Saturday, October 07, 2023

Israel/Egypt/Jordan 2023 - Day #11 - Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut & Queen Nefertari Tomb

Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut & Queen Nefertari Tomb

Burial Places of Egyptian Royalty

Witness the pharaohs’ portals to the afterlife on a fascinating excursion.

The stark hills of the Nile’s west bank in Luxor once hid countless treasures. Here, pharaohs were buried in elaborate tunnels carved into the earth and adorned with artful paintings. Their mummies were draped in gold and jewels and their tombs were filled with worldly possessions. Howard Carter discovered Tutankhamen’s tomb here in 1922, bringing the world’s attention to this necropolis of kings and queens. Journey here with your guide before the heat of day and enjoy access to select tombs. After time to explore on your own (guide-led tours are not allowed in the tombs), continue to the terraced Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, a female pharaoh, dramatically carved into the Theban Hills. Finally, visit the Valley of Queens and enjoy private access to Queen Nefertari’s tomb. Note that photography is prohibited inside the tombs.

Feeling very under the weather with an intestinal issue, I had a rough night's sleep. I am averaging under five hours a sleep for the past five nights. I ended up skipping breakfast. Although I wasn't sure that I was going to be able to make it though the whole day, I joined the group on the bus for excursion.

After a 45 minute bus ride, the first stop was the Valley of the Kings. The valley contains over 60 tombs (and counting) were built for the pharaohs and powerful nobles of the New Kingdom (1550–1070 BC). I was very surprised by the location; it is a very rugged, arid valley several miles back in the hills. We visited three different tombs, including Ramses IV, Tut Ankh Amun (King Tut) and Ramses IX.

Leaving the valley, we made a short stop at the Carter House. This is a museum in dedicated to the life and work of Howard Carter, the British archaeologist who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922.

The third stop was the Valley of the Queens. We visited the tomb of Nefertari, the wife of Pharaoh Ramesses II. This is The most famous tomb in the valley. Nefertari was one of the most powerful queens in Egyptian history, and her tomb is the largest and most elaborate in the valley. The tomb is decorated with beautiful reliefs and paintings that depict Nefertari's journey to the afterlife.

The next stop was the Hatshepsut Temple. This is a mortuary temple built during the reign of Pharaoh Hatshepsut of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. It was was built between 1479 and 1458 BC.

Leaving the Temple, the bus started to fill up with smoke. This created a little bit of drama. They ended up turning off the air conditioner.

There was a final stop at the Colossi of Memnon & Amenhotep III Temple. This was just a quick photo opportunity.

We had a late lunch on the boat. I had Hawawshy [grilled Egyptian Aish bread stuffed with minced meat, Middle Eastern salad & french fries].

Feeling a little better, I slept for almost an hour and a half. Sharon joined the group on the sundeck at the pool. She raved about watching the scenery go by as the boat cruised up the river.

Getting cleaned up, we joined the group in the lounge for a presentation on tomorrow's activities. The hotel manager also talked about the situation in Israel and the Jordan post tour.

I had everyone do a blind draw for where they were sitting for dinner. It worked out great with all of the couples split up. For dinner, I had Broiled Herb Marinated Jumbo Shrimp [balsamic reduction, pesto risotto, baby vegetables].

We finished the night lounge watching a whirling dervish show. We crashed about 10:15 pm.

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