October 2002 Trip
Day 9

Egypt Tour Day 4
Sunday, October 20th, 2002

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Today consisted of an early morning trip to the Valley of the Kings, with stops at the Colossi of Memnon, an Alabaster Factory and the Temple of Hatshepsut. The rest of the day was at leisure as they say. Due to the temperatures expected this day we started at either 6:30 or 7:00 and got to the Colossi at about 7:35, the Valley of the Kings about 8:30 and Hatcheput's temple at about 10:15. We were back at the boat by noon.

This whole area on the west bank of the Nile roughly across from Luxor was called the necropolis of Thebes. Many people may have heard of Thebes and this is where it stood. Thebes plays an incredibly important role in Egyptian history from around 2100 BC to sometime around 700 BC.

We start at the Colossi.....

These are the 2 statues of Amenophis III (also
better known as Amenhotep). They are made
of  sandstone and are 18 meters high. This is
approximately the height of a 6 story building.
Each one weights approximately 1300 tons.

The 2 pictures above show closeups of each of the 2 statues, neither of which is in very good shape.
These are all that remains of a huge temple built in the early 14th Century B.C. that stood behind them.
One of these was on either side of the main entrance. The temple collapsed in an earthquake in 27 B.C..
These statues were cracked from shoulder to hips in this earthquake and started "singing" when the sun rose.
This created the Oracle of Memnon and became an important place to Greeks and Romans.
Sometime later the statues were restored (by the Romans) and they stopped "singing"

From here we went on to the the Valley of the Kings. The valley is located on the far side of the mountains that can be seen in the background of the pictures above. It was not practical to take any pictures in the tombs because of the huge crowds of people who were there and videos were either prohibited or cost a lot to take. We visited 3 tombs. One was Ramses II and I cannot remember which other 2. We did not do King Tuts tomb because it cost extra, everyone else wanted to see it, and because he was a minor Pharaoh it was not as complete as some of the others we did look at.

The next 3 pictures of the Valley of the Kings are taken
from what I think is the entrance to the tomb of Ramses VI.

The tomb across the way is Ramses IX, I think. It is difficult
to be sure of the orientation of all this.

The Tomb with the group of people at it is Tutankhamen's.

Looking straight up the main walkway you can see that the
mountain top looks like the shape of a pyramid. It is
thought that this is one of the reasons this location was
chosen. It was also fairly remote although this didn't stop
the grave robbers of the past.

A view down the entrance way.

The next place we stopped at was an Alabaster factory where I
was given this piece of rock that I was told was Alabaster.

The final stop on todays touring was  the Temple of Hathshepsut which was part of a bigger complex called Deir el-Bahri.

The Temple from the car park. Just on the other
side if the mountain from here is the Valley of the Kings

A view in the opposite direction from the second terrace.
The Nile river is way off in the distance.

As we returned to the ship I took several images of sights along the way.

Some of the farm fields on the west side of the Nile with
the sacred mountain in the background.

A typical house along the Nile. They are still made of mud
bricks as it is the coolest.

This is a typical donkey cart. You see them all over Egypt
including in the streets of Cairo.

Some more modern housing.

Once back at the ship, several more picture were taken.

If you look carefully through the ships railing (centre
left) you can see a water taxi. The people climbing
down the slope are heading for it to go across the river.
There arn't very many bridges.

Our dock in Luxor. The road into here was so bumpy that
you got all shook up going in and out of here.

This picture was taken earlier in the day but it didn't
fit there. This is a hot air balloon floating over the Nile.

This is where Thebes and the Valley of the Kings are located.
The valley is on the other side of the mountains to the right
in this view.

After dinner I returned to may cabin and discovered
this character sitting in my chair wearing my hat.
I don't think the cabin steward had much
to do as there weren't too many guests
on the ship for the first 2 nights.

Over night we sailed to Edfu.

On to Day 10

Created December 3rd, 2002.
Final Edit December 10th, 2002.