West Bank visits – Nile River Cruise
This morning we travelled by coach to the West Bank to see the Colossi of Memnon. The two statues of Amenhotep III are probably the first monuments that you’d see on arrival in the West Bank. These awesome, huge and prominent statues, seem to be out of place in the flat desert plain as there’s nothing else of any scale in the vicinity. They were originally built to guard Amenhotep’s mortuary temple, believed to be the biggest ever built in Egypt. We all jumped off the coach to take our snaps of our dwarfed figures against these 18m high monoliths. That accomplished, we then headed for the Valley of the Kings.
As the sun rises from the east and sets in the west, Egyptians believe that East represents life and West, death. Hence, the tombs are on the West Bank. Along the way, if you’re alert, you’ll see ancient burial sites. The Valley of the Kings was the necropolis of the New Kingdom pharaohs. The pharaohs, from Tuthmosis I onwards, hoped that by digging their tombs deep into the Thebian Hills, they would prevent robbers from stealing the priceless possessions buried with them. The possessions buried in the tomb were to provide the kings’ enjoyment in their after-life.
About sixty-two tombs have been found in the Valley. When we arrived at about 10 a.m., it was already very hot. Whilst Mohammed queued for tickets, we sheltered from the heat as best as we could. The tombs were a little distance from the ticket booth, causing a few to be concerned about the heat.
Luckily, Mohammed had organized for a little trolley train to transport us uphill to the start of the burial sites. In any case, we weren’t going to let the heat get in the way of exploring this amazing site.