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Luxor and the Valley of the Kings!

Written on: Thursday January 7th, 2010

A journal entry from: Sun, Sand and Wind

Hi Guys!

I have just finished putting up a few pictures of Cairo, on the first blog! Check it out when you get a chance! Now that I have access to a better computer I will try to put some pictures for my time in Aswan and Luxor as well, so check back periodically when you get a chance!


It is the middle of the night in Aswan on the 5th of January and Song and I have both just woken up shortly after 5 am in order to catch our train to Luxor. After walking to the train station at that time of day, I was pretty beat. Safe to say that minus the one night on the sleep train, I have averaged 2 to 3h of sleep at best during the evenings due to the noise and 5 am prayers, and usually a 1h nap in the afternoon, combine this with 1 or 2 meals for the day and 7-8h in the sun, I am quite shocked that I am currently in as good a shape as I am!


The train ride was 3h, and like most things in Egypt it was late! That being said is was fairly comfortable, when my eyes were open, I got to see a lot of the country side and see how ppl outside the city live. Once in Luxor, Song and I checked in to different accommodations as we were travelling on student/work budgets! After lunch we parted ways. That afternoon I simply checked out the downtown, and went to the Karnak Temple to take some pictures for Opa, to compare them to his pictures from 50 years ago! Luxor has a population of 380,000 and like most places in Egypt is situated among the Nile. It is here on the West bank of Luxor that is located the famous Valley of the Kings! Again like any tourist place in Egypt, it is impossible to walk down the side of the nile more the 20 metres without being pestered and followed. By now my patience was starting to tire!


I stayed at the Princess Hotel (hostel/budget hotel). The owner is originally from France and therefore the webpage attracts many French. The first night on the roof top, we were a group sitting together of French people from France, Columbia and myself. Very neat to have ppl from 3 countries speaking French together.


The following morning, I woke up early to join a guided tour of the famous West bank. We stared off by going to the Temple of Hatshepsut, which took something like 18 years to build and was used only for 70 days in order to mummify her body. Quite impressive. After that we continued to the Valley of the Kings. Probably the most impressive part of the trip to date, so many tombs all buried quite deeply. They figure they have only found around 40-60% of the tombs and therefore you can still see archaeological digs! I can't remember the names of all 4 tombs we saw, but we did Ramses 4 and 6 which were very impressive. Since there is no sun light inside the tombs, the colors are very well preserved! You need to picture the valley without it being a valley, since before the tomb robbers and archaeologist, there was no valley, it has since, all been dug up!


All in all, very nice and very amazing and crazy that these tombs were all done by hand!

Back at the hotel, an English man Steve, who has been living here for 2 years showed me to the only local store in town that carries western type food at an Egyptian price. It was nice to stalk up on some stuff and we had some good talks and I learnt a lot about the people and area through him.


That night I re-packed my bags and woke up the next morning at 4 am to get a taxi to the airport. My flight was for 6:30, but we did not get on until roughly 8... fortunately I had enough time in Cairo to connect to my next flight to Sharm El Sheik, which again was delayed by 1.5h.


I have now arrived in Dahab and praying for wind! Will post an update in the next few days.


Take care,


From Derek Clouatre on Jan 7th, 2010

Sounds like your trip is getting better and better. A little envious of the weather as I just got back from Winnipeg... need I say more. Hope the wind picks up for you, can't wait to see more pictures.

From Natalie on Jan 7th, 2010

David! How was the shisha? Good thing Danny explained that one to me... I was wondering what you were thinking posting that!!! xxx N, D & M

From David W on Jan 9th, 2010

Hey Nat, Shisha was ok, it has no effect, just gives a flavoured smoke taste... Ours was peaches and it really does taste like peaches!