Friday 7 September 2018
Another early start to beat the heat but we seem to fail – it doesn’t matter what time of the day it is – it’s hot! While sitting having an early breakfast you could see others had other plans which included a balloon ride over the Nile! Anyway – our plan today was to see 4 sites which would finish our tour of Luxor and then fly early evening back to Cairo to be ready for Alexandria on Saturday. We started with the hardest climb and that was the Tomb of the Nobles. These were not Kings and Queens but rather important secondary figures such as the Mayor of Luxor and Chief Gardner of Luxor in the time of Rameses III. It was a hard climb up to the tombs and then for the two we saw – a steep decent into darkness inside these tombs to be dazzled by the beauty of the paintings on the walls depicting ordinary life for the Egyptian Nobles. We were not allowed to take photos inside but google Noble tombs Luxor and you we get a glimpse of what we saw!
Next, we stopped at the Valley of the Queens – another major site on my personal list of places to see – and it did not disappoint. It seems a dry dusty hot rocky desert outpost in the middle of nowhere. But all the action takes place under ground in the tombs themselves. Three were included on the tour and most of us paid the 1000 Egyptian pounds to see the other tomb open this day – that of Queen Nefer-tari – we have met her before on Tuesday down at Abu Simbel where she has her monument next to her husband – Rameses II. This tomb must be seen to be believed. 3000 years old and you would believe it was decorated last week – so vibrant and vivid are the colours. We see pictures of all the Gods we are beginning to recognise on sight – we see this beauty of a Queen in all her splendour in all the aspects of her life.
Our next stop was Deir al-Medina – the ancient stone village from the time of 18th and 19th Dynasties. This village housed the workers who toiled away in the Valley of the Kings and Queens. They were not allowed to leave this place once they came for they knew the secret burial tombs in both Valley’s. We ventured into two of their tombs which, while not as elaborate as those of the Kings or Nobles, were mighty impressive in themselves.
Our last stop was the Habu Temple. It was a funeral temple for Ramesses III. Apart from its size and architectural and artistic importance, the temple is the best source of inscribed reliefs depicting the various battles Ramesses had with the new enemy of the Egyptians – the sea people of the Mediterranean.
Back to our Hotel in Luxor for a well earned swim then pack and head to the airport for our flight to Cairo for another hotel and then the adventure continues Saturday in Alexandria!
Heading up to the tomb of the Nobles
44 stone steps down for the tomb of the Chief Gardener
Going into one of the tombs at the Valley of the Queens
Plan of Nefertari tomb
Stone Village of the ordinary people
In front of Habu Temple
colours bright after 3000 years
If you zoom into the middle of this picture you will see the soldiers of Ramesses III collecting all the ‘private parts’ of their enemies and tossing them in a pile as an offering to the King.