DAY 4 – Monday, January 1, 2024: Check out of our Luxor hotel. Luxor West Bank sites – Tomb of Queen Nefertari (Valley of the Queens), Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut’s Deir El Bahari Temple, Village Kids, and the Colossi of Memnon. Begin our Private Nile Cruise.
Nile Cruise: Sacred Lotus Dahabiya, night #1. Meals: BB, L, D.
After checking out of the hotel 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 (see video below). There are also optional tickets available for the Tomb of King Tut and King Seti 1.
Here on Luxor’s West Bank, we also stop to see the “Colossi of Memnon.” They are actually two huge statues of Amenhotep III which stood at the entrance to a temple that 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.
In the afternoon, we visit one of the earliest New Kingdom temples. Called “The Most Splendid of All” by the ancient Egyptians. Queen/King 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 if there is interest.
One of the high points for many of our travelers is getting a chance to have some fun with some of the local kids in a village here when we visit them today. Their enthusiasm is infectious and there is much laughter and excitement.
Many of us don’t want to leave the kids, but our private cruise boat is waiting for us there on the West Bank. This size boat is called a “dahabiya” or “dahabeya.” There are just 10 guest cabins, but we have a full staff – cooks to feed us wonderful meals, housekeeping to keep our cabins clean, and all the other staff that is needed to keep the boat running smoothly. What a luxury! As we begin our journey up the Nile, the landscape begins to slowly drift by and we enjoy our first of many delicious meals on the boat (made just for us)!
The river flows from deep in Africa out to the Mediterranean Sea, so it is flowing from south to north. We are now traveling southward and will be stopping to see temples that were built by the Greek emperors 1,000 years later than the New Kingdom temples we visited in Luxor.
VIDEO BELOW: The Sky Goddess Nut on the Ceiling of the Ramesses V & VI Tomb in the Valley of the Kings
USE FULL SCREEN (bottom right square icon) to watch the video below.
The Ceiling of the Burial Chamber of the Tomb of Ramesses V&VI