DAY 4 – Tuesday, March 14: Luxor West Bank sites – Tomb of Queen Nefertari (Valley of the Queens), Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut’s Deir El Bahari Temple, and the Colossi of Memnon. Shopping: Alabaster Shop.
Hotel: Luxor Hilton Hotel or similar. Luxor hotel night #3. Meals: BB, L
Today we have a very special treat. The Tomb of Queen Nefertari has now been opened to the public! There is a hefty entrance fee (about $85 USD), but that has been included in your tour. The beauty of this tomb is incomparable, literally breathtaking. Images from this tomb, with its many depictions of the gods and goddesses, are found in all the well-known books of Egypt. What an opportunity to see it ourselves up close! Ruth Shilling (your tour leader!) has authored a book with many beautiful photos of this tomb. See it on Amazon.
Next, we visit the most famous archeological site in the world, the Valley of the Kings, where King Tut’s tomb was found. There are many tombs here, and excavations are still going on, as well as renovations to tombs that have been uncovered for a long time. One never knows which tombs will be open that day, but there will be a variety to choose from. The special ticket for the remarkable Tomb of Ramesses V&VI is included in your tour, in addition to 3 other tombs of your choice. This is the tomb you may have seen with the spectacular scene of the sky goddess Nut arched across the ceiling.
For lunch, we are hoping to visit a family who are friends of Ruth on the West Bank of Luxor. If they are not able to host us that day, we will eat at a nearby restaurant.
In the afternoon, we visit one of the earliest New Kingdom temples. Called “The Most Splendid of All” by the ancient Egyptians. Queen Hatshepsut’s Temple, the famous Deir El Bahari, has inspired many, including the founders of modern architecture. One of the outstanding features is the picturesque Hathor columns in the Hathor Chapel on the second Level. The third level has now also been opened to the public.
Here on the West Bank of Luxor are workshops for alabaster statues, figurines, and other assorted items made in stone. We will stop at one of these workshops to see their handiwork.
Our last site today is the “Colossi of Memnon.” They are actually two huge statues of Amenhotep III which stood at the entrance to a temple which no longer stands. During our first tours of Egypt, there were fields of grain behind these statues. Today it is an active archeological site with new artifacts being discovered on a regular basis.
Dinner is on your own at the hotel.