Sunday, December 6, 2009

Egypt (Day Five)

Day Five - Valley of the Kings & Cruising the Nile
We started the day early with some tours of the West Bank of the Nile near Luxor. The statue above is one of two that used to guard a giant temple. The temple has long since been demolished, but the statues are quite impressive.
We went to the Valley of the Queens and the Valley of the Kings. Both locations do not allow any cameras, so these photos were downloaded from the Internet. Both sites are where the Queens and Kings (Pharaohs) of ancient Egypt were secretly entombed with all of their treasures. Unfortunately, the secret got out and all but one of the tombs were pillaged thousands of years ago. King Tut's tomb is the only one to be discovered untouched in the modern day.
The more important Pharaohs had large corridors leading to the tombs. In some tombs, like Ramses IV, the corridor was over 200 feet long and covered with detailed, colorful, hieroglyphs.

Around the tomb, the hieroglyphs still hold the vibrant colors from several thousand years ago. It was breathtaking to see. We also went inside King Tut's tomb and saw his body. It was fascinating to see the relatively small tomb he was buried in since he died unexpectedly at the age of 19.

Next, we went to Queen Hatshepsut's temple. This temple has been heavily restored to the way it would have looked during her time. About 25% of it is original. Regardless, it is very impressive.

Giant statues line the temple.

This is the view from our room in the cruise boat. It was fascinating to watch what was happening along the Nile from the view in our room or from the pool on the roof of the boat.

Small boat fishing is very common to see along the Nile.

We felt like we were floating through a National Geographic magazine as we saw cows swimming along the Nile.

We found many kids happily playing in the water.

We spotted this great shot from the top of our boat.

The small boats that seem to be attacking the river boat are actually trying to sell souvenirs to the tourists on the boats.

They would line up along the side of the boat and yell out to the tourists on the top deck.

If someone was interested in buying, the men would throw the item all the way to the top of the boat. Then, the tourist would place the money in a sack and throw it down to the men.


Kristin said...

Awesome. I get more and more jealous of your trip with every post I read. Also, the next time I see you two I'm going to throw a bag at you - fill it with money and throw it back. Dealio?

Amy said...

Ok, I think the river cruise would have been my favorite part of your whole trip so far. Did you take all those pictures? The one of the kid coming out of the water is very cool.:)

Lauren said...

These pictures are so awesome! It makes me want to go to Egypt :D

B. said...

Every one of those Nile pictures is just amazing!