AfricaEgyptLuxor

Valley of the Kings and Queen Hatshepsut's Temple

Luxor Travel Blog

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Banks of the Nile in Luxor
We had a very early rise of 5:30am this morning for our trip to the Valley of the Kings.  It was a lovely morning and hot air balloons were already up and rising above the Valley. We took a small ferry across the river to the West Bank of the Nile where we met our transport to the Valley. DONKEYS! Yes we were going to take the fun way to the Valley of the Kings and not the boring old bus.  Well what a lot of fun the donkeys were, they might be small but they are very strong which they needed to be to carry us heavy weight westerners for the next two hours. My donkey was black with a white tip nose and was named appropriately ‘Snow Dip’! It was also the slowest donkey so I was always stuck at the back.
Nile in Luxor
Vaughan’s donkey just simply disappeared underneath him, we joked and said Vaughan’s donkey had 6 legs!!  It wasn't particularly comfortable and we were riding along the road dodging the cars! I’m sure the tour buses that went past us had a laugh.  The saddle was like sacks of straw thrown over their backs which gave little comfort to one's backside!  By the time we got off 1.5 hours later we were all a little sore and stiff but it was a wonderful experience.  The Valley of the Kings comprise of some 60+ tombs set into the valley rock faces and buried deep underground, more tombs are still being discovered every year.  Our ticket gave us access to three tombs with Tutankhamen being an extra LE70 entrance fee.
Ferry over to West Bank of the Nile
For preservation reasons, not all the tombs are open, only a select few at a time.  We saw Ramses IV, 1 and 111 tombs. We were not allowed to take our cameras inside as flashes damage the paintwork but I can tell you the rich colours of the Pharonic paintings inside these tombs are incredible. Our first tomb we went into Ramses IV was the smallest of the three tombs, we went down a ramp and it wasn’t long before you were at the sarcophagus. The walls were rich in colour and the drawings told stories. The second tomb Ramses I had paintings mainly of blue and the third tomb was very big but you could only go ¾ the way in as it had collapsed.  All the tombs are empty except for King Tuts which still housed his mummy. We wished we had paid the extra LE70 and gone inside King Tuts but we will leave that one for next time.
Donkey ride to Valley of the Kings
 I do have to mention the toilets at the Valley, they are very clean but what caught my attention was the old man in the Ladies toilet who’s sole job is to empty buckets of water down the dunny as there was no flusher; now that's a job!.  Having looked around our chosen tombs we then proceeded to walk up a steep path over a hill to see Queen Hatshepsut's temple.  We could of taken a taxi around to her temple but walking there was much more of a challenge as you get to enjoy the views across the Valley of the Kings.  The views were amazing and as we walked along the path we were followed by a herd of goats.  Our first glimpse of Queen Hatshepsut’s temple was amazing, we looked down on this structure set amongst the cliffs and it was like something out of an Indiana Jones film.
Donkey ride to Valley of the Kings
Queen Hatshepsut's temple was very different it was a Greco-Roman style temple of terraces, ramps and pillars, it looked impressive on the approach, at one time there would of been an avenue of sphinx's leading up to the temple.   Just like Karnak; the temple roof was missing but there were some impressive statues of the Queen herself and some colourful pharonic artwork which you could photograph. Going back to Luxor we had the choice of riding the donkey’s back or taking a taxi. Most of us opted for the taxi as our bums were to sore to ride and others like Vaughan decided to take the donkey.  On our way back the Taxi driver stopped and showed us the two statues of Menmon, they were missing a few chunks of face but nonetheless work of art.
Donkey ride to Valley of the Kings
  Our next stop was a lovely cafe restaurant which had a wonderful garden courtyard. Here we waited for our donkey riders who when they turned up told us it was much better on the way back as they got to ride through the countryside. Why we didn’t take that route going to the Valley I don’t know, they also stopped at the statues of Menmon.  So after a delicious lunch we headed back to the hotel and the afternoon was free so Vaughan and I went to the Internet cafe and did some exploring of shops.  Luxor was far more relaxing that Cairo to wonder around you didn’t get the same hassle. The pavements were very high off the road you almost needed a ladder to climb up and down them! We had some time left before lunch so we headed up to the roof top pool and relaxed for while. In the evening Kimo took us back to the west bank for a meal at a local restaurant.
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Banks of the Nile in Luxor
Banks of the Nile in Luxor
Nile in Luxor
Nile in Luxor
Ferry over to West Bank of the Nile
Ferry over to West Bank of the Nile
Donkey ride to Valley of the Kings
Donkey ride to Valley of the Kings
Donkey ride to Valley of the Kings
Donkey ride to Valley of the Kings
Donkey ride to Valley of the Kings
Donkey ride to Valley of the Kings
Donkey ride to Valley of the Kings
Donkey ride to Valley of the Kings
Myself on Snowdip going to Valley …
Myself on Snowdip going to Valley…
Approaching Valley of the Kings
Approaching Valley of the Kings
Map of Valley of Kings
Map of Valley of Kings
Map of tombs in Valley of the Kings
Map of tombs in Valley of the Kings
Entrance to one of the tombs
Entrance to one of the tombs
Outside King Tuts tomb
Outside King Tuts tomb
Going into one of the tombs
Going into one of the tombs
Valley of the Kings
Valley of the Kings
Valley of the Kings
Valley of the Kings
Valley of the Kings
Valley of the Kings
Valley of the Kings
Valley of the Kings
Valley of the Kings
Valley of the Kings
Valley of the Kings
Valley of the Kings
Valley of the Kings
Valley of the Kings
View over the Valley of the Kings
View over the Valley of the Kings
View of tombs in Valley of the Kin…
View of tombs in Valley of the Ki…
Climbing up the hill from Valley o…
Climbing up the hill from Valley …
Queen Hatshepsuts Temple
Queen Hatshepsut's Temple
Queen Hatshepsuts Temple
Queen Hatshepsut's Temple
Queen Hatshepsuts Temple
Queen Hatshepsut's Temple
Walking down the hill to Queen Hat…
Walking down the hill to Queen Ha…
Goats follow us to Queen Hatshepsu…
Goats follow us to Queen Hatsheps…
Queen Hatshepsuts Temple
Queen Hatshepsut's Temple
Statue in Hatshepsuts Temple
Statue in Hatshepsut's Temple
Queen Hatshepsuts Temple
Queen Hatshepsut's Temple
Queen Hatshepsuts Temple
Queen Hatshepsut's Temple
Colourful paintings in Queen Hatsh…
Colourful paintings in Queen Hats…
Colourful paintings in Queen Hatsh…
Colourful paintings in Queen Hats…
Queen Hatshepsuts Temple
Queen Hatshepsut's Temple
Vaughan riding the donkey back to …
Vaughan riding the donkey back to…
Donkey with almost 6 legs!
Donkey with almost 6 legs!
Collossus of Menmon
Collossus of Menmon
Our room with some fine art done t…
Our room with some fine art done …
View over Luxor from our Hotel
View over Luxor from our Hotel
View from our hotel of the Nile
View from our hotel of the Nile
Luxor
photo by: LadyMaja