AfricaEgyptLuxor

Tut Trilogy

Luxor Travel Blog

 › entry 84 of 151 › view all entries
Valley of the Kings - entrance to King Tut's tomb is to the right

Yesterday we spent the day touring the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens, the Temple of Hatshepsut and the Colossi of Memnon.  Now doing that all in one day is not advisable given the heat, the number of people at these sights and especially the amount that there is to see.  Luckily we started in the Valley of the Kings when my energy was high and the heat not at peak.  In hindsight I wish I had spent the entire day there, but I have a feeling I will be back again some day. 

So we checked out three tombs on the tour, starting with Ramses I, then Ramses III and then onto Thutmosis III, all three built during different dynasties.  Of the three, my favorite was Thutmosis.

Margaret and I at the entrance to King Tutankhamun Tomb
It was one of the earliest tombs there (so far 62 have been found, the last being King Tut, with a new discovery unfolding right now in the valley).  Thutmosis was a warrior-king, famous for many battles and dubbed the Egyptian Napoleon.  The reason I enjoyed his tomb the most is the hieroglyphs. They were the simplest there, more like plain writing you'd find on papyrus in black and red, but they were very elegant to me.  Unfortunately we could not take pictures down there so I stood trying to memorize my favorite parts, but then gave up and took to sketching some.  However, we were down in a tomb underground with no oxygen and it was scorching hot.  Sweat was pouring down my face as I did my best to capture the pictures.
Last shot before entering King Tut's tomb
  I got a few down and needed to come up for air.  I have a new found appreciation for those archeologists and Egyptologists who have been working out there all these years unearthing these tombs. I don't know how they tolerated the heat.

Speaking of, in 1922 Carter finally found King Tut's tomb after five years trying. Oddly enough, the entrance is right near the entrance of the Valley itself.  You had to pay extra to see it, but when am I going to be in the Valley of the Kings again?  Well, maybe next year, who knows, but I was going in there regardless.  The tomb itself is small, only about three rooms and storage areas, but it is the only tomb with the mummy still inside.  There is a large red-stone sarcophogus with the gold-plated coffin (outer most of the three) holding King Tut.

Entrance to Thutmosis III Tomb
  The sarcophogus and coffin were amazing!  I just stood there taking it in as long as I thought the rest of our group would wait for me.  Thus I completed the trilogy of Tut, taking in the traveling exhibit, permanent exhibit and finally his actual tomb!

The aforementioned group numbered about 10, including some from Spain, Israel, Korea and Japan, along with the three of us.  I could never be a tour guide.  No one followed directions for meeting points, so we ended up sitting around waiting on others.  I actually scolded a few.  I should not do tours, but given the little time we had it was a necessary evil.  So from the valley we hit the Temple of Hatshepsut, the only queen Pharaoh who ruled for 15 or so years in relative peace.

Recent discovery unfolding
  Unfortunately her successors scratched out some of the traces of her at the temple.   It was set into the side of a hill and spectacular nonetheless.

From there we swung by the Valley of the Queens and then got pics of two statues called the Colossi of Memnon, both of which paled in comparison to the earlier sights, but we also were very tired from the long day and ridiculous heat.

Back at the hotel we bid farewell to the hotel folks who fed us a good dinner of kaysheri (delicious specialty of rice and pasta) before we got on the bus.   Now we were told the bus ride was about 16 hours, but it ended up to be more like 18 or so given the number of security checkpoints we had to go through, some of which involved us showing our passport and others just stopping the bus for a bit.

Temple of Hatshepsut
   We tried to entertain ourselves with cards, playing Old Maid with Bob's seatmate who spoke little English but had fun with the game.  We also played hangman and eventually strip-poker, which I lost, so we decided we'd try to get some sleep.   

We hit Dahab about noon today.  This place is very resort-like with lots of beaches on the Red Sea and plenty of scuba opportunities.  I think you can see Saudi Arabia from here (at least I think that is what is across the sea).  My main reason for wanting to come was a possible day trip from here to climb Mt. Sinai, but from what we gather the climbs are usually done at night so you can see the sunrise, which is cool, but the trip is a bit grueling I guess.  I told the guy trying to sell this trip to us that we are climbing a mountain next week, one mountain is enough, so we are skipping it altogether.  Instead we will be chilling by the sea, enjoying the cool breezes and catching up on much needed sleep before we are due back in Cairo on Saturday.

mamadee2001 says:
Of course you'll be back there someday, with me!! All my love and stay safe!!
Posted on: Oct 22, 2007
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Valley of the Kings - entrance to …
Valley of the Kings - entrance to…
Margaret and I at the entrance to …
Margaret and I at the entrance to…
Last shot before entering King Tut…
Last shot before entering King Tu…
Entrance to Thutmosis III Tomb
Entrance to Thutmosis III Tomb
Recent discovery unfolding
Recent discovery unfolding
Temple of Hatshepsut
Temple of Hatshepsut
Those statues are of the Pharaoh-Q…
Those statues are of the Pharaoh-…
Statues of Hatshepsut
Statues of Hatshepsut
Detail at the temple
Detail at the temple
Colossi of Memnon
Colossi of Memnon
Security Checkpoint - you get used…
Security Checkpoint - you get use…
Typical beach sign at Dahab
Typical beach sign at Dahab
Us for the next few days - chillin…
Us for the next few days - chilli…
Luxor
photo by: LadyMaja