Nortina’s Egyptian Travel Diaries (#AtoZChallenge): “N” is for Nefertari

Queen Nefertari and I have something in common. Both our names begin with the letter “N.”

Of course, I don’t have a lavishly decorated 3,000-year-old tomb in impeccable condition. Nor am I married (thankfully) to a man who single-handedly populated the whole of Egypt.

Okay, I’m exaggerating. But did you know that Rameses the Great had over 100 children? He had just as many wives and concubines, but Nefertari was his most beloved wife (called the Great King’s Wife), and he built for her this incredible tomb, the largest in the Valley of the Queens, with nearly every surface, including the ceiling, covered in exquisite paintings, many of them portraits of Nefertari herself and some depicting chapters from the Book of the Dead. Many of the Ancient Egyptian gods also appear on the walls, including, Isis, Osiris, Hathor, Horus, and Anubis.

As I said in “Empty Tombs,” her tomb, like many others, was robbed by tomb raiders in ancient times, so her sarcophagus containing her mummy and all the treasures buried with her are long gone. But the Egyptian government has gone to great lengths to preserve her tomb, embarking on an ambitious restoration project in the ’80s and ’90s. The tomb has recently been opened to visitors, but a general admission ticket to the Valley of the Queens won’t get you inside. You’ll have to pay an extra 1400 EGP ($45 USD) for an entry ticket, and you’re only allowed 10 minutes inside. Can’t let the humidity of our hot breaths cause any further deterioration to those precious paintings.

Despite only having 10 minutes, I managed to capture some amazing pictures.

Click the images for captions

Anyone who says pictures aren’t souvenirs obviously has never been to Egypt. This is history!

Or should I say herstory. 😉


“A” is for Arrival
“B” is for Buyer’s Remorse
“C” is for Cruisin’ the River Nile
“D” is for Delays, Delays, Delays
“E” is for Empty Tombs
“F” is for Fragrance
“G” is for Great Pyramid of Giza
“H” is for Hatshepsut
“I” is for Island Temple of Philae
“J” is for Just Engaged!
“K” is for Kom Ombo
“L” is for Luxor
“M” is for Museums and Mummies

This April for the A to Z Challenge, I’m sharing my experience of traveling to Egypt last month. These posts likely won’t be in chronological order, depending on what memory each letter strikes up, but if you’d like to follow me on this journey, subscribe below.

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