With all to see around Luxor it's no wonder it's been called the world's greatest open-air museum. Oh look, another incredible rock sculpture - that's thousands of years old. Cool! Some sites just never get old...
The second day in Luxor we travelled to the other side of the tracks, I mean, river. The Nile river that is. This area is referred to as the West Bank of the Nile River. Because that's where it is. Also known as ancient Thebes.
We first visited the Valley of the Kings, where photos were, unfortunately, forbidden. This valley holds the tombs of ancient pharaohs after the pyramid thing got a little hard to keep up with. Reportedly the naturally pyramid-shaped mountain towering above the valley counts. Not sure who the first pharaoh was to fall for this but having visited several pyramids, I would definitely feel jipped. After exploring the extravagantly decorated tunnels and chambers of some of these tombs under the mountain, it does seem that they did their best to make up for it. The detailed artwork, carvings, paintings, and stories filling floor, wall, and ceiling of these large tombs are overwhelmingly impressive. King Tut's famous tomb, the smallest of all for the young pharoah, is also in this valley.
From there we went to The Temple of Hatshepsut, Deir el Bahari. It was impressive, but so re-constructed that if felt more like walking around a life-size model than an authentic site. Alas, I enjoyed the stories of Hatshepsut, a female pharaoh and considered by many Egyptologists to be one of the most successful pharaohs. You go girl.
We also visited the Temple of Medinat Habu, a great memorial temple of Ramses III, and the Ramesseum, the memorial temple of Ramses II, both very impressive. Our final stop on the west bank was the Colossi of Memnon, which are two massive stone statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III.
Geoff will have to write more captions later for this slideshow, because we just really haven't had time and I don't know as much. You can still enjoy the pictures for now and I'll update this when he reminds me what exactly we saw, or is able to tell you himself (hopefully tomorrow).
For now, just do what I do at really impressive ancient sites and say, "Wow, this is amazing!" and embrace the joy of being completely overwhelmed by incredible ancient wonders of art and honor...whether you understand them at all or not. It's worked great for me for years!