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    Posted May 23, 2012 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Travel photo of the day

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    The Karnak and Luxor Temples of Upper Egypt


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     smelserjl's first photo was featured as CNN's Travel Photo of the Day for December 3, 2013.
    - dsashin, CNN iReport producer

    I took these photos while visiting Upper (southern) Egypt on a Nile Cruise tour in the beginning of May. I have visited Luxor before about 4 years ago, and my second visit was just as amazing as the first.

    The Karnak and Luxor Temple complexes took several years to build and the responsibility passed through several Egyptian Dynasties. From the row of Ram Sphinxes in the front, to the giant obelisks of the female King Hatshepsut, to the statues of Ramses II, these temples encompass all of the wonders of ancient Egypt in one place--Luxor.

    It is impossible to walk through these temples without feeling a sense of amazement. If you have a wonderful tour guide like I did, you'll learn about the difficult techniques the Egyptians used to erect the gigantic columns in the hypostyle hall and the ways in which the obelisks were carved from stone and transferred down the Nile boat. Nowadays, we can't imagine creating something as large as the Washington Monument without cranes and metal scaffolds. But, they did it--and they did a good job.
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