Thebes is the ancient capital of Upper Egypt.
You take a short ferry ride across the Nile from Luxor to see most of the sites. (1 Egyptian pound or about 25 cents Canadian)
From the ferry landing it is 3-4 km walk to the Valley of the Kings. I decided to walk back and get some peace and quiet.
The crop in back is sugar cane, you'll notice in my pictures that it is always far from the road. I was told this was a legal requirement.
Terrorists used to hide in the tall sugar cane and ambush vehicles (include tourist buses), so all sugar cane now needs to be 20 meters back from the road..
Harvesting alfalfa. The plots of land are very small, and I saw very little that was not being done by hand.
Well, except for the odd donkey's assistance.
Ibis in a freshly watered field.
The first monument you come to are the Colossi of Memnon. They are all that remains of a massive temple complex.
The Pharoah is Ramses II, he thoughtfully included his wife and daughters at his side.
A tourist thrown in for scale.
Madinat Habu, a temple of Ramses III. This is the pavilion gate entrance.
After passing through the gate you come to the Migdol fortress (for you AoM players)
A close-up of Ramses 3 smiting his enemies. A very common motif.
An offering table complete with pictures of the offerings (ducks, bread, wine casks)
This rather gruesome scene depicts scribes tallying the hands and genitals of fallen warriors.
Vibrantly painted ceilings remain.
The Pharaoh's Cartouche
Next is Queen Hatshepshut's magnificent three-tiered temple.
The central shadow marks the location of the Deir el-Medina mummy cache.
In Ancient times, the priests moved many of the mummy's from the valley to this secluded cave.
The remains of numerous sarcophagi, just outside the temple.
An Ankh, the Key of life in pink granite. What it represents depends who you ask.
I was told it was a map of Egypt with the Mediterranean on top, the Nile forming the central line, and the two deserts on either side.
Then again I was also told it represents the straps on an Egyptian sandal, toes on the bottom, the heel at the top.
Incredible ceiling of Seba symbols (stars representing eternity). This is the room were the Massacre took place in 1997.
To get to the Valley of the kings from the temple , I took the direct route, a path which peaks at the red hut in the upper right.
My (somewhat intimidating) path up and over the mountain to the Valley of the Kings.
Heck, if a goat could do it, surely I could.
Thankfully, someone kindly spray-painted directions.
The views were definitely worth it.
You can just make out the Nile in the sea of green.
Just drop in a lunar rover and a crater and you've got a fake moon landing.
Here you can clearly see the natural pyramid peak, which was the probable reason for the valley of the kings being located here.
The Valley of the Kings. The white path is a modern road.
Exterior shots only here. No photography is allowed in the tombs to preserve the paintings. (You'll just have to visit them yourself!)
The Valley of the Queens.
Laurie and Tim, Guelph class of '84. (We even compared student numbers)