Saturday, December 01, 2007


The valley of the kings

Hatshepsut was the fifth pharaoh of Ancient Egypt and the only female pharaoh according to our guide. Her reign was long and prosperous and she is generally considered to be a pharaoh who inaugurated a long peaceful era. She re-established trading relationships lost during a foreign occupation and brought great wealth to Egypt.

Hatshepsut's remains were long considered lost and only in June 2007 a mummy from a Tomb in the King's Valley was publicly identified as hers.

Hatshepsut was one of the most prolific builders in ancient Egypt, commissioning hundreds of construction projects but her masterpiece is her mortuary temple complex.

Of course we knew that on November 17,1997 six Islamic terrorists, armed with automatic firearms and knives, and disguised as members of the security forces had masacred 62 people. They descended on the Temple of Hatshepsut with the tourists trapped inside the temple.

After that for quite a long time tourists were afraid to go to Egypt. My friend Ilona went there shortly after the attack and was about the only tourist there. Since then a lot of things have changed in Egypt and tourist protection and security has become a major target. Today Egypt is considered as a very safe country for tourists.

After a few minutes drive we arrived at the Hatshepsut temple

at a very big parking lot

From far we could see little souvenir shops all along the road leading to the temple.

When we came out of the parking lot, we were immediately surrounded and hassled by the sellers.

It was terrible, you couldn't even have a look at the shops so agressive they were. They so badly wanted to sell something that finally the tourists got afraid and fat up and returned to the parking where they were not allowed to get in. Chantal and I included. I didn't want to walk this long way to see the temple, I had seen it already and there is not a lot to see and Chantal was too tired from the walking on her crutches the whole day. So I stayed with her and took some pictures.

Unfortunately it was already getting dark.

This was a monument near the temple but I couldn't find out what it was

The landscape around the temple

and everywhere military police of course

Statues in front of the temple

and the temple itself.

This is an old picture of the little village just besides the temple. Today the houses are abandonned and only a few people still livethere illegally. The government has decided to destroy this village and has housed the people somewhere else. Our guide told us that this village was inhabited by grave robbers from generation to generation. I have to say they really live in the right place. Apparently today they are used to indicate secret places to archeologues where still something can be found.

This little video shows you the temple inside. The places which used to be open are closed now.

If you wish to read the whole excursion these are the links :





MaR said...

I love little market places but I enjoy doing my shopping in peace! can't stand those aggressive sellers, aargghhh!!
It must be breathtaking to visit the valley of the kings...those sculptures,statues, the huge dimensions, the scenery, just fascinating. Glad the environment is safe nowadays. Your pictures are first class as always :)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful statues! And the village, just beside the temple...Didn't you find an autochtone to find a new grave? Sure you should become famous! And the cruisers too in the same way!!!I remember the tragédie with the touristes! and you write your went there a short time after!!! Hé! Hé! Is your brother as intrepide as you are???
I'd like to drink something fresh after the visit ! Perhaps a mint tea! Tchin tchin Gattina and thanks for this marvelous trip in the vallée des rois!

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

You seemed to have had a lovely vacation. You are such an experienced traveler. It must be a joy to travel with you. Eygyt holds no fascination for me. The monuments and tombs I can learn about in books.

I did get to see the Golden Mask of King Tut when it was brought to Toronto and displayed. That was impressive.

Jeanette said...

Hi Gattina I dont think I could be patient with the sellers flocking around when u got off a bus, we struck that were ever we went in Bali,, oboy harrassment plus...but what a facinating trip to be able to go to the valley of the kings and see all the sculptors and statues.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like it were not for me, with the agressive sellers,luckily I got to see the best of it here!

The video really showed it all. Kind of got the feeling to - of ancient times, even though the Egypt history feels so special, not at all like the Swedish.

A. said...

Have you ever been to Istanbul? I found the traders there very insistent too, and we ended up not looking at anything, for fear of being accosted. It was very tiresome.

Thank you for your wonderful trip reports - they have been so interesting and informative, as well as entertaining too:)


About Me

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I love painting, writing, travelling and photography. My favorit models are cats which I observe with fun and humor. I am German, married to an Italian and we live in Waterloo (15 km from Brussels) / Belgium since many years. Waterloo is a famous place to many tourists, because Napoleon lost his battle here against Wellington and other European countries.


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