Getting Here and Around in Dendera

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Getting Here and Around

Dendera is an easy day trip from Luxor and can be combined with Abydos to make a full-day excursion. You can book a private taxi, sign up for a local motor coach tour, or join a day cruise with Dendera as its only destination.

Dendera Temple Touring Tips

Start with a picnic. The landscaped grounds by the visitor center have large arbors with built-in benches shaded by bougainvilleas.

Take it slow. As you approach the entrance, notice the massive perimeter of mud brick enclosing the entire temple complex. It's every bit as old as the stone monuments it guards, and in some places it has better stood the test of time.

Check out the sacred lake. As you face the Temple of Hathor, make a detour off to the right, toward a thick grouping of trees. As you come closer, you'll see that the trees are growing from what used to be the sacred lake; only sand fills its bottom now. In each of the corners, you'll notice a staircase leading down. The interesting thing is that this very design has been produced in miniature replicas and can be found in museums. A fine example, about the size of a toaster, is on display at the Aswan Museum.

Look up. As you go inside the Temple of Hathor, stand still and look up at that gorgeous blue ceiling held in place by all those columns topped with Hathor-head capitals. Be sure to stand still while looking up (and look down when you walk—those uneven temple floors can trip you).

Visit Cleopatra. Don't leave before going out and around back to see Cleopatra and Caesarion, her son by Julius Caesar, etched into the walls.

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