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Queen Hatshepsut, Karnak, and Luxor

Then we flew to Luxor to spend the night at the hotel and have touring to start the next day.  It feels like all the things we’ve done so far happened weeks and weeks ago though because we are so tired and have seen so much.

Today in Luxor the first thing we visited was The Valley of the Kings, where a lot of the pharaohs decided to be buried.  The first dude chose this valley in the middle of the desert because there is a mountain in the shape of a pyramid at the top and he felt it was too far for looters to come and take his afterlife treasures.  But all the tombs were looted anyways because the builders would just come back and take all the stuff.  We got to go inside three of the tombs of some of the Ramses, which basically were all the same. They had steep steps down into the ground and then a few rooms before the main room where the sarcophagus rested.  All the walls and ceilings were covered in hieroglyphics and pictures of the king making oblations to the gods to make sure he could make it into eternity.  Unfortunately we couldn’t take any pictures of these carvings; I imagine it was because there is still some of the original colors on the carvings and the lights from cameras would make them dim faster.  One of the tombs especially was pretty colorful with blues of different shades, reds, oranges, and yellows.  Then we got to go into King Tut’s tomb.  It was the smallest of the tombs, but had a lot of colors and they even had the original sarcophagus with the middle gold-covered wooden coffin and the body of the boy Pharaoh himself.  All you could see though was his blackened head and feet, the rest of him was under a cloth.  That was pretty cool.

Next we went to see the valley on the other side of the mountains where all the kings were buried to the valley where nobles and high officials were buried including the first self-proclaimed woman pharaoh.  She wore the double headdress and the fake beard and everything. Her step-brother, who technically should have been Pharaoh got all jealous though and when she died, he came and tore down all her statues and the temple/tomb she had built so the statues and pillars at this place were all basically salvaged from the wreckage and restored.

We next saw the place where tomb #30 is that is supposedly where the scrolls that Joseph Smith purchased and translated into the Book of Abraham were taken from.  Then we went back to the hotel for lunch.  The variety and taste of all the meals we’ve had so far have been pretty good, although we have all taken the advice about taking two chewable pink bismuth with every meal during our stay in Egypt.

After lunch at the hotel we visited the temples of Karnack and Luxor while Andrew took a nap with ice.  It was a good thing he did because during the four hours we were outside looking at all these 3500 year old ruins the temperature was 51 degrees Celsius –approximately 124.8 degrees Fahrenheit.  Talk about ridiculous heat.  It was at the beginning of this trek that Judy started throwing up because she got Pharaoh’s Curse and then we think probably some heat stroke from not drinking and eating enough earlier in the day from the first affliction.  And then about ¾ of the way through the tour Amy and I started feeling queasy.  I know I was drinking enough water though, so I’m not sure where it came from.  The heat sure makes us all grumpy though. Andrew keeps telling me I’m super grumpy and that I need to cheer up.  (hmph!)  Our tour guide here in Luxor told us that was the hottest temperature he has ever given this tour in.  HOT!  Then we went to the temple at Luxor, it wasn’t as hot and we didn’t stay as long –just 30 minutes then back to the hotel for dinner and check-out and now we’re at the airport to fly back to Cairo.

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