226 Route 24. THEBES. Distribution of Time.
Medinet Habu, and Colossi of Memnon. — A moonlight ride to Karnak
may be taken (at the tourist's private expense) on one of the evenings.
Those who are at liberty to arrange their time for themselves will
find the following programme of a Three Days'1 Visit convenient.
1st day. Luxor and Karnak (E. hank). Though visitors are some¬
times advised to reserve this, the most gigantic of the monuments, to the
last, it is really desirable to visit Karnak first of all, before fatigue has
begun. The traveller who visits Karnak on the first day proceeds then
to view the other lions, with the satisfactory feeling that Thebes has
fulfilled bis highest expectations; and he will not fail to take a later
opportunity, by moonlight or at any free time, to return to refresh and
confirm his first impression. Visitors should ride early to Karnak, while
the temple of Luxor, easily reached in a few minutes from the steamer or
hotel, may be reserved for an afternoon-visit.
2nd day. Cross the river early, visit the Colossi of Memnon, the
Ramesseum, Medinet Habu, and Der el-Medineh, in the morning if possible,
if time permit also one of the tombs in the part of the Necropolis of
Thebes known as Kurnet Murrai, and finally some of the Tombs of Shekh
'Abd el-Kurna. The view at sunset from this point is of incomparable
beauty and interest.
3rd day. Cross the river early, visit the temple of Sethos I. at Kurna,
ride to the valley of the Tombs of the Kings (Biban el-Muluk) with the
famous graves of the Pharaohs, then cross the ridge to visit the terrace
temple of Der el-bahri. A visit to the Tombs of the Queens may be com¬
bined with an expedition to Medinet-Habu. Other less important mon¬
uments may be included according to their situation.
The Four Days'' programme of Gaze's steamers is still better: — 1st
day. Luxor and Karnak. 2nd day. Temple of Sethos I., Tombs of the
Kings, Der el-bahri, and the Ramesseum. 3rd day. Colossi of Memnon,
Medinet Habu, Der el-Medineh, and Shekh 'Abd el-Kurna. 4th day. Great
temple of Karnak.
A Five Days' visit may be spent as follows. — 1st day. Visit the great
temple of Ammon at Karnak and the temple at Luxor. — 2nd day. On
the W. bank, Colossi of Memnon, Medinet Habu; Der el-Medineh. — 3rd
day. Ramesseum; Tombs of Shekh 'Abd el-Kurna; terrace-temple of Der
el-bahri; el-Asasif; Drah Abu'l Neggah. — 4th day. Temple of Se¬
thos i! at Kurna; Tombs of the Kings, returning over the ridge. — 5th
day. Second visit to Karnak; visit to the various side-temples and py¬
lons; excursion to Medamut (p. 254) if desired.
Antiquities. The traveller in Thebes is frequently tempted to purchase
antiquities. Half the population of Luxor is engaged in traffic with an¬
tiquities, and the practice of fabricating scarabsei and other articles
frequently found in tombs is by no means unknown to the other half.
Many of the articles offered for sale are so skilfully imitated that even
experts are sometimes in doubt as to their genuineness; the ordinary
traveller seldom or never secures an authentic specimen. Travellers are
specially warned against purchasing papyri without expert advice. Purchases
should not be made in presence of the dragomans, as these individuals, .
by tacit agreement, receive a percentage from the dealers, which is, of
cuurse, added to the price. Only as many piastres as they ask shillings
should ever be offered to the importunate hawkers of antiquities at the
temples and tombs. Those who desire a genuine memorial of antiquity
should apply to the director of the hotel or to the British or German
consular agents (the latter of whom has a collection of antiquities well
worth seeing). Prices vary greatly; 10-20*., or even more, must be paid
for a good scarabaus with fine polish. Good and reliable specimens may
be obtained from Mohammed M'hasseb and 'Abd el-Megid.
Photographs. Good photographs are produced by 5. Bealo in Luxor;
but even in Shepheard's and other hotels in Cairo, excellent photographs
of Egyptian temples are sold at moderate prices. Those by Sibah are
Guides and Donkeys. A guide is of great assistance in saving time.
The charge is 4-5 fr. per day, or more for a large party. The following