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Luxor, Egypt

June 22nd, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 
 

Luxor is a city in Upper (southern) Egypt and the capital of the Al Uqsur governorate, population 376022 (1999 survey), area 416 km2 . As the site of the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes, Luxor has frequently been characterised as the "world's greatest open air museum", the ruins of the temple complexes at Karnak and Luxor standing within the modern city. Immediately opposite, across the Nile River, lie the monuments, temples and tombs on the West Bank Necropolis, which include the Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens. Thousands of international tourists arrive each year to visit these monuments, their presence forming a large part of the economic basis for the modern city. As a result, Luxor represents an excellent base for touring Upper Egypt, and is a popular holiday destination, both in its own right and as a starting or finishing point for Nile cruises.

Luxor is served by an international airport, Luxor International Airport.

A bridge was recently constructed a few miles upstream of the main town of Luxor, allowing ready land access from the East Bank to the West Bank.

Traditionally, however, river crossings have been the domain of several ferry services. The so-called 'local ferry' (also known as the 'National Ferry') continues to operate from a landing opposite the Temple of Luxor. The single fare (March 2007) is 1 L.E. - one Egyptian Pound - per passenger for foreigners. This ferry is mainly used by the locals although a number of foreigners do use it. The sites on the West Bank are further than you think and you will need transport, a taxi-driver may well approach you on the ferry, make sure you agree a price. There are also local cars that reach some of the monuments for 25 piasters. Alternatively motorboats line the East Bank of the Nile all day providing a quicker, but more expensive (5L.E.), crossing to the other side.

The city of Luxor on the East Bank has several bus routes used mainly by locals. Tourists often rely on horse carriages, called "caleches," for transport.

For domestic travel along the route of the Nile, a rail service operates several times a day. A morning train and sleeping train can be taken from the station situated around 1/4 mile from Luxor Temple. The line runs between several major destinations, including Cairo to the north and Aswan to the south.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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