Sunday was our first day in Luxor and it was an amazing place! It really is a completely different world where camels walking down the street are no big deal, the common mode of transportation is a horse drawn buggy or felucca boat rather than a car, and incredible ancient statues and temples are everywhere you look.
Our day began at 5:00 in the morning, which was insanely early but the only way to go if you want to beat the crowds and the heat. And when I say heat i mean heat.....Luxor was 122 degrees both days we were there....not cool. Our first stop was Valley of the Kings, which was incredible! It holds over 60 tombs of past pharohs. Sadly, they were all robbed by tomb raiders centuries ago, with the exception of King Tut's tomb. Even without the treasures they were still amazing and the wall paintings were so cool. Not gonna lie, I was pretty jealous that I have not been through the temple yet, because all of the endowed members in the group talked about how many similarities and shared symbolism there was with our temple, so fascinating! Cameras weren't technically allowed inside the tombs but Melissa is kinda sorta a rebel and took a few anyways....
Then we went to the temple of Queen Hatchepsut. The temple is massive and literally carved out of the mountainside. Queen Hatchepsut is actually pretty cool because singlehandedly ruled Egypt for a time, despite the fact that was a woman and had to work hard to win support from the people. Sadly, any painting or reference of her in her temple was chiseled out by her stepson Thutsome III, who did not like her very much and wanted to erase all memory of her. Even with its occasional disfacement, the temple was really cool and lots of fun to explore.
After the temple we made a quick visit to Pit Tomb 33, which is where the Book of Abraham papyri were found. Brother Manscill told us the whole story of how the church came to possess these records, and it is very clear that the Lord played a huge role in getting the scrolls to the prophet Joseph.
After the pit tomb our group had a fun little adventure and went on a felucca boat ride down the nile followed by a camel safari. There are more pictures coming of this I promise, I just have to steal them from the people nice enough to take some for me (one of the downsides of having a broken camera). It was a ton of fun though, and the man guiding my camel told me he would pay 5,000 camels if I stayed there are married him haha. (Don't worry Paul, I turned him down!)
our view from the camels. One of the coolest things about the camel safari is that we were able to get away from the touristy areas and see more of the real Egypt-lots of beautiful farms and fields!
After dinner at the hotel, and by dinner I mean a granola bar I had brought with me from Israel, a group of us went out and explored the city of Luxor. The coolest part was the Luxor Temple, which was gorgeous all light up.
After such a jam-packed day we were exhausted and pretty sure I fell asleep the second my head touched the pillow, which never happens to me! It was a great day though and we got to see so much!