Egypt’s Temple of Luxor at night.

It’s odd, the kind of changes you go through when you travel. The way your brain can take something that should be really exciting and turn it into something really mundane.

What do I mean?

Well, you know how when you’re sitting at work, planning your dream vacation (yes, I know what you’re doing between spreadsheets and meetings) everything on your list of sights to see just sounds so damn exciting? But then you actually get to your destination, the initial excitement wears off, and you soon reach the point of thinking, “ugh, another museum?” or, “gosh, there are more crumbling, resembling-absolutely-nothing ruins to see?” or, “good lord, another temple?!”

After a while, it really all starts to blur together and every museum/ruin/temple starts to look the same.

One of the many times I suffered this kind of “temple fatigue” was on my trip to Egypt. It’s funny, because I’d always been obsessed with the idea of Egypt and it’s mystical pyramids, tombs, and temples, but after a month of seeing monument after monument carved with hieroglyph after hieroglyph…I started to get a little over it.

So what to do? Not knowing when I’d ever be back in Egypt again, I didn’t want to stop visiting temples, but I just wasn’t exactly enjoying them the way I knew I should be. So instead, the next temple I visited, I visited differently.

I visited it at night.

By night, the temples took on a whole different atmosphere – they were forbidding, mystical, enchanting and beautiful, all at once. Rather than sweating and grumbling my way through the sandy ruins under the scorching midday sun, I was able to take in the temples by the moonlight (and a few strategically placed spotlights). It was enough to reignite my interest and allowed me to see things…well, in a different light.

Scroll down to see my pictures of the Temple of Luxor by night.