Get lost inside ancient wonders of this world…
Let the dull and modern throws of today drift out of view while racing into the night down a long, lonesome desert Highway. Leave the smog, the trash, the detriment and burden of an overwhelming society behind. We step back through history, peering into the heart, soul and flesh of cultures long gone but never to be forgotten. Taking in a glimpse of a posthumous civilization that peaked our existence, never to be recreated in any resonating capacity.
The world has changed a thousand times over and we don’t crave to see the now, no we are eager to be enraptured by our past. Busses, car horns, taxis and mouth flapping pedestrians filter into the void behind our peripherals as we focus and beeline toward what beckons us here. All the rest uninteresting; a waste of space. No, we don’t care to see your jewelry shop. No, I don’t want a wooden Sphinx knickknack.
We buzz through turnstiles and past corroborating crooks pouncing on timid tourists. All is hush now, the quiet looms over the dead. Inside the Valley Of The Kings we solemnly walk along one of the most sacred and elaborate burial sights in the world. No words could describe the Pharaoh’s celebrated sarcophaguses and tombs. So intricately adorned and preserved, standing the long tests of time through countless raids, rummaging and scientific robbery.
In the name of protection we have decimated tradition. Desecrating graves for our endless, dogmatic need to know everything. All of the Pharoahs’ treasures taken from them, shipped across the world and stored under thick tempered glass. Their After Lives stripped and whittled down by the Age of Discovery and the modern age of travel. Hieroglyphs scratched out, frescos peeling and fading from stolen touches.
But it isn’t just our past or the inconsiderate tourist who continue to devalue and deteriorate these tombs. The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism is partial to blame. The hustle is real out here and guards who protect the tombs are all susceptible to corruption through monetary benefit by allowing visitors to step inside sarcophaguses, touch tombs, flash cameras and cross roped off areas. Even us, in our desire to see the world through nature and man’s incredible architectural feats we have unwittingly encouraged the degradation of these treasures by playing a role in the continued cyclical cycle of capturing memories behind a lens. Please remember that it is our duty as tourists to care for what we seek out, even if we are encouraged to go beyond boundaries by guards through tipping. Nothing is worth the price of our history.
A positive and more progressive take on the Valley is noted through the randomization of daily tomb tours. Knowing that everyday some tombs may Rest In Peace from hoarding crowds helps reduce an otherwise incriminating act of selfishness. I am forever grateful to have seen three of more than sixty tombs in the Valley Of The Kings. It truly is mind blowing to see such incredible perfection, symmetry, story and care from such an ancient culture.
In Karnak we were blown away by the sheer immensity of the temple. Standing inside the Great Hypostyle Hall 134 columns towered above us. Most of them forty foot high, all decorated with stories and reliefs, portraying the feats and wonders of the Pharos, gods, and heights of Egyptian culture. We stared on in awe, reluctantly tearing our eyes away from one wall to the next, trying to take it as much as we possibly could.
Hours drifted by while slowly meandering through these immaculate temples. With each turn our gaze met another spectacular sight to behold. The statues so detailed. How did they create these massive works of art with such precision? They are monumental, enthralling.
From Karnak to the Temple of Luxor, Hatshepsut and Habu we took in everything we could in our limited time.
Wandering through columns upon columns of hieroglyphic pillars. Pondering the symbolism lining the walls, the symmetry, the ancient imagery. Trying to decipher the stories of this beautifully archaic language. Visualizing the a Kings and Queens of the past and what life was like here in this valley.
Words can’t even quite do this experience justice, so we will just allow the pictures to speak for themselves.
Exploring Luxor was worth the hassle of visiting Egypt. Seeing this history helped us to focus on the beauty and not the many disappointments we faced in Egypt.we definitely recommend taking more time to explore Luxor than the Pyramids of Giza, because there is so much more to see and the experience was much more pleasant.