Monday, March 1, 2010

Day Two: The West Bank of Luxor

After passing out at 10 PM after a long day, we woke up early on Friday to make the most of the rest of Luxor. The city is divided into two parts by the Nile. We saw the main attractions on the East bank the first day and ate a quick breakfast before tackling the West Bank. We took a ferry over and rented old, one-gear, wobbly bicycles. The weather was perfect for riding and aside from getting to the Valley of the Kings, the road was generally flat. We went riding towards all the sites and passed the Colossi of Memnon on the way.

I was #20.

We got to a major intersection that had a map showing the paths to all the sites. Seeing how far the Valley of the Kings was and remembering the advice of the bike dealer, we decided to take a taxi and put the bikes in the trunk. When we passed two cyclers who were biking up the mountain to the Valley, I hid my face. I only care what they think a little. We made it to the valley and tried to lock our bikes up but the police officers there insisted that we just trust them with the bikes. I think they were amused by the composition of our group.

The Valley of the Kings is comprised of many tombs, including King Tut's. You get to enter any three you want (besides King Tut's which is a separate ticket). The lines for the most popular tombs are very long. It kind of feels like Disney World. We chose Thutmosis III, Ramses IX, and Ramses I. Because the guide book said that they were nice. The walls were beautifully painted and well-preserved. Most of the tombs are dimly lit and covered in hieroglyphics and drawings on the walls. Many of them have several chambers, and the paths leading in go deep into the mountains and are very narrow and dank. They are not a good place for the claustrophobic. We also paid for King Tut which was relatively empty (most of his stuff is in museums now) but we did see his mummy!

Then, one of the Egyptians that tries to get you buy things from him took us on a nice hike up a mountain to see the view from above. It was too foggy to get a clear scene but I did get to take a few pictures which were not allowed on the actual site premises.

After the Valley of the Kings, we got our bikes back and cruised down the mountain to the Temple of Hatshepsut. Carved into the mountain, the temple looked stunning:

I'm ready to go right now.

Finally, we biked to the temple at Medinat Habu. It is not visited often so I thought it would be quieter than the others but it turned out that a commercial was being filmed there for Panasonic.

There were so many other things to see on the West Bank like the Valley of the Queens, Tomb of the Nobles, and the Ramesseum but we simply didn't have enough time since all the sites closed by 4:30 PM. Still, it was a wonderful trip and I loved biking around the area. We had an early dinner and then headed to train station for a three hour ride to Aswan to get ready for the second half of our adventure.

3 comments:

  1. OMG. BEST BLOG POSTS EVER. I AM SO JEALOUS!!

    this is the only reason why I would come visit you.

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  2. oh and "the situation" is stephanie...long story...

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  3. are you wearing a wu-tang shirt?

    ReplyDelete