The first was the tomb of Ramses the 7th. On the small side, but the first one discovered in the Valley. The color that was remaining on the tomb walls was amazing to see. 3000 years later, and some of the colors are very vivid. Amy was able to tell the stories of the walls which are writings from the Book of Caverns, Book of Gates, and the infamous, Book of the Dead. Although the Book of Caverns and Gates tell so much more. She could even read many of the Hieroglyphs. While no pictures of the tombs are allowed, I snuck a few pics out of there. Yeah digital. At the end of that tomb time, the tomb keeper allowed us to climb inside the pit where the sarcophagus was kept. We decided that we now have earned the title of 'tomb raiders' after that little excursion.
We then went on to see 4 more tombs. The next one was huge in comparison to the first and had tons of very colorful hieroglyphs and multiple chambers. But, due to it's size, it was packed with tour bus loads of folks. Then on to a smaller one and another good sized one near the front. Sneaking picture the whole time. ;) wink!
The last tomb was the smallest that we saw, but it was of the Famous, King Tutankhamun, one of the youngest pharaohs and with a very short reign. It was good to see, especially after having seen the gold casket and death mask at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo last week.
At this point we had to get to the next site, the temple of Hatsheptsut, the one who did the Obelisks at the Karnak temple. When, all of a sudden, I recognized a logo of Cedok (a Czech tour agency), the group I was considering traveling with originally. So, what the heck... I asked them if we could bum a ride. Turns out they were going to the same temple but had to stop at an alabaster shop first. Cool by us. Free ride with A/C. They even got us the group rate for the next temple. :)
The Temple of Hatsheptsut was nice and impressive at the bottom of the limestone mountains. But, most references to Hatshepsut were chiseled out by her immediate successor, her nephew. Hatshepsut claimed that she was the daughter of a God and in order for her nephew to take the throne and claim to come from a legitimate line, he had to cross her name out. Still a nice place. Unfortunately, the tour bus was heading to the East Bank for lunch, and we still had more to see. We took a cab with another couple to the Medinet Habu temple. Just prior to arriving at the temple, we had lunch at a little hole in the wall hotel in the middle of nowhere. Not bad.
The temple was across the street and was again, huge. This one had more complete walls than the other two and very complete roofs. But, what was really great was bumming a ride at the end from a group of three Dutch tourists. They took us all through the country side, over the Nile and to the front door of our hotel. FOR FREE!!! We really lucked out. Then, some snacks, a touch of internet and out to the Hassle-Free shopping zone. After a bit of that, I snuck into the pool house, and grabbed a quick shower. Shhh...don't tell anyone.
Train time again. Back to Cairo.