Marching into the Valley of the Kings

Trip Start Jan 26, 2010
Trip End Feb 16, 2010

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Where I stayed
The M.S. Medea Cruise ship

Flag of Egypt  , Nile River Valley,
Saturday, February 6, 2010

It was a little bit chilly this morning as I stood on the pier looking across the river a multitude of hot air balloons that decorated the sky. Each one had a different color and looked absolutely beautiful as they projected a shadow over the mountains from the sunrise.

Shortly later, the bus was boarded and we headed to the Valley of the Kings, a royal cemetery for 62 Pharaohs.  Being located on the west bank at Luxor, the only entrance to this place was by driving on a long narrowed winding road where mountains surrounded us and where nothing grew in this rocky deserted landscape.

We were in the Valley of the Kings where the famous King Tut treasure was found in 1922 (KV 62) and where he still rests in his tomb, his treasures however being displayed in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.  As explained to us by our guide, unfortunately, over the centuries a multitude of other tombs have been robbed making us only guess the importance and wealth of them all had they not been taken.

No cameras were allowed inside the Valley.  We had to leave them inside the bus.  From the parking lot, we all boarded some kind of a mini train that brought us deeper into the Valley.  From there, we were given three entrance tickets to visit desired tombs chosen from a multitude of them.

The tombs that Michel and I visited were quite interesting even though no mummies were inside them.  Just by walking in the alleys and chambers hidden really deep in the mountains and where painted figures and numerous Egyptian mythological symbols were quite well preserved on the walls, all of this made the tombs quite amazing to visit.  For a fee, we could have visited the King Tut tomb but declined to do so having already seen his treasure. 

While we were in the Valley of the Kings, several archeological projects were being excavated.  It was quite interesting to see the professionals work and how their helpers managed to break and carry loads and loads of rocks from one place to another in a manual fashion.  We learned that there had been no new tombs discovered in the valley since 1922 (KV62 King Tut) until 2006 when it was announced the discovery of a new one being called KV63.  This being an ongoing project, the details are still to be released.

As Michel and I finished our tombs exploration and wandered around, one particular local who was selling souvenirs persuaded us to follow him up the rocky mountain with a promise of a fantastic view over the entire Valley of the Kings from above.  Well, by puffing and puffing, up I went hiking the steep mountain way up to the top with the aide of the local pulling me up by the arm.  Michel being much faster was already at the mountain's summit after a good 15 minutes hike. 

All I can say is that all of the hard work of climbing the mountain was all well worth it because from the top of the summit, the entire Valley of the Kings was displayed in front of me.  It was absolutely stunning.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera to take pictures as the local kept repeating "take some pictures, don’t you have a cell phone!"

Half an hour later, we left the Valley of the Kings heading towards new destinations for the day!

Thankful for having seen the Valley of the Kings!

Monique   :-)

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