A birdseye view of the West Bank of Luxor

November 12th, 2009 at 10:01 pm by David Farrar

Going up in a hot air balloon was never something on my list of must dos – partly because I always wondered why they don’t catch fire more often, but when I saw a balloon tour over parts of the ruins on the West Bank of Luxor, I figured that would be a view worth paying for.

Cost is around NZ$200 which I thought was reasonable value for 90 minutes actually up in the air. The only hassle was having to meet the driver at 4.55 am to get me there!

lux7

This is the view we had as we got to the takeoff strip. It was still well before 6 am, and we had crossed the Nile by boat by then. Ou pilot told us that group was being reckless going up while dark as if there is an emergency it helps to be able to see the ground. I agree!

lux8

This is our balloon having the air heated up

lux9

This is taken inside the basket as we rise up. Yes you stand close to the flame and yes it is bloody hot.

lux10

This is the Temple of Queen Hatshsesut.

lux11

A view of the crops on the side nearer to the Nile.

lux14

I just love this photo (and the view). The sun rising in the East over the Nile, with a balloon in the foreground. Magnificent.

lux15

These are some of the Tombs of the Nobles.

lux16

You get some idea of how high up we were at this stage. You don’t even notice until you look down, as you move so fluidly.

lux17

In ancient times the Nile meant life or death. You can see why with this photo – the areas that get water from a high Nile flourish, while areas further away do not. Almost all of lives near the Nile or on the coast in more recent times.

lux18

Some other balloons starting to rise after us.

lux19

I’m sure the safety briefing said nothing about leaning out of the basket so someone can get a better shot of you!

lux20

Again we went pretty damn high up.

lux21

This is taken on the maximum zoom lens. You couldn’t even see these guys working away except for the moving crops that alerted us.

lux22

And as we came back down to land, the support crew ready to hold us down. We were told how to brace ourselves for the landing but one could have remained standing it was so gentle.

This was an absolute highlight. I recommend it to anyone who visits Egypt.

Tags: , ,

10 Responses to “A birdseye view of the West Bank of Luxor”

  1. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    How did it feel coming in to land as the ground got closer?

    [DPF: nothing really – it was so well controlled ad gentle a descent. Much easier than paraskiing – there you do drop quite rapidly!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Robyn (15 comments) says:

    I love the photo of the fellow working away in the crops. In fact, I’m generally a big fan of aerial photos. Thanks for sharing your holiday snaps while you’re still on holiday.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Ashley (8 comments) says:

    Boy, that’s bringing back memories of getting up at 4.30am for a donkey ride to the Valley of the Kings. Not nearly as grand as a balloon flight, but we did get right in among it. I have to say, though, that controlling the donkeys on the last km or so as they headed home was a totally lost cause!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Thrash Cardiom (298 comments) says:

    When I had my first balloon ride we stayed up a bit long and the wind got up. The pilot ended the flight quickly by descending to about 50 -70 feet and then pulling the parachute panel out while we all crouched in the bottom of the basket. We hit the ground with a hell of a thump and then the wind took the balloon and we were dragged at a reasonable clip along the ground up a hill until the balloon had emptied enough to stop acting as a sail.

    It was quite a bit of fun but the pilot later confessed that it was a fairly dangerous/hairy landing and that it was common to get broken bones in hard landings like that.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Brian Smaller (3,983 comments) says:

    Thrash – rather you than me mate. I like terra firma too much to leave it unless I really have to.

    DPF – Some years ago a mate of mine took his two sons on a Nile cruise. One day they were on deck of their cruise boat and some guy on the shore fired on the boat and peppered it with bullets. Noone was hurt. Was back about the time that the Islamists were killing and attacking tourists in Egpyt.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Countess (157 comments) says:

    A shame you have to travel to such a wonderful place and see the sights on your own……

    Lucky too that another traveler was able to take your picture in the balloon, how kind of them.

    [DPF: 20 demerits - you never learn or don't care]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. francis (712 comments) says:

    Wow. Thanks for sharing! Really envy you this experience – especially as I look out my window and see a massive Southerly starting to kick in!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Madeleine (230 comments) says:

    So jealous. I did Egypt when I was 2. I have all these photos of me standing next to famous things and no memory of being there.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Excellent photos DPF.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Who said other people’s holiday snaps were boring?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    but..but..kkk..!

    he is surrounded by infidels..

    aren’t you concerned for him..?

    arranging a ‘blessing’ to purify him..

    ..when he returns from the land of the non-believers..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.