Twenty-one hundred days of being purposely homeless – today’s landmark for us. Being in Luxor was a real treat. Our ship, Virgin Cruise’s Resilient Lady, docked at Safaga, across the Red Sea from Saudi Arabia. The bus trip was four hours long, but was interesting. While the first hour was through the Sahara Desert, the next three were through small villages filled with children, people shopping and waiting for a bus, and various shopkeepers and vendors. Whenever we smiled or waved, every single person acknowledged us with smiles and friendliness – an enthusiastic wave back, a nod of the head, a big smile, and several grown men blew kisses! Some looked startled that we were even noticing them. So that made it a lot of fun.
The Temples at Karnak in Luxor are most impressive – huge carved columns and statues and walls constructed of huge slabs of stones. Walking around is dizzying, feeling so connected to the past royalty of Egypt. It is the only place on earth where ram-headed sphinxes exist, and they made many – all lined up in the courtyard at the entrance.
The Valley of the Kings was chosen for burials once Pharaohs realized that when erecting a pyramid, the pyramid signified that a wealthy person (with expensive jewels and other items) was buried there – hence, ripe for grave-robbing. But they needed a pyramid shape to safely enter the afterlife. In the Valley of the Kings, there is a mountain that has a natural pyramidal shape, and so it was perfect for royal burials. The valley has 63 total royal tombs, all constructed in the same fashion. King Tut is here, and we just had to enter and see his tomb. We were surprised to see his head and feet – explanation below. With an entrance ticket to the temple complex, we were allowed to enter three tombs, and truthfully, that was all the time we had. There are still intricate carvings and vibrant colors in the tombs, which were magnificent. If only we were Egyptologists – we would know their significance and meaning. Until walking into these tombs, the only times we saw depictions of gods and hieroglyphics was in newly constructed places, like the Luxor Casino in Las Vegas. We had seen photos, of course, like everyone, but walking through and knowing that people 3,000 to 4,000 years ago had spent their lives building and decorating these areas made it feel like sacred ground. It is an amazing place to see and visit,
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