Valley of Kings, Queens and Karnak
Trip Start Feb 01, 2002
5Trip End Feb 01, 2004
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I took a walk around Luxor which was really nice and run into a shop owner "Ali" who invited me in. I have learnt from being in a few Islamic countries to relax about the hassles of shop owners and have fun with it. It pays to talk to them and you can use them to your advantage to get the history of places. Of course they are going to try and sell you stuff but you just stick to your guns. I had some tea with Ali and also a water pipe in his shop. I was there for a bout two hours and her ended up giving me stuff from the shop for free. Very rare I think.
Later that night The Manager of the hotel took the Irish guy and myself over the Nile to a favourite restaurant of his.
I decided to take a trek on a donkey into the Valley of the Kings the next day. I crossed over the Nile by boat before catching up with my guide. I was then introduced to my donkey. The Ass was a bit of a pain at first ignoring the directions I wanted to go in and instead taking time out to have a munch. We reached a lace where we had breakfast pretty early on and after that we headed onwards to the Colossi of Memnon. These were 18-meter high statues that stood on their own in a field. They were really imposing and stunning especially as the new day's sun turned them bright orange. There were also a number of hot air balloons flying above. After this we headed to massive Medinat Hubu or Temple of Ramses III. From here we trekked into the Valley of the Queens. I ventured into the Tomb of Nefertari, which has a limited on the amount f people allowed in each day. The tomb is said to be the finest in Egypt and it was easy to see why. The paintings on the walls were so vivid and rich in colour. I really wish I could have taken photos but they wouldn't have done Nefertari credit.
After the valley of the queens I took the donkey up a massive set of hills and ended up with a view of Deir al-Bahri (Funerary Temple of Hatshepsut) and Valley of the Kings below. There were absolutely no one ontop of the massive cliffs apart from my guide and the two donkeys, with the mountainside surrounding. I ventured down into a number of different toms. All having varying degrees of difficulty. It was surprising to see just how far down some of these went. There were usually sarcophagi at the bottom of each. I ended up going into 5 different tombs including Tutankhamun.
After this I headed to a few craft shops along the way back and ended up buying a massive papyrus painting before heading back by boat to the hotel.
The next day I headed to the temples of Karnak. This place was developed for over 1500 years and was simply awesome in its size and beauty. There was a sphinx-lined path that once stretched all the way to the Nile and into the great court. I spent bout 4 hours wandering around in amazement and snapping of about 5 rolls of film. At around dusk I then headed to Luxor Temple in the center on Luxor by the Nile. This place was small in Comparison to Karnaks many temples but was also breathtaking. There was also an Avenue of Sphinx's before the main temple. The temple was lit up brilliantly under the dark royal blue of the night sky. I took another couple of rolls of films here.
Luxor had been another stunning place with soooooo much to see and do here. Its been pretty hard to pick highlights in Egypt as they are so frequent