Blogs from Luxor, Upper Egypt, Egypt, Africa - page 5


Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Luxor May 3rd 2012

Just moments before, I had been contemplating a pedicure; did I want a pedicure before or after I bought the delightful orange leather travel bag I had been eyeing off the previous night? As I walked past the fast food store behind my family contemplating my dilemma, a small boy stood in front of me. I had subconsciously noticed he was ignored by everyone else and I took a step towards being just as dismissive. After arriving in Egypt a mere 4 nights earlier I was already accustomed to seeing past the unsavoury locals, the men pushing their cheap junk in your face, the dirty children with scum under their finger nails, holding out their hands in hope to receive money; in just 4 days I had already perfected the ... read more

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Luxor April 18th 2012

Dear All Greetings from Luxor, with this my final travel blog update on my Egypt trip 2012. Writing this one from the departure lounge in Luxor Airport, though will be waiting till I get home before I upload this and the latest batch of photos onto my page. So if you are reading this now, I have arrived back safely. Wow – rather a mixed bag of feelings about the last few days to be honest. I believe I last wrote when just about to leave the amazing oases of the Western Desert, and their stunning landscapes. My original plan being to travel directly by private car from Al-Kharga oasis to Luxor along a little-used desert road being curtailed by the fact that this road has recently been made off-limits to foreigners due to the lack ... read more
Me on The Lotus, Nile Cruise Ship
Obelisk and Columns
Dakhla Old Town

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Luxor April 16th 2012

After a delicious breakfast of pancakes, banana & honey onboard the felucca, it was time to say farewell to our hosts and head off to our next destination. Luxor, the ancient Egyptian town known as Thebes, holds 22% of the worlds monuments including highlights like Karnak Temple, the worlds largest temple complex and Valley of the Kings, tombs of the ancient Kings, Queens and Nobles. En-route to Luxor we stopped off at Edfu Temple for an unscheduled stop. I've already mentioned our delightful British travel companion and today she was at her very best. With the group having decided to only stop at one temple on the way to Luxor, rather than two, she was already in a bad mood. Everything that we don't do always turns out to be a "highlight" and the reason she ... read more
Edfu Temple
Karnak Temple
Eating McFlurrys to pass the time at Luxor train station

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Luxor March 21st 2012

Since we partied too hard, we skipped the 6:45am wake up call and sightseeing of Edfu temple:( We had a very lazy morning recovering and then when the group was back, we all went for buffet lunch. Today was a sailing day so everyone just spent the day lounging in the sun and recovering from last night. There was a really funny moment when we were going through these locks and all the locals swarm to the boat and try to sell things to the tourists! Some men were following along beside us in their tiny boats and throwing scarves up to people who were bartering with them. Some of the men were making profain gestures at us and it was weird to see some of the tradings that were going on. Money being thrown from ... read more

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Luxor March 15th 2012

In Luxor it's not possible to go far without hearing the shouts of the horse and carriage drivers hustling for a ride, or seeing overburdened donkeys pulling carts piled sky-high with everything from sacks of grain to gas cannisters. Away from the antiquities trail, Luxor is still a working farming community and families rely on their animals to make a living. Some of these animals are in poor condition, overworked, over-loaded and underfed. Animal Care Eqypt (ACE) is there to make a difference. We were shown around by Jan from Coventry, who's worked as a volunteer at ACE for eight years. 'I came on holiday with a friend', she explained. 'I could've turned round and gone right back - I thought men in skirts, what is this place'? And then she met one of those men, ... read more
Al Pacino!

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Luxor March 15th 2012

The donkeys, dwarfed by the Colossi of Memnon, gave an occasional shake of the head and waited patiently. The cart, a simple affair, was ready in no time. A matress, covered with an old blanket, was thrown on the back and a bolster cushion snatched from 'Dreams of Memnon' the small cafe where we'd met Abdul and Ali. Ali twitched the reins and we were off. Traversing narrow dirt roads, bordered by shoulder-high sugar cane and vivid green fields of wheat. A day in the country, a break from the monuments. A day in twenty-first century, not ancient Egypt. We followed small canals, which ran in straight lines through the fields and off into the distance. Mudbrick houses - were they half-built or falling down? - were surrounded by livestock; tethered cows, sheep imprisoned in palm ... read more
Mustafa, The Guardian.
One Of Seven Brothers.
Ali, Our Guide.

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Luxor March 8th 2012

Egypt is all about ancient history. A history that's vast, sweeping and epic. There's so much of it it's difficult to get your head around. Too many pharaohs, so many dynasties, all those facts and half-facts, gods and mythological creatures. What I like is knowing about the lives of ordinary people. We all make history - it's just that not all of us are remembered. I like the monuments, but what I like even more, is the thought of what lies underfoot, waiting to be discovered. Walking almost anywhere in Egypt is an adventure. The rubble underfoot is composed of bits of ancient pottery, human bones, fragments of winding sheets, even perhaps scraps of wooden sarcophagi. Major finds are not just a thing of the past. Abdul, who's lived all his life opposite the Colossi of ... read more
Deir al-Medina.
Luxor Temple.

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

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