We kicked off Luxor day super early. My one-sided little chat with Horus in Edfu yesterday seems to have worked, because the temperature dropped at least 20 degrees. We set off for the Valley of the Kings in an air-conditioned minibus, so the mood couldn't have been better --- and then it did get better, because Daddy came up with an idea. Instead of following the schedule and taking the afternoon off, we could add a few extra stops to our tour and keep going through dinner. It says something that all eight of us readily agreed not only to keep going, but also on the specifics of what else to see and do. I'm really liking these people.
We entered three tombs in the Valley of the Kings (Tutankhamun was not one of them - that tomb is empty and apparently not that interesting), spending roughly 10 minutes in each one. They were not too crowded, but everyone was anxious to get to the next stop, so we kept moving. We learned that experts believe there are still 60 or more tombs undiscovered in the Valley, including some pharaohs and queens of the 18th dynasty. I can't begin to imagine the excitement of the next person to make such a discovery.
After the Valley of the Kings we proceeded to the Valley of the Queens and the most astonishing moment yet: the tomb of Queen Nefertari. It is the best preserved and most stunningly beautiful of all the tombs we visited. Although visitors are not allowed to remain inside longer than 10 minutes, we stretched to 12, and I personally would have stayed there all day. The level of detail and vibrant colors on every wall will remain in my memory forever. I'm not ashamed to say I had tears in my eyes.
By the time we left the Valley the heat was starting to hurt again. Daddy decided to give us a break and take us to the workers' village, where artisans are still carving alabaster as it was done thousands of years ago. After a short demonstration, our little group descended on the attached store. I bought a few carved figurines and some paper-thin alabaster candle domes.
No, we were not done yet!
We visited Luxor museum, a welcome change from the chaos of Cairo Museum. It is smaller and has fewer artifacts, but everything is clean and well curated, and visitors were well behaved.
After the museum, our last stop of the evening was a light and sound show at Karnak. We are scheduled to visit the temple tomorrow morning, but couldn't pass up the opportunity to see it at night. I was not disappointed. Karnak by flashlight is eerie, beautiful, and simply magical. I wish the tour lasted longer than the one-hour, but my feet were grateful when it all ended and I had my legs up back in my cabin at the St. George, with a delicious dinner balancing on my lap. This wonderful day seemed to stretch to 40 hours, but every one of them well worth the effort!