In Egypt it’s sun all the time. ALL. THE. TIME. And the other cool thing is that it’s really close to the equator so the sun rises and sets at roughly 6am and 6pm every day. All year. That’s pretty cool in my opinion. Although I wonder if that makes it kinda boring and predictable. When I was talking with one of the guides, I asked him if he had ever left Egypt. His reply was no. I asked him if he could go one place, where would it be. He said he has always wanted to see snow. Imagine that for a minute. Always seeing the sun in it’s predictability… I can completely understand why he would want to see snow. I would LOVE to see the look on his face when he first encounters snow.
We began the morning at 5:15am when we were picked up from our hotel to drive to Luxor. The bus was a “private modern air conditioned vehicle” as described on the website. Marmoud would be our guide until we got to Luxor and the Valley of the Kings about 3.5 hours away.
The bacteria from the food or water (not sure exactly what it was as we were being so freakin’ careful!!) had gotten to the hubby and the tweenager but not too badly. I was a bit worried for the tweenager though as she had been sick during the night and I wasn’t exactly sure how she would do for a 3+ hour drive. Turned out that she did not too badly and was feeling a lot better as time went on.
We said goodbye to Marmoud and hello to our new guide Marmoud. It was an easy transition.
When we got to the Valley of the Kings, it was HOT and probably around 11am. I had begun to feel a little of what the hubby and tweenager had… So I decided to hit the bathroom. My first experience with paying to use the toilet (on this trip). We paid the 1 Egyptian pound per person and got our 5 squares of toilet paper. Hint for those traveling to Egypt: take some extra toilet paper in your backpack in case you might need it as they don’t supply it in the bathrooms.
Our guide was both English and French speaking but the majority of us could speak French so he spoke mainly in French. The bits and pieces that I didn’t understand I asked him or the hubby or the tweenager to translate. My father-in-law and sister-in-law both helped me as well. What was great was that I had watched a bunch of youtube videos before we left on Egypt so I knew a lot of what he was telling them.
The Valley of the Kings is simply amazing. There is a replica of the valley and where all the tombs (which are under the ground) are placed. There were 3 tombs available to go into and view the hieroglyphics and construction. The most unfortunate part was that we weren’t able to bring in our cameras to take any photos. Unfortunate for us but if everyone was taking flash photos of the hieroglyphs then then would surely dim to nothing after a while. As it was, we weren’t able to get a guided tour of them inside the tombs as the perspiration and condensation from people’s breath was wrecking them.
As we walked through the tombs it was very powerful to see the chambers, the art work, imagining the people creating this masterpiece in the ground thinking that no one would ever be able to see it again. It’s simply amazing how the Ancient Egyptians believed so strongly in the after life. It was almost more important than the living life. They would store their furniture, 365 little figurines to be their servants (one for every day of the year), food, jewelry, organs, etc… as they believe that these things were needed in the next life. It fascinates me. Probably one of the reasons it was always a dream for me to go there.
But it was so hot. I was carrying the wee babe in our Ergo but that was too hot for her so we carried her in our arms. I was getting a little concerned about the intake of water she was getting as she was drinking breast milk but I wasn’t sure enough was going in for the amount she was sweating. It also didn’t help when my hubby told me that he overheard someone else speaking French saying “I can’t believe they brought their baby here in this heat.” I told him that he should have replied for them to mind their own business.
After we left there (things were getting worse for me in a bathroom sort of way) we headed to an Alabaster factory. That was nice to see them making pots and different items by hand. We bought a few things and headed out again.
Next stop was Hatshepsut’s temple. Now it was probably about 1pm. H.O.T. That coupled with no food since breakfast at 7am – I wasn’t feeling great. It’s definitely impressive to see but I think I missed out on some of the background story as it was said in French and my concentration was lacking a little.
Then lunch. Thank god. We had brought so much water but it was all probably 20+ degrees hot by this point so I was craving some nice refreshing water and the restaurant didn’t let me down. The food was quite good as well, being sure to stay away from the uncooked veggies.
Back in the van and off to the other side of Luxor where we visited the Karnak Temple. The sun was going down at this point so the photos we took of the architecture there were stunning compared to the photos we got during the middle of the day. I’ve seen photos and video of this place but it’s much more impressive in real life. You just can’t help but wonder how this ancient civilization (with no modern technology) could build something so immense. How much time it would have taken them… When you walk amongst the pillars and take in the immenseness of the obelisks, it’s enough to make you stop and catch your breath a little.
Back into the van and off to the hotel. This hotel was even better than the one we were staying in. This one had three restaurants, a spa tub/shower with jets in the tub and one’s on the side of the wall of the shower. The toilet was like a little spa for your ass. No kidding, there was heat, massage, spray, dry… The only thing was it was broken. So no ass spa for me
By this point though I was spent. All I wanted to do was crawl into the bathtub, turn on the jets and let the day wash away. Unfortunately, the hubby and I had a communication breakdown and he took the tweenager to the pool with the rest of the family and left me for 1.5+ hours waiting for him to come back with barely any water to drink. By the time he got back, I was fairly upset as the baby hadn’t gone to sleep once and needed to breast feed the whole time and I wasn’t feeling top notch either by that point.
We headed down for Italian after I had a bath and then we headed up to bed. The bed was WONDERFUL in the hotel but we had yet another early wake up call (5am) and at around roughly 3am I found myself hugging the ass spa.
Day 2 we will spend visiting the doctor, the Pyramids, two flights and some interesting shopping.