To the burial grounds we go!!

Luxor Travel Blog

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The temple of Hatshepsut - the controversial queen! :D
First we were to visit the Valley of the Kings. Luxor, apparently, was the seat of power during the New Kingdom in Egypt. The lush Nile valley must have been a huge factor in determining that. So, Egypt was ruled from Luxor. And this is where the kings and queens and sundry other people wanted to be buried. Including good ol’ Tut :D

So, there is a whole valley that has been found to house the tombs of the various kings of Egypt during that era. My ticket allows me entry into any 3 of the tombs that have been excavated. Not including good ol’ Tut’s, however! His fame demands an extra 100 L.E as entrance fee! My good guide tells me that Tut’s tomb aint no cool. She informed me that it just has a few walls that have some paintings on it. The rest of it was either destroyed or not completed or whatever.
Osiris guarding her tomb
In any case, she did not recommend spending 100 bucks just to be able to claim that I saw where Tut lay! So, I didn’t. I let her choose three other tombs for me and went a-visiting! The first one was of Ramses I. Not a very stud guy. Ruled for just a few years, and so his tomb was a tiny little one. But one of the most intact ones. Nice art work adorned the walls of his final dwelling.

The next tomb was that of Ramses III. Big stud, this one! Ruled for several decades. And so, was glorified with one of the largest tombs. Hieroglyphics covered the long narrow tunnels leading to his tomb.

The last tomb was of King Thutmose. The story goes that it was common practice for robbers to steal from the tombs once the kings were buried as the tombs were stocked with gold and other goodies that were believed to be essential for the afterlife.

So the good king T decided to protect his tomb from the greedy hands of the robbers by making it as inaccessible as possible. So to get to his tomb, I had to climb a steep incline several meters high and then almost roll down an incline equally steep and deep… and then climb down several stairs that finally led to the tomb. Unfortunately, despite all these precautions taken to protect the king’s tomb, the robbers got there too :D …

Done with the valley of the Kings, we headed towards the terribly damaged temple of Queen Hatshepsut. There’s another long story about how the Queen claimed the throne by unfair means.. and how the rightful heir overthrew her and reclaimed the throne.. and defiled the temple that she had built in her own honor..
All her statues and paintings were destroyed
etc etc.

The temple now stands almost in ruins. But is known for the history that went into its making and destruction.

Next - A quick stop to have a look at the gigantic statues of Memnon - also badly damaged, but by nature this time! These statues, apparently the largest in Egypt (or something of that sort) took a bad beating during the yearly flooding of the Nile.

With that, I was done with the scheduled sight seeing that was part of the package. And I had the whole day to kill before my train back to Cairo in the evening. I was dreading a day on the boat.. with just my book for company.. And then, my lovely guide told me about her other job – she worked in a Papyrus gallery.
But the temple itself survived
I had heard a lot about this Papyrus thingy.. but hadn’t had a chance to have a look. And since I had so much time on my hands, I decided to ask her to take me to her place of work! She was happy to oblige, and told me that the stuff in her gallery wasn’t too expensive. So maybe I could take back some souvenirs.

Now, I was on a tight budget on this trip. And had already exceeded that budget several times over! So I hadn’t even considered shopping. But then, hey, I’m in Egypt! How many people come to Egypt?! I had to take back something! So I decided to have a look and maybe pick up a piece or two for some chosen few :)
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The temple of Hatshepsut - the con…
The temple of Hatshepsut - the co…
Osiris guarding her tomb
Osiris guarding her tomb
All her statues and paintings were…
All her statues and paintings wer…
But the temple itself survived
But the temple itself survived
Dead ahead, on the East bank, lies…
Dead ahead, on the East bank, lie…
The colossal statues of Memnon
The colossal statues of Memnon
photo by: LadyMaja