The Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple by night

Sunday 11 January 2009 – Luxor, Egypt

After breakfast (more stale white bread and dreadful coffee) we bussed across the river via a bridge several kilometres upstream then the same distance back up the west bank to end up approximately opposite the hotel. First stop was the Colossi of Memnon, two huge statues of Amenhotep III, the only visible remains of his huge mortuary temple.

The Valley of the Kings is one of the powerhouses of tourism in Egypt. I reckon there were 50 busses parked outside the visitor centre and hundreds – thousands – of tourists, mostly European – inside the site.

We handed over more than LE300 for two x three-tomb passes plus two special entry tombs. Even here, there was was little interpretation other than standardised signs at the entry to each tomb, giving little more than the name and dates of the interred. Touts offered guide books of dubious quality on the way up the valley.

The air, with the ever present limestone dust, is desiccating. One feels the moisture being sucked from the skin. Faced with crowds, Patricia reminded us to try to remember that this was a magical and sacred place for the ancient Egyptians. However due to strict no photography rules, you’ll have to head to the library or the internet to see photos of these tombs.

Tombs visited:

  • Tuthmosis III
  • Siptah
  • Seti II
  • Tutankhamun
  • Ramesses I
  • Ramesses IX
  • Ramesses V/VI
  • Ramesses IV

The crowds did thin out somewhat as the day progressed – most tours only spending a couple of hours at the site before heading back to their boats for lunch.

After freshening up back at the hotel and withdrawing cash from an ATM, we regrouped for Luxor Temple by night. It is lit quite effectively and we joined crowds of other tourists to wander through, before heading down to the river to El Kebabgy Restaurant (tasteless Chicken ‘Paradise’, but it was moist, and patently not meat from a camel!)

Dinner at El Kebabgy
Dinner at El Kebabgy
Dinner at El Kebabgy
Dinner at El Kebabgy
Today's towel art - the result of a decent room tip at the Mina Palace
Today’s towel art – the result of a decent room tip at the Mina Palace

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