Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Valley of the Kings

Part Two
of our Holy Land Tour -- 1979

Our first day of touring was actually in Luxor, Egypt.
We flew from Indianapolis, to Amman, Jordan
where we spent hours & hours waiting for a connecting flight,
then flew on to Cairo, Egypt.
After about 4 hours of sleep,
we had to go back to the Cairo airport for a flight to Luxor.

And believe me...by the time we landed, we were wide awake!
I remember the decent into Luxor
as feeling like we were on a downward
roller coaster ride. 
I'm sure that pilot must have been left over 
from their Air Force
&  still thought he was dodging bullets!
A thrill ride we will always remember. . .

See...I told you we had to get up early!
The sun wasn't even all the way up when we landed in Luxor.
Bob says he still remembers the feeling of being a stranger
in a foreign land in this airport.
It was very small & almost deserted.
But our guide did show up & off we went to the tombs!

I am still amazed at how wide the Nile River is.
Our destination was across the river & we had to
ride the ferry to the other side.

And from the bus window we passed many scenes like this.
Men walked behind their oxen which still pulled plows through the Egyptian dirt.
It was as if we were walking back through the pages of the Bible.

To reach the Valley of the Kings,
we drove down a winding roadway,
passed age old monuments,
to what was once a secret passage way
to the burial grounds of the Kings & Queens of Egypt.

We drove down into a deep valley, into the hot dessert,
where workers were still excavating, searching for
the riches of long ago.

The Valley of the Kings

In 1979, I'm not sure I even realized who King Tut was.
His tomb was discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter,
& in recent years, you may have been able to see for yourself,
some of King Tut's treasures.

Other kings were entombed here. . .
& I wish I hadn't waited almost 32 years
to journal about my trip
as details are now a foggy memory.

A short distance away is the burial grounds
 for Egypt's queens.

It was amazing to see the excavated ruins of temples built long ago,
stone upon stone, placed without the help 
of our modern day equipment.
At the description of our guide,
I finally saw how walkways of sand could be made
for the workers to manually haul the large stones in place.
Even at understanding that concept,
the accomplishments of that day seemed almost impossible.

 Built during the reign of Queen --
or King as she declared herself--

Our shopping center for the day. . .
Our tour guide promised that we would
not find alabaster pieces anywhere else
at such a bargain price.
They certainly didn't have a lot invested
in their showroom!

We came home with 2 beautiful vases that I still display.

Surrounding buildings, near our souvenir shop . . .
children came out of the stone rubble to beg from us.
I still remember tossing a pack of gum out the bus window
to a little girl who had the saddest brown eyes,
& to my horror, other little girls knocked her down
& took the gum away from her.
Our bus driver wouldn't let me off to give her any more.

And these dudes begged Bob to take their picture with me!
They seemed harmless
but of course wanted "baksheesh"--
which I now see is "a gratuity--or bribe for services".
Yes...they wanted $$$.

And this was just how we spent our morning.

land of the Pharaohs, kings & queens
of the Nile

Photos are taken from 35 mm slides,
scanned, enhanced & still not very good quality.
If we were to take the same trip today,
I cannot imagine how many digital shots I would come home with!

1 comment:

Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

What a wonderful trip you had! The closest I'll ever get to Luxor is the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas that we stayed in a few years ago...ha! I've enjoyed seeing your photos and reading about your trip, Sheila. It must have been a marvelous experience. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Btw, how's your weather? It's the big topic around here. And it's snowing again! I just peeked out the window and the street is covered with snow. They said just flurries...right!

Take care, Cheryl