Day off in Luxor

The day started at 5.30 am and we were driven to the Valley of the Kings on Luxor’s West Bank. First we paid a visit to Tutankhamun, son of Akhenaten. He died young with no great battles to his name. Howard Carter unveiled the tomb in 1922 to much media excitement and revived people’s fascination with Egyptology. His actual unwrapped mummy lies in a glass case in the entrance! All his treasures are in the Cairo museum.
Next was the tomb of Tuthmosis, which required us to climb many steps to the entrance and then descend 90 steps in to the tomb, a somewhat warm experience. Tuthmosis is known as the Napoleon of ancient egypt. He was one of the first to build his tomb in the Valley of the Kings.
The tomb of Tawosret/Sethnakht was initially built for Queen Tawosret and was later pinched by Sethnakht.
Last was Ramses III. This is one of the longest tombs and was started but abandoned by Sethnakht.
Next was the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir al-Bahri. We approached this by a disney style tourist train! The temple is cut in to the cliffs and was first excavated in 1891. Deir al-Bahri has been appointed as one of the hottest places on earth, something we certainly experienced today.
We stopped on the way back at the Colossi of Memnom, which is 2 faceless monuments at the entrance of the West Bank. The giants are a tiny element of the largest temple ever built in Egypt, which is no longer in existence having been built out of mud brick on a Nile flood plain. The statutes are each cut from a single block of stone and weigh 1000 tons each.
We were extremely privileged to be invited to Mrs Magda’s house for lunch. We were given a meal of fish, rice and pittas. It was very special to see how people live here and for them to feel comfortable enough with us to remove their headscarves and talk to us properly about perceptions of Islam in our respective countries.
Before 6 we headed to the station to catch our train to Aswan.

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