Published: January 16th 2012January 14th 2012
This morning started with having to jump off a moving train. Yes, you heard correctly. The train crew didn’t wake us up in time once we got to Luxor station, and by the time I got all my stuff ready, the train was on the move. They yelled out, trying to stop the train, but my only option was to jump off, as did my cabin mate. Luckily the train was going no faster than running speed. I did stumble a bit when I jumped off, and it was kind of scary, but an interesting experience. This is how it’s done in Egypt; it will make an adventurer out of you.
I got transferred to my hostel, and caught a bit more sleep. I had a tour at about 8am – I was going to be driven to the Valley of the Kings and Queens, and the temple of Nefertiti. So as the time came, I got to see Luxor, the outskirts, and the west and east banks of the Nile. I saw a lot of what there is to see of the African lifestyle; people farming, standing outside their homes, doing their own chores; I was amazed with what I was seeing. Lifestyle is just so different over here.
The first place we headed to was the Valley of the Kings. Cameras were not allowed. Here I was going to see inside some of the best-preserved tombs that exist. Walking in, the heiroglyps and paintings immediately captured my attention. It was truly fascinating to see how people used to write back in the day. The paintings on the walls were still in good form, you could almost say that it’s been painted over again.
There were several of these tombs to explore within the area. And of course there are vendors constantly trying to shove books or souvenirs in your faces, but the tactic to ignore them seems to work well, only that it makes me feel rude after a while.
We headed to the Temple of Hatshepsut next, which was amazing. Plenty of tourists around too. This site was pitched up beneath the mountains; you could walk up the stairs and into the temple itself. I was slightly uncomfortable with how bright it was. I guess I should have had a pair of sunglasses with me.
Then it was off to the Valley of Queens, which was pretty much the same as the Valley of Kings, with paintings and writings all over the walls of the tombs. Photos aren’t allowed inside, which is a shame.
But soon I was headed back to my hostel, and I had some pizza from a local restaurant before getting some sleep.