Now, back from the impressive balloon tour, it’s time for a luxurious breakfast at the hotel. It feels good to have breakfast at a luxury hotel.


We already felt the heat after landing on the balloon tour, but during the day we would experience the real heat, so we took extra precautions against the heat: dissolving Pocari Sweat powder in water, wearing a hat, wrapping a cool towel around our necks, and sunglasses.


The car is properly picked up at 9:15. We know we can trust this driver to do the job. A relationship of trust had been established.


The first thing to do is to go to the” Valley of the Kings” ticket center and purchase a” Luxor Premier Pass”. The driver has been informed of this and we will arrive at the ticket center shortly. We set out for the ticket center, but it seems that the passes are sold in a slightly different place. I had brought my own photos for this purpose, so the purchase went smoothly. However, the staff member was very eager to show us how wonderful the Luxor Premium Pass is and seemed to be demanding a gratuity. We paid the tip (a quite a few amount) and hurried on.


I am not sure if they are guides or just looking for money, but they are always trying to talk to us. I don’t know if they are trying to explain to us that there is a limit to the number of tombs that can be entered with a regular ticket or not, or if they are trying to be our tour guide, we already said that “we do not need your support at all” to avoid any nuisance.


From the reception desk in the Valley of the Kings to the tombs (there are about 60 according to the guidebook), you will ride in a kind of cart. This is not covered by the pass, so we paid the cart fee (5 Egyptian pounds = 35 yen) and got in. The cart can originally hold about 10 people, but the driver took off with only the two of us. I was grateful, but it was his strategy. He said, “It’s an express service. I like Japanese people,” he said and asked for a tip. We paid him a tip higher than the fare.


Thus, despite the “tipping attack”, we arrived at the tombs area safely. First, we dive into a nearby tomb. We are surprised to see the well-preserved wall paintings on the walls and ceiling, which must be more than 3,000 years old, and next we go to the famous tomb of Tutankhamen. This too requires a separate payment of 300 Egyptian pounds (2,100 yen), but we simply show our passes. It has been about 100 years since it was said to have made the “great discovery of the century” in 1922. It is very exciting to know that the tomb of a king who died about 3,300 years ago was discovered 3,200 years later.


We then enter the tomb of Ramses I, before the highlight of the Valley of the Kings (by far the most expensive to visit), the tomb of Seti I. We proceed, somewhat accustomed to the unique smell and air of the tomb.


Finally, the tomb of Seti I. Show our Premium Pass and log in the notebook before entering. It is a large tomb and the path to the tomb is obviously longer than the others. The colorful mural paintings are different from the previous tombs. Perhaps because of the high price, there was no one else there but us, so we could take pictures without hesitation.


Inside, there is a man who seems to have been waiting for us and starts guiding us on his own. I thought, “we have to pay a tip, and we have no choice” and listened to his explanation, and it was valuable. He also moves the fence to let us in.


After seeing the impressive tomb of Seti I, we took a short rest in a sort of kiosk and left the Valley of the Kings. We took a cart on the way back, but this time we sat farther away from the driver and did not ask for a tip. I began to get the tips of it.


We drove next to Queen Hatshepsut’s Funerary Temple. It is a magnificent temple built in front of the rocky mountain behind it, and it is truly amazing. To be honest, however, I was not so impressed compared with the numerous murals. The view of the greenery and desert from the Funerary Temple left a strong impression on me.


After a great breakfast at the hotel, we were not particularly hungry and continued our sightseeing without lunch. Next stop was the Valley of the Queens, where Nefertari’s tomb is located.


He asked us if I could drop in on a very high quality workshop run by an acquaintance of his. Since we were indebted to him, we complied, even though we thought it was a bit disreputable. The place he took us was a souvenir shop like we had expected, and it looked like we had to buy something. I bought a small pyramid, thinking that I was going to buy a souvenir anyway. Again, I was asked for a tip, and I paid some. The owner of the store did not seem very satisfied and did not seem to give the driver a good impression.

エジプトを語るほど長くいたわけでもないし、調べ尽くした訳でもないですが、エジプトはお土産が貧弱で、作りがちゃちでそれでいて値段が高い、という何とも残念な印象を受けました。観光地では、「1Dollar, 1 Dollar」とガラクタのようなものを売りたがっている姿もいやというほど目にしました。買っている人を見ませんでしたが。

I have not been in Egypt long enough to talk about it, nor have I researched it thoroughly, but I got the unfortunate impression that souvenirs in Egypt are poor, poorly made, and overpriced. At tourist spots, I saw so many people trying to sell their junk, saying “1 Dollar, 1 Dollar”. I didn’t see anyone buying.


After fulfilling our duty to the driver, we went to Nefertari’s tomb in the “Valley of the Queens”. Compared to the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens was less crowded. We showed our passes and headed for Nefertari’s tomb. Again, we recorded the information in a log and felt the difference from the ordinary tombs. This is a tomb that demands a tremendously high fee of 1,400 Egyptian pounds (about 9,800 yen). Also, only 10 minutes of sightseeing is allowed. I remember that the inside of the tomb was not as big as the tomb of Seti I, but the colors of the wall paintings are wonderful. According to my research, this tomb was discovered in 1904, so it was only found 118 years ago. As is true of all the tombs, it is amazing that the murals, which are more than 3,000 years old, have remained so vividly preserved. Among them, I remember that the tomb of Nefertari and that of Seti I were exceptional.


Impressed by the beautiful tombs, we left the Valley of the Queens. The Colossus of Nemnon is only for photography. We returned to the hotel. We had a beer at the hotel and rested for a while.