for about 10-15 minutes to take us to a marsh island in the middle of the river, here we were told we could paddle or swim. We were both reluctant to start with to get pour clothes wet but I took off my short and d in and Emily joined a few minutes later in her dress. Well worth the wet clothes as swimming around was super refreshing in the clean water. After a while in the river and some time drying in the sun our sail was finally unfurled and we set off back up river. When we were nearing our original launch point the sail came down and we floated on the river until the sunset. An incredible experience. We tipped both men as they had made the experience extremely special for us and we had paid about £3 each for the whole experience.
Once back we changed into dry clothes and cycled to Luxor Temple which is on the bank of the river and lit up at night. It was a very different way of experiencing the ruins but pleasant as it was considerably cooler and also there were no tour parties. No photo could give it justice though. For dinner we went to another local restaurant before retiring back to the hostel for bed.