A Tomb Fit For A King
What better way to start off your day than a hot air balloon ride at sunrise over the Valley of the Kings? This is how we started New Years’ Eve!
To start off our day, we took a hot air balloon over the city of Luxor for an aerial tour. We were able to see how they set up the balloons and how they filled them up with hot air and attach them to the baskets.
Once the balloon had air, it was time to bring some heat!
Each basket held 32 people, so I was still a little worried that the balloon wouldn’t be able to take off. Fortunately for us, lift off was achieved and we watched the sun rise from the sky.
The views were spectacular. To the west we were able to see almost the entire Valley of the Kings, particularly Hatshepsut’s funerary temple.
And to the east we saw Luxor and the rising sun.
Later in the day, we explored the Valley of the Kings from the ground. There are 62 tombs in the Valley of the Kings, each tomb belonging to a pharaoh of ancient Egypt. All of these tombs were originally filled with treasures from ancient Egypt, but almost all of it was stolen by grave robbers.
Inside all of the tombs, the walls are covered with beautiful, vibrant paintings. Since they have had no exposure to the sun or nature, the painted walls are well-preserved and look like they were finished recently.
Many of the tombs contain paintings depicting scenes from the Book of the Dead, a collection of texts made to guide and protect the dead through their journey to afterlife. The text was normally wrapped in the mummy’s bandages and certain scenes were painted on the tomb walls.
When we explored the Valley of the Kings, we visited 4 tombs: the tombs of Ramses II, Ramses IX, Merenptah, and Tutankhamen. In order to take pictures of the paintings inside, you have to buy an extra ticket, but we decided to be stealthy and try our luck taking pictures without a ticket. I took pictures throughout the tombs and I was never caught, but my dad was. He had to pay the person who caught him and he was free to go.
In my opinion, the most spectacular tomb was the tomb of King Tut. Inside his tomb, we saw his mummy, his golden sarcophagus, and amazing paintings. King Tut’s tomb is actually pretty small in comparison to the other pharaohs’ tombs because he was buried in the tomb meant for his advisor. Since he died at a young age, there wasn’t enough time to build him a “proper” tomb.
This experience reminded me of the tombs we saw during our time at Petra in Jordan. Both were carved into the rocks and have been preserved for all these years! I can only imagine how the archaeologists must have felt when they uncovered these tombs, especially King Tut’s.