Trip Start Aug 27, 2005
76Trip End Jan 31, 2006
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Valley of King/Queens, Temple of Hatshepsut, Colossi of Memnon, Temple of Karnak, Luxor Temple, and the Luxor Museum
Lunch: Dodgy falafel. We were officially off the boat so Marie and I hunted down a food stall and ended up with some rather dodgy food. We were told we'd get diarrhea by a "helpful" shopkeeper we passed on our walk back to the boat. No such thing happened, thankfully.
Dinner: Kushari from Abu Ashraf. We were scheduled to catch the night train back to Cairo, but it did not leave until late. The train served dinner, but we wanted to eat before 10:30pm. Dinner options were limited near the boat so Jeff found a Kushari stand near the train station. Kushari is a kind of delicious soup that contains everything but the kitchen sink-it's vegetarian so nothing really strange to contend with.
Valley of the Kings
We stumbled on an active dig being run by a very obnoxious woman. She was quite rude to anyone who got too close or who asked a question. We thought they were French (because of her accent not because of her manner). Anyway the all the digging was being done by Egyptians under the direction of a stuffy old man in a floppy hat smoking a pipe and his grad student (trying to look important and knowledgeable; he failed miserably). The scene was all rather funny, almost as if it had been staged for the tourists. As it turns out these were the people from the University of Tennessee who would announce the discovery of the "First New Tomb" in the Valley of the Kings since Tutankhamen shortly after we left Egypt.
The painting within the tombs at the Valley of the Kings can not be adequately described other than to say many of them looked like they'd been painted yesterday. (Marie tried to take a picture and almost got her camera confiscated in the process.)
Temple of Hatshepsut
Hatsehepsut is easily remembered as Hot Chicken Soup. Jeff really enjoyed this stop, because how often do you get to visit a place featured in a Speed Racer Cartoon?
Colossi of Memnon
Colossi of Memnon are named for the sound the statues make early in the morning. The blocks that make up the statues expand at different rates as the sun heats them. The friction between the blocks creates an eerie sound-or so we read.
The Luxor Museum is another excellent museum which we visited on our own. The funny thing about Egypt Online was that they took us to the famous museums but never the good museums. We recommend that you are specific about which museums you'd like to view.