We arrived in Luxor around 6pm local time. Our guide picked us up at the airport and headed straight to Luxor Temple. We weren’t sure we were going to like seeing the temple at night instead of during the day, but it ended up being so much better than we expected. The temple was lit up and it created such a cool atmosphere as you walked through the site.

After touring the temple, we went to our hotel, the Hilton Luxor Resort & Spa. After passing through the metal detector, we checked into our room.

I then surprised my wife with a private dinner outside overlooking the Nile River. I thought I had ordered a steak dinner, but due to a mix up we had a lobster dinner which ended up being delicious!

The next morning, we had breakfast at the gigantic buffet at the hotel. We wandered outside to look around and saw hot air balloons taking off in the distance, rising over the Nile.

Hot Air Balloons over the Nile
Hot Air Balloons over the Nile

Then our guide picked us up to begin our busy day. We went to the Temple of Hatshepsut. It is an imposing structure carved out of the stone cliff behind it. This was also our first chance to see hieroglyphs clearly in the daytime.

We then traveled to the Valley of the Kings. The sight of so many openings in the sand that hold so many tombs is overwhelming. We went into 4 different tombs, each intricately decorated with colorful hieroglyphics. The walkways descended down under the sand where the kings bodies and the treasures they entombed with them were located. The most notable tomb we went into was the tomb of Tut Ankh Amun, also known as King Tut. His body is displayed in the tomb, which is so well preserved you can still see hair on the body. To help preserve his body, no pictures were allowed in his tomb.

We stopped at a local alabaster factory. They demonstrated how they grind the alabaster down so it can be made into souvenirs and other items. We ended up getting a really nice Sphinx with Pyramids engraved on the side. My wife also got duped into buying something. On the way out, the older worker flagged her down and presented her with a small blue alabaster rock and a unfinished white piece. She said thank you and began to walk away. The older man started to speak more loudly in his native tongue. My wife did not quite understand that she just bought that rock and needed to pay him. I paid the man for his offering and we were on our way.

Sucker Rock Shop

After my wife pocketed her newly acquired “sucker” rock, we headed to our last destination, Karnak Temple.

We stopped for lunch at a local restaurant . We ate lunch on the patio on the roof, which had a spectacular view of the city and you could even see the Temple of Hatshepsut in the distance.

View from Lunch

After lunch, we were on our way back to the airport. Unfortunately, at check in, my battery charger was difficult to explain to the official in charge of the metal detector. I thought it was funny that the official was wearing an explosive disposal badge, and the first thing he did was to flip the switch on the charger on and off a bunch of times. After a few tense minutes of me trying to explain what it was, I was getting nowhere with the language barrier. Luckily, our guide came to the rescue and grabbed it from him, shoved it back in my bag, and said he is good to go. We then got to our gate with a nice view straight into the desert.

View from Luxor Airport Gate