Thursday, March 6, 2008

Valley of the Kings

While in Luxor it is hard not to journey to one of Egypt's most visited sites: the valley of the kings. The boys, Peter, Terje, Doug, Matt and myself. Took a ferry across the Nile to the West Bank and rented bikes for the day. The roads are paved but quite small, the many tour buses proved to be a tad death defying. The ride to the Valley is all up hill, Peter earned his red and white king of the mountain jersey in a last minute sprint against me and reached the parking lot first. When you get your ticket to the valley you are able to visit three of the tombs there. If you want to see Tut then you have to pay extra, needless to say we did not. We ventured down into Ramses IV, one tombs with the best preserved paintings and carvings. It is also called the Harper's tomb in reference to a scene painted on the wall. We then climbed up into the cliffs to find the tomb of Thuthmosis III. Once up on the cliff we headed down into the stairs and into the rock.Terje and Nora decending into Tuthomis III
We traveled to one room and then another lower one. The heat down here was overwhelming and it was hard to take in a full breath. The paintings on the wall however were the most unique we had scene. They were not carved like other hieroglyphics but drawn in a crude manner. I found this style more attractive then the perfection of other hieroglyphics I had seen.

Hieroglyphics inside Ththmosis III

Our last pick was Ramses III. A shorter tomb then the other two but had some Coptic graffiti in it from the 1800's. It is strange how the defacement of this ancient tomb has become a historical marker in its self.

We spent over 4 hours exploring the tombs and were happy that the way home was down hill!

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