Ultimate Europe 2009 travel blog

Karnak Temple

Column

Pharoahs

Entrance to Luxor Temple

More Columns

Large Column and Me

Large Statue

Houses

King Tut's Tomb!

Valley of the Kings

Desert


We woke up at 7 AM, ready for another busy day of site-seeing. First, we visited the Karnak Temple, the largest ancient religious site in the world. We walked along the ruins, examining the remains of statues, temples, chapels, pylons and other buildings. Back in the day, Thebes, was the capital of the Egyptian dynasty, and the Karnak temple was where people went to pray. I was amazed by how large and old these columns and buildings were. To remain standing after thousands of years is pretty incredible. After the Karnak Temple, we visited the nearby Luxor Temple. The Luxor Temple was built on behalf of the Egyptian Gods. There were many large statues in front and inside the temple as well. Some of them had been destroyed during the Christian movement, and had to be put back together. In the Karnak Temple, some of the pictures of the gods had been scratched out as well by the Christians. One thing that the tour guide stressed is that the builders of these temples were not slaves. They were fine craftsmen or were fed and treated well. It takes someone how truly cares about what they are doing to build such perfect columns and fine structures.

We stopped to take some pictures of the hillside (and were hounded be people trying to see us stuff)on our way to the Necropolis of Thebes in the Valley of the Kings. Over 60 pharaohs have tombs hidden in the valley amongst the hills. Pharaohs of the past had there tombs frequently raided, because the large pyramids drew people near. By hiding in the valley (under a hill shaped like a pyramid), the new pharaohs hoped to escape their forefathers fate. This proved unsuccessful in the long run, as King Tut was the only pharaoh whose tomb and treasures remained intact. All of the other tombs, many of them much larger than Tut's, were robbed and one point or another. At the Valley of the King, we walked inside 3 of the tombs, including Rameses I and Ramsses VII. The pathways were much wider than the pyramids and it was still hot but not quite as bad. Some of the tombs had multiple rooms. The drawings on the wall were not only preserved, but maintained were still colored as well. We did not go in King Tut's tomb because you have to pay extra, but I did stop by for a picture.

After that, we stopped for lunch, then visited a place where they make vases and statues out of rock. I watched the demonstration but did not buy anything, though I was impressed with the green glow-in-the-dark ones. They were pretty expensive though. Next, we boarded the bus and had a 4 hour ride through the desert to Hurghada. Hurghada is a rapidly growing city that was no more than a sea port less then 50 years ago. It is now filled with brand new resorts, condos, and hotels, as it has become a hot-spot for Eastern Europeans to come vacation. The reason, it lies against the gorgeous Red Sea. We had another buffet dinner at the hotel, then went outside and walked about the nearby stores. I headed up to my enormous room for a bit (probably about the size of 2 or 3 normal rooms), before I met up with some guys in the lobby for a few drinks. Before long, it was time for bed.

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