We woke up at around 4 AM from our hotel and gathered into a van and were driven down the Nile a bit where we waited for the others in the same tour group. This is when we moved into a boat and enjoyed some hot coffee and twinkies. We went over the rules and waited for the sun to rise before heading across the river where we caught a second van to take us to the hot air balloon area near the Valley of the Kings. The drive over was absolutely breathtaking, with balloons already taking off as the sun began to rise over the mountains. We were one of the later balloons to take off, which was fine by me because we got to enjoy the incredible views of the balloons all in the air. The morning was so nice, I was worried it would be pretty cold before the sun rose, but it was a perfect temperature.
We rose from our balloon just as the sun was rising, casting dramatic shadows over the temples. We were extremely lucky to have perfect weather, and the light breezes brought us over all of the main temples in Luxor, and there are a lot! We also got up close and personal with some of the houses built into the mountainside, like the imagine above. It was incredible to be right over them to have the perfect views! If you are scared of heights or on the fence about riding an air balloon, don’t be nervous. Even my dad who is afraid of heights recommends the feeling, because you can’t see your feet so you don’t get that sicky feeling, and it feels like you are flying. It is a gentle drift so you really feel like you are soaring.
The first temple we drifted over was Hatshepsuit temple with beautiful columns and built right in the base of the temple. We flew so high that we were able to fly to the top of the mountain and see the valley of the kings below, where King Tut (and many more) burial sites are located. In addition, we could see the Nile River and the fertile lands supporting agriculture. It is so cool to see the desert and then lush green land right next to it. We were floating for about an hour, before descending onto a flat, sandy area where we had a super smooth and easy landing. There was a whole team waiting for us when we approached and they helped us with the landing. I enjoyed taking photos and the amazing shadows being cast by the sunrise.
I highly recommend this experience. It is definitely worth it for the incredible views. It was one of the major highlights of the trip, and I was so happy to have amazing weather and a perfect morning. after the experience, we headed back to the hotel for breakfast before getting picked up for a full days of tours. Stay tuned for the next blog post about all there is to do in Luxor, Egypt! Until then, thanks for reading!