Like something out of a Hollywood production, these mytical statues lined the entrance to the Karnak Temple in Luxor, Egypt. Part ram, part lion, the sphinxes can probably be attributed to Rameses II, whose cartouche is inscribed in their paws. The “Way of the Rams”, these sphinxes are no longer in their original position, having been moved around the site by various Pharoahs, who all felt the need to inscribe their name. There were probably several more sphinxes on site, but like so many things, climate and looters have had their way with them.
When we arrived at Karnak Temple, we were accosted by men offering guide services. It wasn’t until we were buying our ticket that a man approached us with what he called the “student special.” We laughed, but took him up on his offer. His tour was better than our guidebook, but not perhaps as in depth as the $20 tour would have been! We took this photo upon entering the processional walkway to the temple complex. As you can see, some of the sphinxes are in better shape than others.
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IF YOU GO: Luxor is a very touristy town, so be prepared for lots of “special price for a special lady” wheeling and dealing. We had wonderful accomodation near the train station. There are tons of sites in Luxor and in the end we decide to take a tour to cover the ground with a group. The tour was worth the while, as our guide was knowledgable and made the sites more interesting than had we been alone. If you’re headed to the Middle East, I’d suggest looking into Nile Cruises as well, which often start or end in Luxor.