Getting There and Around in Abydos

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Getting There and Around

The drive up from Luxor takes about two hours and requires permission (at least 24 hours in advance) from the tourist police. You can arrange ahead of time for a private car and driver to ensure you have the most control over the time you'll spend at the sight, or you can join an organized tour through your hotel or one of several Luxor tour operators. Either way, the car company or the tour operator will obtain the police permit for you. If you have time, you can add a stop at Dendera on your return to Luxor.

Abydos Temple Touring Tips

You really need to see this place. Imagine the grandeur of Karnak's hypostyle hall combined with the tomb colors found in the Valley of the Kings, and all under one roof. Add another day to your trip and make this an outing from Luxor. You won't be sorry.

If you have control of your schedule, concentrate your time on the Temple of Seti I. Set aside some alone time here to appreciate its mysterious appeal.

Go to the innermost part of the Temple of Seti I, all the way straight back to an area called the Osiris Complex. As you enter this chamber, look to your right and you'll see three smaller rooms. Be sure to enter the last, the farthest right, of these three. There, the paintings are so well preserved that you can still see the irises on the eyes of gods and kings.

The Osireion is a separate structure outside and behind the Temple of Seti I. Don't be disappointed if the Osireion is half-filled with water and is, therefore, inaccessible. The theory is that the ancients deliberately designed it to breach the water table; it's just that these days, the water table is a lot higher at many times of the year than it was in ancient times.

On the drive through the village to reach the temple, pay attention to the bovine population; cattle are indulged here. Inside the temple, find the scene of a young Ramses II roping a bull. Make the connection.

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