Shemah's Egypt Pictures:
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We stayed at the Isis Hotel, in Luxor:
Here you see the hotel's lovely gardens and pool, and the Nile from our hotel room balcony:
Sunset over the Nile:
A Day on the West Bank:
We got up at the crack of dawn--literally!--to take the early morning ferry over to the West bank where our guide would take us by donkey to the Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens.
The Town of Thebes
The Colossi of Memnon
Rather a misnomer, these 15-meter figures were the guardians of the mortuary temple of Amenophis (Amenhotep) III, which itself is no longer in existence. Only the northern statue was called by the Romans Memnon, who was the the son of Aurora, goddess of the dawn, who slaid Antilochus, son of Nestor, during the Trojan War and was himself slain by Achilles. This northern statue gave off strange sounds every morning at dawn, and the Romans believed it was Memnon greeting his mother, Aurora. I read somewhere long ago that the Colossi may also have been the inspiration for Shelley's poem "Ozymandias." I have never again found this particular reference, and so can't vouch for its veracity, but here is the poem for your reading pleasure:
I met a traveler from an antique land,
Percy Bysshe Shelley
The Valley of the Kings
The Valley of the Kings. We found a guide and took the (native) ferry across the Nile, and headed off on donkeys for the Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens. It was quite tortuous, hot, and steep and our little donkeys patiently hugged the trail beside sheer drops of hundreds (thousands? could be, it seemed like it!) of feet. On the plus side, we felt quite the adventurers, and certainly very superior to the common tourists we saw like tiny ants below, gushing forth out of their smoke-puffing, airconditioned buses to stare at the marvels and exclaim at the heat and rush back to their comfortable seats again! On the minus side, of course, we had to leave the donkeys at the top of a hill (the "Donkey Station") overlooking the Valley of the Kings and scramble/slide down the steep mountainside.
Tutankhamon's and some of the Ramses' tombs were still open back in 1984 -- I'd have to dig out my notes to see which ones we went into, but no photos were allowed inside. I believe most of the tombs are now closed to the public, although my information is not current.
The three of us on the stairs to the tomb of Seti:
Then, of course, we had to climb back UP to our donkeys *grin*. The picture to the right is taken actually as an excuse to stop for a moment and catch my breath! Being a compulsive shutter-bug does have its advantages ;)
The Valley of the Queens
Following this we underwent the most incredible, amazing descent around and then DOWN the hillside just to the right of Deir El-Bahari... I swear that's where my first grey hairs came from! So steep, in fact, that at times we had to stop and walk our donkeys, like this picture of Hisham (below):
and finally, Deir el-Bahari, the mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut....
Of course, by the time we arrived, we were totally exhausted. Hisham was too tired even to smile for the birdie in the pic on the left; and I too finally got too tired to smile!
We arrived back in Luxor hot, dehydrated, sunburned (despite hats), exhausted in every tissue in our body and utterly wiped out... and exhilarated beyond belief! We thumb our nose at air-conditioned coach travelers!
After taking a COLD shower and LONG nap, we all revived for further adventures in the evening. Here's Mom sitting on the wall along the Corniche beside the Nile down in Luxor on this lovely evening.
We took a felucca ride to Banana Island:
Another lovely sunset over the Nile.
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