Thebes, Day one

Opted for the hotel’s suggested one-day West bank tour, partly to meet some other people and partly to get some interprative background. We began with the Valley of the Kings, which is as bleak and desolate as everyone says, and does feel quite remote, despite being right beside the area of cultivation. The sense of remoteness is not helped by huge numbers of visitors, of course. Visited KV2, KV16 and KV11 – all quite well trafficed tombs, KV11 including a dog-leg due to encountering KV32 on its original axis. The steep ascent out of KV16 gave some of the older / larger proportioned tourists some difficulty; no defibrillators beside the fire-extuinguishers as of yet, though heart-attacks seem more likely than fire in stone tombs.

Next up was Hatsephut’s immense temple to the greater glory of … herself, unfortunately her step-son was unimpressed by mum’s power-grab and scratched her out of (almost) every freize and cartouche. The New Kingdon pharaohs do come across as a bit of a touchy bunch, though all sorts of other people have willfully messed around with the temples since their construction.

We then had the obligatory stop at an alabaster factory (i.e, shop) where sadly everyone declined to buy anything.

Then on the the Valley of the Queens for two small but beautiful tombs. The Valley of the Queens contains a large number of gaping holes in the ground marking assorted tombs; some are covered but plenty are not. Clearly Egypt is not yet the land of the lawsuit.

Posted Saturday, April 12th, 2008 under history, travel.

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