Thursday 6 September 2018
Today I got to realise a childhood dream and visit the Valley of the Kings at Luxor. Ever since I first read about Howard Carter and the discovery of Tutankhamun’s royal tomb I have had a burning passion to sail on the Nile to Luxor and see this fabulous Valley – and today my dream turned into reality! But not only the valley of the Kings but our group visited the impressive temple dedicated to Queen Hatshepsut, the Colossi of Memnon, and after a beautiful lunch on a roof-top balcony overlooking the Nile, we spent a wonderful couple of hours exploring the truly awe-inspiring Temple complex at Karnak!
The temperature in the morning was a pleasant 38 degrees and our guide was right in choosing for us the Queen’s temple first, as there was no shade to be had. Carved out of the rock face over 3500 years ago it is unique in Egypt for its style which is replicated no where else. At the Valley of the Kings we had the chance to visit four royal tombs. These were built in this valley in the high rocky desert to keep robbers and thieves away. Sadly, for all, except Tutankhamun’s, this was to be proved a false hope. Notwithstanding this – these tombs were fascinating for the carvings and paintings on the walls and for the wonder of the sheer engineering task of digging them in the first place!
Words fail to describe the temple complex at Karnak – which should be considered a wonder of the ancient world. It has the world’s largest Hypostyle hall with 164 massive columns which take the breath away! (in architecture, a hypostyle hall has a roof which is supported by columns). Built over 1800 years and covering at its height 65 acres this is the largest temple structure in the world. My camera started to heat up I was taking so many pictures!
Tomorrow promises even more delights as we visit the Valley of the Queens, Habu Temple, the Tombs of the Nobles and Der el Madina.
We are all exhausted but in good health and spirits; bonding well as a group, and slowly, slowly getting used to the heat!
Queen Hatshepsut’s Temple
Sherif insists on taking a group photo everywhere – not a bad back drop don’t you think!
No photos from the Valley of the Kings tombs – we just had to soak it up and take mental snap shots
There is great colour on a lot of these cravings and you start to imagine how the entire complex would have looked when first built.