Before leaving Luxor, we visited Karnak, a vast temple complex (over 200 acres!) just north of the city. Under the scorching sun, we explored the Precinct of Amun, an enormous temple dedicated to the various incarnations of the supreme god of the New Kingdom. We strolled past colossi and obelisks, sphinxes and reliefs (one detailing the earliest known peace treaty), into the Great Hypostyle Hall, which our guidebook poetically describes as "a forest of titanic columns covering an area of 6000 square metres – large enough to contain both St Peter’s Cathedral in Rome and St Paul’s Cathedral in London."
Parched, we returned to our hotel for a little unwinding in the tropical garden and some fresh fruit juice. Throughout Egypt, thirsty travelers can refresh themselves with a fresh squeezed glass of whatever’s in season at any number of corner juice stands. In addition to mango, orange, guava and apple juices, our hotel made its own karkaday, a sweet, deep-red concoction made from hibiscus flowers and served cold or hot.
More pictures of our exciting adventure in Egypt are available here: