Monday, February 13, 2012
Monday, Feb 13th, Donkeys & Al-Deir Al-Bahari Temple
If you aren't contemplating Camel rides, how about donkeys? This morning, we saddled up 11 donkeys, and rode through the backroads of the town of Luxor. There's not a lot to prepare you to ride a donkey. With no stirrups, and little to hang on to, I can say with certainty that it feels pretty stupid. It works, however, if that's all you have. But I'm sure the tourists provide the locals with plenty of satisfaction knowing someone would pay that kind of money to look that odd passing your sugar cane fields.
But the real destination today was the Valley of the Kings. The most well-known set of Egyptian temples, notably for the Tomb of Tutanhkamen, the 63 tombs in the valley have rotated openings each month. General admission tickets get you into three choices from among about ten which are open. Guides are not allowed inside, and so ours prepped us in the shade outside. This month, those of the Ramses dynasty were featured. The colors of the images of Ra and Anubis crowning each of the rulers were bright and vivid. But no cameras are allowed in the valley, so you'll just have to see them for yourselves. The short version of briefing is that the images depicted on the walls
tell the stories of activities of gods and pharaohs passing time in that space between the first world and the second world, and confirming that the life the pharaoh led in the first demonstrated the generosity necessary to qualify him for passage to the second.
After our tomb visits, we drove to the other side of the Valley to see the tomb of the first female Pharaoh, Hatsepsuok. Fulfilling the roles in her life as daughter to the Pharaoh, sister to the Pharaoh, wife of the Pharaoh, mother of the Pharaoh, aunt of the Pharaoh, and finally Pharaoh, she nevertheless lost almost all of the images of her when her step-son order the defacing of all statues and images throughout the land when he took over the throne. She appears to be the ultimate woman to have not gotten credit for a life of struggle. She did rule for 20 years at the height of the Pharonic millenium, and accomplished far more than that other, more well-known female Egyptian leader, Cleopatra.
To see the photos taken today, click on: Donkeys and Hatsepsouk
To watch a short video of the sunset over the Nile, click on: Nile Sunset Sailing
This evening, we checked into the Sonnestra St George Hotel in Luxor, a five-star location where we'll be staying for the next three nights. I've paid for two days of internet access, and the speed and bandwidth seems just fine. We'll be going to more temples and tombs, and have time for some restaurants and museums.
We're okay, haven't lost anything, in good health, and enjoying the good weather and sparse crowds. Will catch upon the news now that we have lots of internet access and a television that works. Hope the rest of you are well and happy.