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The Elegance of Egypt – Day 3|3rd Apr 16

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We had another early start and were up at 6 AM to start another fun day. We had another sumptuous breakfast with lots of goodies and were ready to visit the Valley of Kings & Hatshepsut on the West Bank of the River Nile.

It was a glorious morning and the view from our room was mesmerizing! After a short drive through the quaint villages, we reached the first destination of the day.

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For a period of nearly 500 years from the 16th to 11th century BC, tombs were constructed for the Pharaohs and powerful nobles of the New Kingdom at The Valley of Kings. The valley is known to contain 63 tombs and chambers. And perhaps the most famous discovery of modern Western archaeology was made here by Howard Carter on November 4, 1922, when the tomb of Tutankhamen was discovered. Tutankhamun’s tomb was the first royal tomb to be discovered that was still largely intact (although tomb robbers had entered it), and was for many years the last major discovery in the valley. The opulence of his grave goods notwithstanding, King Tutankhamun was a rather minor king and other burials probably had more numerous treasures. The discovery prompted a worldwide fascination with Egyptology in general and Tutankhamen in particular. Carter’s partner and financier, Lord Carnarvon, died of an infected mosquito bite several months after the pair opened the tomb. His death inspired the myth of the mummy’s curse, according to which anyone who dared intrude upon King Tut’s grave would suffer his wrath.

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And this was the first time we witnessed a real Mummy up, close and personal. It was definitely a very special experience as we had heard and read so much about Tutankhamun and his treasures! But at the same time it was an eerie moment too. As we walked down those well-maintained stairs we had no idea how a real Mummy looks like but when we saw the Mummy lying peacefully in a glass casket, my experience knew no bounds. I was just like a little kid gazing endlessly at the facial features and the feet (rest of the body was covered with Egyptian Linen to preserve it).

Visitors are not allowed to take photographs inside the tombs here and that makes this place even more special as one has to experience it yourself and not through camera photographs! We visited 3 other tombs in The Valley of Kings. The heat was getting bad and we wanted a break after all those stair walks! We took a short break and proceeded towards the mini train to take us back to the main gate.

Next up was the Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. The mortuary temple is dedicated to the sun god Amon-Ra and is located next to the mortuary temple of Mentuhotep II. The Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw is responsible for the study and restoration of the three levels of the temple.

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The first monument built at the site was the mortuary temple of Mentuhotep II of the Eleventh dynasty and was constructed during the 15th century BC. Hatshepsut´s temple was named “Djeser-djeseru” (“holy of holies”). It sits directly against the rock which forms a natural amphitheatre around it so that the temple itself seems to grow from the living rock. Hatshepsut was an intriguing character. She initially ruled as regent for her step-son Thuthmosis III but promoted herself to the role of pharaoh instead of passing power to him when he came of age. Her temple is one of the most striking monuments in Ancient Egypt even in its semi-ruined state.

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We had a great time here running up those long flight of stairs with Abhay while I gave my signature pose! The site was beautiful and had some gorgeous carvings and structures. We had a wonderful time exploring the site before walking down towards a restaurant where we relaxed for a bit and get some much-needed shade!

We got back to our Cruise Boat and enjoyed a short sleep before heading towards the restaurant for lunch which was another delicious experience.

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The rest of the day was going to be very relaxed and we thoroughly got rejuvenated after a long sleep in our cozy room. We slept for 3 long hours which is a huge luxury in our otherwise hectic vacations! Bandita was loving it as sleeping is her favourite pastime!

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Abhay and I had our share of sleep and went to our balcony to enjoy the River Nile view and of the villages passing by. There were a lot of small boats hounding us with men selling goods made out of Egyptian cotton. I also bought 2 table cloths and had a harrowing time bargaining & communicating with those 2 men!

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We sailed into Edfu in the evening and watching our boat moving through the canal gates was quite a fun experience. The space was so tight and the boat made its way without touching the sides which were perilously close. We could even touch the walls from the balcony. Abhay’s was so excited with all the noise and action happening around us.

There was a Captain’s Welcome Cocktail Party scheduled in the evening before the dinner where the Captain of the boat introduced all guests to his main staff including the Head Chef, head of Housekeeping, Head of Security and some more. It was good to meet & greet the men & women behind the scenes who ensured our comfortable stay. The Captain was a handsome gentleman with more than 30 years of experience and I had a lot of fun conversations with him about his experiences across the globe!

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Assortment of Cocktail and Mocktail drinks were served with various types of snake items which kept all of us busy and happy for the next 45 minutes or so!

And then it was time for another lip-smacking dinner and it was Italian this time! We had a wonderful time gorging at all those delicacies; I enjoyed the 2 desserts the most! After all one of them was custom made Cassatta Ice-Cream served with fresh fruits!

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We skipped the Disco Party scheduled after the dinner as we were quite heavy after our dinner and were in no mood to dance! Plus Abhay was feeling very sleepy which made our decision quite an easy one!

After another fun day filled with lots of history, our first Mummy-watching experience, a much-desired long afternoon siesta and delicious food we called it a day and went into a deep slumber ready for another exciting day infront of us.

So till the time we meet again…

Cheers to life…

Till then ride safe and have safe sex…

Inquilab Zindabad…

Hasta la Victoria Siempre…

Jai BoP!

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