Topography. THEBES. 24. Route. 227
guides may be recommended: Girgi Ghdas (speaks English and French);
Constante Michail (Fr., Engl., and Ital.); Basanin, shekh of the donkey
hoys (esp. for Luxor and Karnak); Ahmed Solimdn (Engl.), Bulos Morgdn
(Ital., Engl., and Fr.); Ahmed Hasan (Fr. and Engl.), 'Ali Husen (Engl.)
for Luxor; Mohammed Khalil (Engl, and a little German); Hagi Bamed
Mohammed, Yusuf Hasan, Mahmttd 'AbUdi, Ahmed Abdattah (these last for
Luxor). Idrts 'Aa'ad is said' to be the best guide for both banks. Mtisa
'Abd er-RasUl possesses the most thorough knowledge of the tombs of
Shekh 'Abd el-Kurna, but his honesty is not above suspicion.
The Donkeys on the E. side of Thebes are good and have good saddles.
To Karnak 1 fr. or 1»., and as much more when the traveller is called for or
keeps the ass for the day. On the W. side the donkeys, which are much
more heavily worked, are not so good, but they are fairly well saddled.
Charge 2 fr. per day. The hotels on the E. bank provide donkeys; on
the W. bank they must be ordered beforehand. — Little girls with water-
bottles run after the traveller, especially on the W. bank, keeping up
with the donkeys with tireless agility. One should he selected and repaid
with a few piastres on the return. The attractive faces of these merry
children sometimes vividly recall the portraits of Egyptian women of the
time of the Pharaohs.
Sport. Sportsmen may have an opportunity of shooting a jackal, the
best time and place being at and after sunset near Biban el-Muliik or the
Ramesseum. An experienced hunter is to be found at the Luxor Hotel.
Hyenas are sometimes shot on the Karnak side. In March numerous quail
are found here.
On each side of the Nile, here interrupted by three islands,
stretches a wide belt of fertile land, bounded both on the E. and
W- by ranges of hills, displaying a bolder and more definite form¬
ation than is usually the case with the mountains that flank the
river-valley. On the E. the ridge, overtopped by finely shaped
peaks, retires farther from the stream than on the W. The fertile
strip ends as abruptly at the foot of the barren limestone-cliffs
as a lawn adjoining a gravel-walk in a garden. Most of the ruin¬
ed temples are situated in the level district and are reached by
the waters of the Nile when the inundations are at their highest;
while the tombs are hewn in the flanks of the hills, where their
dark openings are so numerous, that the E. slope of the Libyan
range might be aptly compared to a piece of cork or to a honeycomb.
Viewed from the river, the site of ancient Thebes presents the ap¬
pearance of a wide mountain-girt basin or valley richly endowed with
the gifts of never-failing fertility. The verdant crops and palms which
everywhere cheer the traveller as soon as he has quitted the desert,
the splendid hues that tinge the valley every morning and evening,
the brilliant, unclouded sunshine that bathes every object in the
winter season, and the inspiring feeling that every hour is enriching
the imagination with new and strange pictures, wholly prevents in
Thebes the rise of that melancholy which so often steals over the
mind in presence of the relics of by-gone greatness and of vanished
The various monuments are situated as follows. On the right
(E.) bank rises the Temple of Luxor, and to the N. are the immense
ruins of Karnak, formerly connected with it. Beyond and between
these monuments lay the streets of ancient Thebes, Farther to the