Ballooning Over the Valley of the Kings
Luxor, Egypt, (03/16/2009)


In March of 2009, Carol and John went on a one-month tour of Israel, Egypt, and Jordan. We spent one week in Israel, two weeks in Egypt, and one week in Jordan. While the Egypt, we had the pleasure of taking a hot-air balloon trip over the Luxor region … a truly unique and unforgettable adventure. If you have never experienced a hot air balloon ride, it is something you need to put on your “bucket-list.” Hot-air ballooning is sort of like taking an open air elevator with a magnificent view. You do not feel the wind because you are traveling with the wind at the same speed. The trip itself is very quiet, except when the pilot turns on the burner to heat the air in the balloon’s envelope.

The following photos were taken during that visit with a Canon G.10 “PowerShot” 14.7 megapixel camera. Behind the majority of the thumbnail photos shown below is a full-size (4,416 × 2,480 pixel) 16:9 HD formatted photo. A few of the photos had been straightened and cropped. Although copyrighted © by Skytamer Images, none of the photos contain messy copyright notices. They all look like they came straight out of your camera … Enjoy! These photos are for your personal use only, and are not to be used for commercial purposes without written permission from Skytamer Images.

Our adventure started early in the morning, around 4:50 am, as we departed from our River Ship, Grand Circle’s M/S “River Anuket” and crossed the Nile via a water taxi to the West Bank. Arriving on the west bank of the Nile, we were met by representatives from the Sinbad Hot Air Ballooning Company, and transported to the hot-air ballooning takeoff site.

After a safety briefing and introduction to our ground crew and pilot, we climbed into the balloon’s basket and got ready for lift off. As we rose into the air, away from the daytime crowds, we were greeted by the peaceful glow of “Ra” rising from the East and bathing the river Nile in the reddish glow of dawn. As we rose gently into the sky and drifted peacefully over the west Bank of Luxor, we were greeted with a magnificent panorama of the Nile, the Nile Delta, the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens, and most other monuments of Thebes.

The morning glow of “Ra” illuminating the valley and the mountains was truly an unforgettable experience. The flight time for the trip was approximately 40 minutes (basket-up to basket-down). The following photos were taken during that flight. Enjoy!

Photo Archive


  1. John A. Shupek: Photos from the Skytamer Archive Digital Image Database
  2. Sinbad Hot-Air Ballooning Company: “Advertisement and Certificates”
  3. Wikipedia: "Valley of the Kings"


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