07 February, 2015

Egypt, Day 6

Hope everyone who is reading is hanging in there with me.  It's been a crazy trip so far and we're only about half way done! So on to another day!

This is another one where I don't actually have pictures of some of the places we visited.  I'm sad to say that we weren't allowed to take photos in the Valley of the Kings.  I'm sure many of you know, that many kings from the Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and Twentieth dynasties were buried in tombs here.  Apparently there are 63 different tombs that have been discovered so far in the valley.  Not all of them are royal, but about 20 are.  And of course, you know some of the famous ones like Tutankhamun.

Here's a quick photo pulled from the web so you can at the very least, get an idea of what the terrain looks like.

In our visit, we were able to go into five tombs.  Generally admission allows you into three and we purchased a special ticket for Tutankhamun (KV 62) and Seti I (KV 17).   We also visited Rameses III (KV 11),  Siptah (KV 47), and Twosret/Sethnakht (KV 14).

First off was Tutankhamun.  I've said it before, but this was just a dream.  To walk where Howard Carter first walked and discovered the greatest Egyptian find in the 20th century.  I did manage to find a couple of photos online to show you the main burial room.  

This tomb is quite small compared to a lot of the others as it's thought that since Tut died suddenly, they had to improvise with the tomb of a nobleman.  Regardless, the single room of paintings is still quite lovely.  The two outermost sarcophagi are still here in the room where he was buried while the inner two, of course, are at the museum in Cairo.

Then we moved along to our special treat.  A tomb that would color how we saw all the rest.  Seti I.  I knew very little about this tomb going into it, other than it was considered one of the most beautiful.  I've since discovered it's also the longest.  I will have to agree on the beauty.  Every surface was covered in carvings and paintings.  The colors stood out and just left us all in awe.  They only allow a few groups entry to the tomb each year and we're some of the lucky few.  Again, no photos of my own, but here are a few pulled from online.

This is just a small sample of the art in this tomb. Apparently they're going to photograph the tomb soon so hopefully there will be more soon. 

The other three tombs were very pretty as well, but nothing quite compared to Seti I, so I'll leave you to look them up yourselves.

After the Valley of the Kings, we headed around the mountain to get to the temple of Hatshepsut.  Massive and different from anything we've seen so far, it can be seen from quite a distance.
I admire the temple and it’s very commanding, but I didn’t just love it.  It felt less inviting (if that can even be the case) than the other temples we’ve seen so far.  Perhaps just because it’s always felt like such a departure from the “traditional” monuments of Egypt.  

Back on the bus, we made one quick stop to see the remains of the Colossi of Memnon.  Pretty much rubble that’s been pieced back together, they’re still commanding.  These twin statues are of Amenhotep III.

So far we’ve been really lucky with the weather, but today it was getting pretty hot so we all tired out quickly.  We headed back to our boat and set sail.  That meant the rest of the evening was for relaxing as we cruise up the Nile.  We also managed to catch a fantastic sunset.  I felt like several of the pictures were almost a Monet painting come to life.

So as you can see, our days are full, but being on the boat has been great.  The next entry will be the Temple of Edfu and Kom Ombo.  Until then, safe travels!


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