During our river cruise on the Nile we were told again and again: “the temple is in sight”! And we immediately started shuffling like penguins towards the door of the ship and waited for the bridge to the mainland to be lowered. Although we didn’t get fed up with being on the ship for a short period of time, we were filled with pleasure and the desire to get out and discover our destination. For me, it was the first time in Egypt and the history lessons I had in school on the ancient treasures and tombs of the Pharaohs were such a long time ago. So just go – dive into the remnants of this time.
The Valley of the Kings
The “Valley of the Kings” was on my Egyptian bucketlist and frankly, it was a little disappointing. In ancient Egypt, grave robbers often plundered the precious treasures and furniture in the tombs. Amenhotep was the first pharaoh who wanted to better protect his grave/tomb. For this reason, he chose a place with difficult access which thus became known as the Valley of the Kings, just across from the capital city, Thebes. The burial site in Ancient Egypt now contains 64 tombs and pits which were found is superb condition. The colors and paintings are really admirable. But the hospitality of the “grave-watchmen” keeps you within your limits and our tickets were only valid for the entrance into three tombs. I recommend buying the big ticket so that you also really get to see something you might not know from the books. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to take pictures there because the environment and the valley itself was really mystical. The valley is located in Western Thebes, opposite Karnak at the edge of the desert. The ride there felt almost as exciting as the tombs themselves, of which only a small part can be visited so far.
Temple of Edfu – Horus Temple
Edfu is located at Luxor, about 100km south-east of our departure destination. The temple there is one of the best preserved temples in the country. “Horus” is the falcon-headed god and the son of Osiris. He stands guard over the temple in the form of large granite sculpture in the entrance area. We marveled at the “entrance” or portal and were in awe of the enormity of the temples. How in the world could the people of Ancient Egypt (306-30 BC.) execute something of such an enormous scale? The temple complex has many inscriptions and we enjoyed strolling from place to place and discovering new chambers and inscriptions over and over again with our eyes wide open. Here is a photo from which you can draw your own interpretation of the history… The temples were definitely not boring!
Sobek and Haroeris temple
Before breakfast, we left the deck to admire the next temple. After a short walk, we were faced with the ruins of the double temples of Sobek, the crocodile god and Haroeris (Horus the Great). Incidentally, there haven’t been anymore crocodiles on our route on the Nile river – but of course, during ancient Egyptian times everything looked a bit different. For us, today, the mystical life of that time still is quite unimaginable. For all the fascinating temples and their stories, a trip to Egypt in this world is worth the effort!
I was invited to a big TUI press conference on the Nile last November. Between experienced journalists and fellow bloggers I got to listen the talks about the developments of vacation packages – and got the chance to discover Egypt! All excursion I made during this trip are bookable via TUI.