Egypt Day 15 & 16 (Temples and the Nile)
First stop, Valley of the Kings. Here, over 60 tombs have been uncovered containing the treasures and writings of the Kings of Egypt. It was here that King Tut’s Tomb was also discovered by accident, and was the only tomb found completely intact. Seeing the hieroglyphics still carved into the wall after 5000 years was pretty amazing. It’s incredible how one civilization can build and create things that last over five millennia.
We also visited the temple of Queen Hatchensup, one of the three Queens of Egypt. Again, just knowing how old these statues and monuments are make it very impacting. After, we visited an alabaster store where we saw how the stone is refined and made into jewelry. Luxor is known for its alabaster and the stone is beautiful.
The touring for the day was short, but we spent our evening riding the Nile river on sailboat. The Nile is very serene and the sunset was worth the trip. We sailed from our hotel to Luxor temple, our last stop for the day. The temple is an architectural marvel. Huge pylons and obelisks encompass the temple. Statues of King Ramses are all over. It’s a sight to behold, and it took over 120 years to build. This is actually short when compared to Karnak Temple which was built over 2000 years.
Before returning to the hotel we took a horse and carriage ride through the streets of Luxor. We saw the common people, their markets and how they lived. It was eye-opening to say the least. Sure it’s their daily life and maybe they are used to it, but coming from America I felt extremely blessed.
Our last day in Luxor only took us to one site, Karnak Temple. A larger version of the Luxor temple, it too had large statues and obelisks all around. There are over 100 pillars located in the main square of the temple, which seem to dwarf you walking by. We visited this temple in the morning and Luxor at night, and I must admit I prefer the latter.
The day is short since we are flying back to Cairo in the evening. I was a little worried about this 45 minute flight, hearing horror stories that the plane only seats 20 people and may be a prop plane…but it was quite the opposite. We flew EgyptAir Express which has brand new airplanes. The ride was really comfortable and had no turbulence. Arriving in Cairo we were safe and sound. Three more days to go.
Photo Link: http://gallery.me.com/ssrobles/100491 http://gallery.me.com/ssrobles/100496