The next few days in Luxor at Nile Compound were mercifully free of f**k-ups. We arrived to huge smiles and warm greetings. Even though we've only been there once before, it was like we were visiting good friends.
The worst thing for my parents were the flies. Indeed they were numerous but the Egyptian way is to shoo them away while my mother enjoys the murdering aspect of pest management. The folks at Nile Compound were kind enough to make my mom a flyswatter consisting of part of a tablet case nailed to a piece of wood. Somewhere in Luxor, someone is walking around with their tablet only half covered so my mother could get revenge on the little critters.
The best thing at Nile Compound was the pool. Or maybe the breakfasts. No, it had to be the gardens or the view from the balcony. It was almost universally fabolous. Service was friendly if not especially speedy, which kind of forced us relax and proceed on West Bank time. Magically, someone would appear with peanuts when we were feeling peckish, or fresh juice when we were thirsty.
After a few days of relaxation we met up with some friends to visit Valley of Kings and my favourite temple, the Hatshepsut Mortuary Temple at Deir el Bahari. Hatshepsut's story is a very girl-power, stick-it to-the-man, kind of deal. This lady becomes king despite the patriarchy, leads a country to prosperity for decades. Unfortunately, when she dies, the future generations of male leaders try to erase all evidence of her but thousands of years later people dig up the fragments of her statues from where they were buried in pits, restore and replace them.
One of our friends also happens to be Oscar’s teacher, Mr. DC, who he loooooves. Poor Mr. DC, on vacation from teaching, had a talkative 6-year-old stuck to him like glue, dragging him by the hand on “tours” of the ancient sites. Bless, him, he never complained. I thought about offering to take Oscar off his hands, but then I thought maybe he was missing teaching so I thought better of it ;) Plus I knew if I tried to separate Oscar from his favourite teacher I would be public enemy number one. So I was blissfully free to take in all the things I’d missed the last time. Like clear evidence of where Hatshepsut’s name was erased from her cartouche, and carvings of gods and pharaohs with the original paint still in place. Awesome.
I have to give credit to my parents. We spent the day going up and down narrow staircases, ducking through tunnels and out walking the the desert sun. It was exhausting for me, and as I mentioned, I am much younger. But were they up for it. My mom even went part way down the narrow steep tunnel to the tomb of Thutmose III. It figures that this dude would make things as difficult in death for innocent tourists as he did in life for his poor step mother. He probably didn’t want anyone “pulling a Thutmose” on his cartouches.
The last tomb we visited was Ramesses VI which was a new one for us. It cost a bit extra but it was totally worth it, the best tomb by far. The ceiling of the main tomb was amazing. I could have stayed in there all day but it was almost physically painful to not be able to take photos. Fortunately my mom bought Rich a papyrus with a painting of the ceiling artwork so we will always be able to remember.
After all the adventure was over, we went to Nile Compound for lunch which was absolutely delicious, although by the time it arrived I believe it would considered dinner. I was happy though, more time shared with good people. Oscar got to hang out with a lot of his favourite people. We retired for the night tired, full and happy.