Blogs from Luxor, Upper Egypt, Egypt, Africa - page 4


Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Luxor March 1st 2012

'No hassle here my friend'. And so it starts. If Luxor had a sound-track it would be 'Money, money, money'. It's said with charm and delivered with a smile, but hear anything too often and it begins to grate. The concept of baksheesh can be hard to take. 'Something for me, for help', wheedled the young man at the visitors center in the Valley of the Kings. This is 'baksheesh' in it's purest form - a bit extra, a tip - and it's often expected for nothing. The young man had simply turned on the information film. Agree a price with a boatman, or a taxi driver, and they still ask for a 'present'. One caleche driver (coachman) asked for baksheesh 'for the horse'. Kids run up to us in the street and before they had ... read more

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Luxor February 24th 2012

If things are going well just wait it will change. (Murphy’s Law) I thought Catholics were weird; they have got nothing on Ancient Egyptians. These guys were serious about the afterlife and building monuments. The centre of Luxor has temples and ruins on every corner. One becomes rather blasé about them after a while. Our hotel, the El Gezira Garden Hotel is on the West Bank of the Nile, while the main city of Luxor is on the east bank. The Nile is not as pretty here as Aswan, but still impressive. Tombs ,temples and other assorted ruins on both sides. The famous Valley of the Kings is on the west side. It is amazing, stuck in the barren mountains. Each tomb has been incredibly constructed and decorated. Each seeming to surpass the previous ... read more
Hatchepsut Temple
Luxorian Hair Removal
Temple of Karnak

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Luxor February 23rd 2012

Goooood Morning Luxor. The heat off the flame is keeping me warm as we all huddle together. Now is probably a good time to take up that last favour from Mary McKillop, I think she may be sick of hearing from me but I will try to squeeze one last favour from her. Several men are holding grimly onto the basket, murmuring comforting words to us with encouraging smiles on their faces, all in Arabic of course. One last burst of flame and we are off. Slowly we ascend into the sky, not a sound except the occasional burst from the burner. Looking down it feels like you are floating in the air like a Autumn leaf, where you go is in the lap of the wind. Underneath passes Hatshepsut Temple with the stark, orange cliffs ... read more

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Luxor February 9th 2012

We arrived in Luxor and tried to find the Boomerang Hostel, which had been recommended. (It lived up to its recommendation and is by far the best place I have stayed so far). Unfortunately, it is marked in the complete wrong position on google maps and after walking around aimlessly for a while, we eventually agreed to a horse carriage to take us there. We agreed 5 EGP with him and as we arrived, he asked us for some baksheesh for the horse. We laughed and said we might buy him a carrot. When we paid him the agreed 5 EGP, he started to claim it was 5 EGP each. We tried to ignore and went into the hostel where he followed us. Mohammed, the guy from our hostel, asked what the problem was and then ... read more
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Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Luxor January 15th 2012

Today I planned to visit Karnak Temple and Luxor Temple. I woke up after midday, and did a bit of research on how far away the attractions were. Luxor Temple wasn’t too far, but Karnak was a few kilometres up the road. I decided to ask reception for a transfer. I was driven there by motorbike, which was quite fun. And intense at times; but what was mostly fascinating was the streets and people that I was seeing. It just screamed Africa. My motorcyclist drove me along the Nile bank, past Luxor temple, and spectacular views on both sides of the road. It wasn’t too long before I was at Karnak Temple; I bought myself a ticket, grabbed something to eat then headed to the site. It was astonishing. This has to be the most impressive ... read more

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Luxor January 14th 2012

This morning started with having to jump off a moving train. Yes, you heard correctly. The train crew didn’t wake us up in time once we got to Luxor station, and by the time I got all my stuff ready, the train was on the move. They yelled out, trying to stop the train, but my only option was to jump off, as did my cabin mate. Luckily the train was going no faster than running speed. I did stumble a bit when I jumped off, and it was kind of scary, but an interesting experience. This is how it’s done in Egypt; it will make an adventurer out of you. I got transferred to my hostel, and caught a bit more sleep. I had a tour at about 8am – I was going to be ... read more

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Luxor October 24th 2011

Finally, a long 24 hours later, Geoff joined us and we got to hear his story, and examine him from head to foot. His feet grabbed my attention first - perhaps because I had sewn his gaiters onto his shoes and so felt very responsible for their well-being. So when his first blog had came in reporting blisters and a broken nail I was devastated. But despite a week of fretting about them, his feet weren’t as skanky as I thought they’d be – although I’m not sure that Geoff would agree with me. His multiple blisters looked ok (albeit highly attractive to flies) and his toenails (although barely embedded) would last the week. No worries about that though as I had decided that toenails were surplus baggage on a race like the Sahara anyway… More ... read more
Toenails anyone?
Nosh for Natalie.
Peace pipes.

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Luxor October 15th 2011

Me again! This time from the hotel in Luxor. I can't remember where I finished my last blog entry, but I think it would have been around the time the train arrived in Aswan. So we'll start from there! Aswan is beautiful. With the Nile passing through it, and the friendly people, it makes for a big difference to Cairo! The first night there we went to the Nubian village for dinner. How did we get to the village? Car? Boat? No!!! How boring! We took camels. Mine was Mona Lisa (but I think there were about 3 Mona Lisa's)- one of the tallest, but pretty relaxed. We 'trotted' a bit in the soft sand (10 points to the first person who can find out the real word for trotting on a camel) and after photos ... read more
Mona Lisa
Mona Lisa
Nubian village scarves

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Luxor June 9th 2011

the day before yesterday we left the miramees and said good bye to sherif and ahmed who were really nice staff there (if your in cairo then stay there however it is not good quality but the nice people make up for it definitally and its cheap). to get to the train we took the metro and it was stuffed to capasity people were struggling to get on and not fall out the doors when they opened, one man said for a joke "welcome to egypt". when we got to the train it was a let down, we were in first class (things are really cheap here) and the seats were not very good the dinner tabes were dirty and smelt like somthing died on them and dads chair was broken but we got to luxor ... read more
egy lux joe karnak
joe in karnak
egy lux karnak pillar forest3

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Luxor May 31st 2011

Luxor is billed tongue and cheek as the hassle capital of Egypt… and the city apparently takes the title pretty seriously and works actively to live up to the hype… enter Luxor. The economy of the city of Luxor is heavily dependent upon tourism… or was anyway prior to this little revolution that happened in the country back in January. As far as revolutions go it actually wasn’t that bad… no civil war, no genocide, minimal casualties and a still functioning government… sounds pretty good for the political future of Egypt… but the revolution was disastrous for tourism as westerners universally watched and gasped in unison as Anderson Coopers’ silvery mane was unceremoniously and publicly frumpled on the streets of Cairo… things just haven’t been the same since. In the face of a shrinking tourist dollar ... read more
Guard at Abydos
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