Sorry that I haven’t written in a while. Just needed a break this week. Let me get back to my adventure in Egypt. Last time I left you I was in Luxor visiting the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut.
We got off the bus and walked through the vendors. I saw a shirt I wanted and made a mental note that I would try to get it on the way back to the bus. We went to a big room, which had a model of all the tombs in the valley. Sherif spoke to us for a bit there. I paid to use the bathroom and then went outside to join the group. We had to catch a tram to the tombs. However, some of the vendors got on the tram, which they aren’t allowed to do. So we stopped and had to wait for them to get off. Sherif handed us our 3 tomb ticket. Michael, Paul, and I purchased tickets to see King Tut’s tomb and Ramesses VI’s tomb. Sherif wasn’t allowed in the tombs so he showed us which ones to go into and gave his speeches outside of the tombs.
The first tomb we went into was KV 2, which belongs to Ramesses IV. The tomb has a red granite sarcophagus and has many smaller side rooms. The images of Nut on the ceiling were incredible. Paul and I noticed a decoration on one of the walls that I thought looked like papyrus. Sherif didn’t know what it was, but in the end we found out I was right. The entrance to this particular tomb seemed very long. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to take pictures in the tombs. The Theban Mapping Project provides images, descriptions, and diagrams of the tombs. They are definitely worth looking at.
Next was KV 11, which belongs to Ramesses III. Sonja decided to pay the tomb guy to guide her. I didn’t need that, so I left them. When they were building this tomb they actually hit KV 10 and had to shift the tomb over a bit. This tomb had a lot of cobras in it. It also had a wonderful scene of Ramesses offering Maat to Osiris.
The next tomb was KV 16, which belongs to Ramesses I. This one was very deep and had a lot of steps to get in. The tomb guard wanted to show me around, but I kept shooing him off. I didn’t want to pay. The scenes in this tomb were so vivid! There were beautiful images of Horus, Osiris, Atum Ra Khepri, Maat, and more. All of these images were on a blue background. There was even a sarcophagus that filled up almost the entire room. It was so dusty and Michael put his hand prints on it. The guard came over and started talking to us and at this point I decided to leave. I wasn’t paying him. At the top of the steps I didn’t feel well. The heat, the depth, and the stairs were starting to get to me. No wonder Alli got sick when she came out of this tomb. I started to walk away and got harassed by a vendor. For once my Arabic wasn’t working on him. I didn’t have the energy to fight with him. He eventually gives me a book as a gift and refuses to take it back. At that moment Paul and Michael come out of the tomb with the guard. I could tell right away that something was wrong. The guard wants to get paid and the boys don’t have money. I’m forced to pay him. I’m not happy. Now the vendor sees I have money and demands to be paid for the book he shoved in my hands. I was eventually going to buy the book anyway so I look through my wallet for money. The smallest note I have is 20LE, but the book is 5LE. The vendor takes the 20LE out of my hand and refuses to give me change. I cause a scene. He gives me another book. Now he owes me 10LE. I want my change and he claims he doesn’t have any. I’m not letting him get away with my money. So I demand he at least give me more merchandise. He gives me two postcard books. I’m pissed at the whole situation.
We go into KV 9 and I am beyond agitated. This tomb belongs to Ramesses VI and was never finished because he died before it was completed. The ceiling was incredible and showed Nut swallowing Ra. There was also very colorful cartouches. The room at the end was quite large and there was a piece of a granite sarcophagus. Sherif had told us there would be images of strange guys on the ceiling, He said they looked like aliens or Buddha. He was completely right! There was a great double image of Osiris. There was also a memorable image of Meretseger. There was just so much to see.
Last but not least was the long awaited tomb of King Tut otherwise known as KV 62. It was only fitting that the last historical thing we will be doing in Egypt would be Tut’s tomb. The tomb had a short staircase entrance. On the right of the tomb was the room Tut was originally buried in. His gold sarcophagus was in the middle of the room under the glass. On the back wall there was an image of Nut greeting Tut, the opening mouth ceremony, and finally Osiris, Tut, and his ka. On the other side wall was a scene with 6 baboons. Tut’s mummy was in the antechamber. Thank goodness I had my flashlight otherwise you wouldn’t be able to see it. I couldn’t believe I was staring at Tut after all this time. I was surprised more of the group didn’t want to see this tomb. After all, this probably the most famous tomb in Egypt.
We headed back to the “visitor center.” I wish I could have seen more tombs. I easily could have spent the whole day there. I used the bathroom. I then went to that t-shirt vendor. He wanted 170LE ($34) for the t-shirt. I got him down to 25LE ($5). The funny thing is I walked away and he followed me all the way to the bus. I wound up buying the shirt right as I got on the bus.