A whole new way to experience the New Kingdom pharaohs' sacred burial ground.
"I, Philastrios the Alexandrian, who have come to Thebes, and who have seen with my eyes the Colossi, and the work of these tombs of astounding horror, have spent a delightful day."
Whilst many people associate the Egyptian pyramids as the burial place of pharaohs, the reality is that most of them were buried in tombs cut deeply into rock. For 500 years, Egypt's New Kingdom rulers built their tombs in the rugged Valley of the Kings on the Nile's west bank at ancient Thebes.
After Egypt's 21st Dynasty the Valley of the Kings was hit with a gold rush. Widespread plundering saw most of its tombs stripped and empty, the royal mummies re-interred in secret caches.
For centuries the Valley remained deserted, until the third century BC when the Greeks came and Philastrios scribbled his thoughts in one of the tombs.
Thankfully today's Valley presents a little less horror, but some of the same splendour that our Greek friend witnessed 2,300 years ago.
If you can handle the heat.
Anyone who has visited the Valley of the Kings can tell you how stiflingly hot the Valley is. So it has always been puzzling why it would close to visitors in the late afternoon, just as the temperature starts feeling bearable again.
In a terrific move, no doubt designed to entice visitors back to Egypt, the Valley of the Kings will be opening at night - until 11 pm.
The late closing time begins on Saturday July 25.
Not only will the desert air be comfortable (even a little chilly), but the glowing Valley should create a magical atmosphere for visitors to the ancient kings' hallowed ground.
Photo: Kenneth Garrett