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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Day 2: Luxor - Esna - Edfu

Our cruise was docked at the east bank of Nile. So we took a motorboat to the west bank to visit Valley of the Kings where the Kings were buried. Temples are mostly located at the east bank, and tombs are at west bank.

Watching sunrise

Valley of the Kings
Too bad, no photos are allowed here. There are about 60 over tombs scattered on the hills, some might not been discovered. We explored three tombs: Ramses II, Ramses IV, and Thutmose III . The tomb is about the size of of our housing flats, with the walls and ceilings engraved with reliefs and hieroglyphs. The famous tomb is belonged to Tutankhamun found in 1922. It is famous because the archaelogists found a huge collection of treasures and they are still intact, not ransacked by the tomb raiders. The collection is now displayed at Egyptian museum in Cairo.

Queen Hatshepsut Temple

Horus - the falcon god

The queen herself dressed like a man with her hands crossed like Osiris.

Holy of the Hollies, the place can be identified by the ceiling getting lower and the floor is getting higher.

View from the temple

The locals prefer to stay near to their Pharaohs.

Alabaster shop

Demonstration on how to make an alabaster vase.

Hesham, our guide was enjoying shisha (smoking waterpipe)

Colossi of Memnon
Two gigantic statues of Amenhotep III. They are supposed to guard the mortuary temple, but the temple is gone.

We went back to the cruise just in time for sailing to Esna. The lunch that day was barbecue buffet at the top deck. The lunch was great and so was the weather. Every meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner) on the cruise is buffet style. It was scary :p

Top deck

These people were trying to sell their wares to us at the top deck. The way they did it was very interesting. First, they put the tshirt, towel, table cloth, or dress (only light items) inside a plastic bag. Then they threw it so that it landed at the top deck. The top deck was at the 4th level, so they need to throw it high enough, if not it falls into the water. After that the buyer examined the merchandise and then the negotiation began. They shouted to each other until everyone agreed on a price and the buyer put the money inside the plastic bag of those items that she didn't want and tossed it down. It was hilarious, sometimes the seller just threw as much things as he could even after we asked him to stop. And surprisingly, the Egyptian are quite fluent in French.

After lunch we went back to our room and continued to sleep. It would be very relaxing because we only reached Edfu the next morning. Around 4pm, we went up again for tea. We had already reached Esna, and the cruise was waiting to pass the lock. The reason for a lock is to balance the water level of one side to the other. To cross it, the cruise from one side need to wait for the cruise at the other side . Only 2 cruises can pass at a time.

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