Posted by Elizabeth at 9:28 pm
Aug 062011

Our first stop in Luxor was the Valley of the Kings, a desert valley where the pharaohs were buried from the 16th to the 11th century BC. So far they have found 63 tombs with the tomb of Tutankhamen being the only one that was found completely intact, including all its treasures (which we saw in the Egyptian Museum). The most recent tombs were found in 2006 and 2008, so there are probably more still to be found. We went inside 3 of the tombs (unfortunately you are not allowed to take photos). It is amazing that the colours of the engravings have survived thousands of years and are still quite bright. They certainly went to a lot of effort to create and decorate their tombs.

Next was the temple of Hatshepsut, a woman who ruled Egypt but dressed and behaved as a man. The temple has been reconstructed using the remains that were found and it is quite different to any of the other temples as it is built into the rock face and consists of 3 levels. Each level has a row of columns across the front of it. Most of the statues though are missing or damaged and the decorations are either gone or quite feint.

08062336a_resizeHatshepsut Temple, LuxorHatshepsut Temple, Luxor


Karnak Temple, LuxorWe stopped briefly at the Colossi of Memnon, 2 large statues that were once part of a temple.

Next was Karnak Temple Complex. This temple is HUGE and has been added to by about 30 pharaohs over the years. It is made up of various temples, pylons, and other buildings as well as a sacred lake.



Karnak Temple, LuxorKarnak Temple, LuxorKarnak Temple, LuxorKarnak Temple, Luxor

That night we caught the sleeper train from Luxor to Cairo. It was OK, but definitely not as good as the ones in China. The food was terrible, both dinner and breakfast, thankfully we had bought some snacks to take with us just in case. Neither of us got much sleep as the train is quite rough and then we were woken about 4am for breakfast, an hour before arriving in Cairo – we could have slept another half an hour as it did not take us an hour to be ready!

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