We started the day in Luxor around 8:00 am meeting our guide in the cruise. The plan was Valley of the Kings, Queen Hatshepsut’s Temple, the Colossi of Memnon and Karnak Temple complex, quite intense day. We crossed to the West Bank of the Nile by car and arrived to the Valley of the Kings. When I was at the University some classmates made an essay about the Valley of the Kings. It seemed to me an incredible place. And now I can confirm is a stunning place.
At the first look, it seems there is nothing more than some caves and a peak with a pyramid-shaped appearance. However, the guide starts introducing you in the past, in the Ancient Times and you go crazy. 3.000 years old, more than 60 tombs, some of them open to visitors, some of the greatest pharaohs were buried there as Hatshepsut, Amenhotep III, Tutankhamun or Ramses II. The guide said people who worked in the tombs were murder to keep the location of the tombs in secret.
We visited three tombs, including the most famous one, Tutankhamun’s tomb, which is the most impressive. It is incredible how well conserved are the frescos on the tomb’s walls.
After visiting the Valley of the Kings, we visited Queen Hatshepsut’s Temple. The Temple consists of three terraces. The two lower ones would have once been full of trees. At the entrance of the temple visitors can see the root of a tree that shows there were trees there in the past. It is very curious because there are no plants around currently and it seems so dry that imagining trees there seems impossible. This mortuary temple tells the story of Queen Hatshepsut, who claimed that she was the divine daughter of Amon Ra to legitimize her rule. Part of the temple has been destroyed, stories tell that after the death of her husband Thutmose II, Hatshepsut ‘usurped‘ the throne from Thutmose III. Although Thutmose III was a co-regent during this time, there is a speculation about that Thutmose III never forgave his stepmother and aunt for denying him access to the throne for the first two decades of his reign. After the death of Hatshepsut, Thutmose III destroyed part of Hatshepsut’s monuments.
The Colossi of Memnon are two monumental statues representing Pharaoh Amenhotep III. The statues are carved from single blocks of sandstone with around 18 meters high. They were constructed as guardians for Amenhotep III’s mortuary complex which once stood behind them. A strong earthquake in Ancient times damaged many monuments in Egypt, specially this complex, which was one of the biggest in Egypt, and both Colossi.
After lunch we arrived to Karnak Temple complex, the biggest complex and the most visited monument after Giza Pyramids in Egypt. We spent around two hours visiting this complex with our guide. The Karnak Temple Complex is home to three main temples dedicated to the Gods Amun, Mut and Montu, several smaller enclosed temples, and a numerous kiosks, pylons and obelisks. The Ancient complex covers a total area of 2 sq. km. It is large enough to contain about 10 cathedrals. The complex was built during many centuries so the oldest part is the farthest from the entrance. Around thirty different pharaohs contributed to the building process of this site, enabling it to reach a size, complexity and diversity not seen elsewhere. It was after all the New Kingdom’s most sacred site. The complex includes a sacred lake and an Avenue of Sphinxes. Karnak Temple is one of the most impressive places in Egypt.
All these places are more or less accessible enough for people with reduced mobility. May be for wheelchair users is not possible to enter into all the tombs in Valley of the Kings but for the rest of places is accessible. For the rest of disabilities it can be hard depending on the level of disability. It is not easy to walk with a cane due to the uneven ground, I didn’t see anything in braille in Egypt, and there are not easy explanations or with pictograms. Also it can be boring for kids because there is nothing prepared specially for their experience.