First, we traveled over to the city of Giza, where the great pyramids are found. This city is built right up to the edge of the desert. The second you enter the desert, it is just nothingness for miles, with the exception of the pyramids. The closer you get to them, the smaller you feel. The first pyramid we went to was built for the pharaoh Cheops and it was HUGE - the largest of all the pyramids. There are three big pyramids here and in order to get a really good view of all of them together, we went for a camel ride on the sand dunes.
On our way to Aswan to go on a Nile River cruise, we stopped at a place called Abu Simbel. This is a huge temple made to honor King Ramses II. There are two temples there, one really huge one for Ramses II and a smaller one for his wife. Ramses had huge statues of himself carved out of the mountain and inside you see even more statues of him. If you ask me, he had a sort of big ego, because even in his wife's tomb, there were more statues of him than of her.
Later that day we boarded the boat and headed off down along the Nile. On the way, we stopped to look at another temple called the Temple of Horus. This is the only complete temple from ancient Egypt. Horus is a god with a falcon head and a human body and is the god of the skies. It was really cool to see a complete temple because most of the temples we saw were just remains.
The next day we sailed to the city of Luxor, where the Valley of the Kings and Queens are. On our way to the Valley of the Queens, we drove through some small villages that will not be there in a month. These people's houses are built on old tombs that archaeologists will start exploring, so they are being moved to a different location. Once we got to the Valley of the Queens, we saw the tomb of one of the king's sons. The reason a boy was buried in the Valley of the Queens was so he could be closer to his mother. Inside the tomb, the colors were so bright and almost every wall had hieroglyphs of pictures of the king introducing his son to the gods. It was so cool to see the tomb of this small boy and it felt strange because the other tombs we'd seen were for kings.
Speaking of kings, we headed to the Valley of the Kings to see King Tut's tomb! Going to this tomb is really special. When you get inside, you go down a stairway and into the main chamber, which is tiny! The tomb is only about the size of a hotel room. Inside the main chamber we got to see the mummy of King Tut and if you look over opposite to the mummy, you can see the golden outer sarcophagus that the mummy was found in. On the wall behind the sarcophagus you can see paintings of King Tut, the gods, and the high priests. Seeing King Tut's tomb was probably one of the coolest things of the whole trip.
The last highlight of this trip was going to a different part of the valley where the workers who made the tombs had lived. This was a cool because they actually opened a tomb especially for us, which had the most amazing untouched colors you will ever see in a tomb. On the ceiling there were hieroglyphics and along the walls there were pictures of all the gods and the man's family sending him off to the after-life. On the back wall was a picture of the man buried there. Seeing this and King Tut's tombs made the entire trip for me.
Take a look at the light show we saw while we were in Egypt!
That's all of the highlights for Egypt, so goodbye for now.