Sunday, March 2, 2008

A Morning In Luxor

This morning I woke up early, looked out of the window, and saw the most amazing thing. Huge balloons were floating up from the green fields across the river into the sky. Maryanne said that people ride in baskets under these balloons to see the river and Luxor from up in the air. I think that is really cool.

After breakfast we got on a bus and went over a bridge across the Nile. We were going to a place called the Valley of The Kings. At first, it didn't look like much, mostly a lot of white rock and sand. But then we went into some tunnels that had been cut into the hillsides. Inside were some beautiful paintings of people eating things, talking together and doing all sorts of things. There are rules that don't let people take pictures of the tunnels so Maryanne couldn't take any. The tunnels are called tombs and the guide said that Egyptian kings a long time ago decorated the tunnels and left statues inside so that they would have company when they were dead.
There were lots and lots of people there waiting to go into all the tunnels. We only saw three of them because we had to see a lot of other things that day. To get all the people in and out of the valley they used little trains.They were pretty nice because all that walking made everyone pretty tired even though they all kept saying how good it was that it wasn't very hot. But we still had another valley to visit and another temple or two. There were many buses waiting for all the people at the Valley of the Kings and it wasn't so easy to find ours but we did eventually and we left to see a temple for a queen called Hatshepsut. She made herself the king of Egypt for a long time and even wore a fake beard. She made a special place for herself next to the cliffs.

This was a really big temple and we climbed three sets of stairs to see all of it. One of the amazing things in these places was how many people there were from everywhere in the world. People everywhere. There were all sorts of drawings and carvings on the walls here. Some of them showed the lady king doing things, but more showed the people who worked for her. They say that the king who came after her didn't like her much and he took all her pictures away. One of the guards helped me out by carrying me around for a while because I was getting tired of looking at so many columns and walls and things. We went back to the bus again and went to another place, the Valley of the Queens, where there were more tunnels but the pictures weren't nearly as nice as in the Valley of the Kings. By this time we were getting pretty hungry and tired, so we were very happy to see the last place for the morning.

The guide called these two statues The Colossi of Memnon. They were very, very big statues of men who were pretty broken. The guide said that once long ago the statues used to make a sound in the morning when the sun warmed up the stone, but sometime ago they fixed the statues and they don't make the noise anymore. We looked around at the statues and the area around them where people are trying to understand what had been built around the statues. But we were glad to go to have lunch.

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