We were up at 6.30am to check out, have breakfast and meet our guide Nema for our trip to the West Bank. This morning we are starting with the Valley of the Kings. The valley is amazing and I can easily see why they picked this place. We ask how it was discovered. Apparently, in ancient times, thieves followed the workers and drew maps as to where the graves were. As it would take 20-30 years to build the tombs the thieves would then pass these maps down to their children. They have recently found some of these maps and actually found tombs. Howard Carter had one too which he was using to try to find Tutankhamen’s tomb. The first tomb we went in was the deepest. Not many inscriptions on the wall and it was a long way down till we came to the sarcophagus. These were all hand carved out on one solid piece of red granite. Next was Ramses 111. His tomb was beautiful but the sarcophagus crypt was the best. So unbelievably big! It’s hard to believe they were able to get it down here. Last was Ramses vi. His walls could have been painted just yesterday. The details are amazing.
We then paid a visit to an alabaster factory where we were shown how they hand make the vases, bowels etc and the kids got to have a go. We brought a lovely vase, some glow in the dark figures for the kids which are really cool, an synoptic jar and piece carved on limestone of a chariot. Mark was hard and wouldn’t budge on price. We ended up with the chariot for 1900 instead of 8500! It’s a nice piece so very happy with that though now anyone that comes to the house will think they have walked into the Egyptian Museum. We have so many beautiful things to show we will need a special room for our travels.
Next was Queen Hatshepsut temple. You need to take a carriage ride from the reception desk to the temple. It was a bit busy today so the kids got to sit up the front as it was the only seat left and the driver let them steer. They think this is great though the driver then pulls me aside and wants ‘baksheesh’ which is a tip for being nice to them! Everyone wants a piece of you here!! It spoils the experience and is a real shame. This temple is the only one if it’s kind. Queen Hatshepsut actually stole the throne from her stepson and then used the stones from someone else’s temple that was beside it to build this one. It was three levels but most of the carvings have been destroyed by her stepson after she died.
Afterwards, we had a traditional Egyptian lunch that even included pigeon. It was bloody delicious! Even the kids loved it. Our hotel this evening is the Sonesta St George and the room is massive! Pity we are only here for one night! The pool is a little heated so the kids go for a swim. I get a little wifi so let dad know I’m still alive as I have had no wifi for over three days. Nema has organised a trip to Banana Island tonight. We go by motor boat and the driver lets the kids take turns at driving. It’s a motor boat so they learn how to steer and use the throttle. They then get to climb onto the roof, much to my horror. We arrive and Nema shows us the monkeys, wolf and crocodile that are being kept by the owners. We hand feed the monkey some sunflower seeds and he is just adorable. We eat some bananas from the farm that are delicious. We have also booked the city tour via horse and carriage ride called a Calash. That’s great fun too especially when we go through the oldest street in town. It’s lined with a bazaar with lots of stalls. We need to duck through hanging clothes etc.. It’s so narrow people are moving their wares out of our way so the carriage wheels don’t run over it. We stop for fresh cane sugar juice and Ayrlie has her third cup as a take away aka, plastic zip lock bag with a straw stuck through it.
It’s been a massive day! Sooooo many wondrous things have been seen that I’m having trouble remembering all the details. I just hope I took enough photos to help me. Tomorrow we start the last leg of our journey. There are only three more days left and although I am now starting to be excited to get home, I will definitely miss this place.