Despite my best intentions we were left with no other option than to take a ‘guided tour’ of Luxor’s West Bank. Our guide was also the driver and we shared our 4×4 with a Norwegian/Brazilian couple called Peter and Luiza. It wasn’t a typical tour because as there were only 4 of us we could stay as long as we wanted at each site.
Our fist stop of the day was to the Valley of the Kings where there are 63 royal tombs although the entry ticket only grants you access to 3. Each of the three was unique in style and length, some had alcoves and corridors off whereas some were just straight tunnels into the mountain. Each one was a serious feat of engineering.
On our way to Deir al-Bahri we stopped off at an alabaster factory where we were given a demonstration of each stage of the process then shown all the finished artifacts inside. None of us wanted to purchase anything but we all annoyed the complimentary Hibiscus juice. Deir al-Bahri was impressive rising out of the plateau in a series of terraces.
Our third location was Medinat Habu, a temple The detail of the engravings on the wall was yet again staggering and seriously impressive that it was still in such a good condition after thousands of years.
Our final destination on the West Bank was the Colossi of Memon, two huge, 18m, faceless colossi representing Pharaoh Amenhotep III. Unfortunately there are only remains of ruins of the huge temple they were guarding.
We had another traditional (late) lunch of bread, rice, cucumber and tomatoes and mixed grilled meat and then returned to the hotel to chill for a couple of hours before heading to the train station at about 1730. Our train was meant to leave at 1825 but we were told to get there early. 1825 came and went but nobody seemed very bothered by this so we stayed sat where we were. We were joined by an Egyptian man who was a receptionist on one of the big tour boats so spoke English well. I chatted to him on and off for the next hour whilst we continued to wait for the train. Finally it arrived just before 2000 where we said goodbye to our new friend. On the train a group of small children seemed fascinated by Emily and I but thankfully not long into the journey they disappeared so we could sleep. Just before mid night our train arrived in Aswan. We were met just outside the station by someone from our hotel. Once there again we wasted no time showering and then going to bed.