LUXORious Tombs and Camels

28 January 2009
We flew to Luxor from Cairo and then stayed at the Sheraton. When we woke up early the next morning, after not very much sleep, we went to the Valley of the Kings, Funerary Temple of Ramses II, saw a couple huge statues, then went on a Faluka ride down the Nile, rode camels through a little village, and went shopping in Luxor that night. Twas another exhausting day, but full of excessive amazingness.
Before going into King Tut’s tomb. These tombs were so incredible. King Tut was a pretty insignificant pharaoh, he’s just so well known because his tomb was discovered untouched, with all of the incredible treasures still inside. All of those treasures are now at the Egyptian Museum. But the tombs… W.O.W.

Dearest Marianne and I standing outside of a tomb entrance.

The Valley of the Kings is this place where a lot of the pharaohs were buried. It is a kind of secluded place. They did it that way because all of the tombs would get raided and all of the amazing treasures to go into the afterlife with the pharaohs would be stolen.

You’re not supposed to take pictures in the tombs, but I secretly tried to. I just shut my flash of and tried to press the button. But as you can see I was pretty unsuccessful.

You can kinda see what the ceiling looked like in this tomb. It was totally still all colored and everything. These tombs were so amazing. There is so much intricate detail and I don’t know what they used to paint everything, but the color is still there today, after thousands of years. And could you imagine putting these tombs together? Carving the passages out of rock, making everything level and equal, then putting hieroglyphs all over the place, and painting it, and filling it with treasure once the pharaoh has died and gone through the 72 day long mummifcation process. It was intense enough just walking through the little passages and into the big rooms, and today they even have lights put in there on the floor and stuff. I don’t know how they did it.

After the Valley of the Kings, we went to the Funerary Temple of Ramses III. More huge, beautiful statues and hiergylphs. Here’s Marianne and I posing like the little wives of the huge statue. The wife often only go up to the level of the knees in the statues.

Here’s the ceiling at one part of the temple, nice and colorful.

This is the ankh symbol (and some other symbol). The ankh represents life. It is all over the place. Ancient Egyptians loved life, especially eternal life.

Ancient Egyptian time out, sitting in the corner, staring at nothing by hieroglyphs.

Three little birds! They live in the temple walls. There are just so many perfect nest spots.

Here’s another huge statue. I don’t remember what it’s called or who it is, but it was big, and there were two of them. I think they were at the entrance to a temple, which is no longer there. But it shows you how big the temple used to be.

We went back to the Sheraton, which is the intensely salmon colored hotel on the east bank of the Nile. Then we hoped onto a FALUKA and sailed down the Nile.

The other group on the faluka.

These two little Egyptian kids were on the shore and then they saw us and jumped in their little boat. They paddled next to us and were trying to sell things. The kids try and sell things all over the place. It’s so sad.

We rode on the faluka from our hotel to further down the Nile and on the other side. When we got there, forty camels and forty little Egyptian boys were waiting for us. The camel ride cost us $10 and a $1 tip. My camel guide was named Mohammed, along with most of the other little boys.

The beginning of our Camel Safari

We call this a camel caravan. Oh how I love love love camels.

Riding through the little village… we got to see so much poverty and how so many of the people live. I didn’t feel so good parading through with forty other Americans on camels. It was so eye opening though seeing how people live and it made me so grateful for America. So many of the houses are just made out of mudbrick, a lot of them don’t have roofs, and they all have dirt floorrs. There are no normal possessions or decorations inside whatsoever. All it is is a shelter. It was sad to see that, but really good, because I hadn’t ever realized what it is like to live in poverty like that.

Just cruising through the little village on our camels. My camel’s name was Ali Baba, or at least that’s what he told me. Some other camels were named Bob Marley and Obama. The people over here loooove Obama by the way. And when we walk by they just say “Obama,” and noth much else. They’re quite exited. The people in the village were saying Obama to us, it was mostly in the city. But here all the would wave. The children were really excited and really curious. There were also some children begging for money. And lots of other people working hard hard in the fields. Such a completely different life.

Our camel safari was a fabulous 45 minutes.

Don’t you love this head? I do.

After getting back to the hotel, a big group of us went shopping in Luxor. I was starting to feel sick, but I went anyways. Maybe I was just camel allergic. I think it was a combination. But here’s a blurry little picture of our crazy cab driver and our crazy cab. It was the coolest car ever. It was so old and amazing. I want one.

Sunset on the Nile

Shopping in Luxor was kinda crazy. The shopkeepers just will not leave you alone. It’s exhausting. But one of the guys wrapped this scarf all around Marianne’s head. Man she looks so cool.

Some guy also wrapped it around Nycole’s head, and then put his arm around her to take a picture. Hmm…. I think that’s a no no. Oh man, and if you ever need a self confidence booster, just walk around in Egypt. I don’t think I’ve been told that I was beautiful so many times. They just like American girls I think, no matter what you look like.

Here’s our little shopping crew, along with amazing Matt Huff, who took this picture. Each group had to have five people and one had to be a guy. So Matt was the good one who followed us around the shops and made sure we were all safe and everything. So good. And the other guy in the picture is named Adam or something. He wouldn’t leave us alone and he eventually just took us around all night. We thought he was kinda strange at first, but then he was just fun fun. And he’d talk to some of the shopkeepers to make sure we weren’t completely getting ripped off. It was pretty fun. But shopping in Luxor was crazy, and wicked good too.

After shopping, we went back to the hotel for dinner at like 8 pm. But I was starting to feel like I was dying and I had no appetite whatsoever, so I just went to bed. I was sleepy and exhausted and did not feel so good. But Luxor is pretty cool beans.

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