Sunday, it must be Luxor

Trip Start Nov 19, 2007
Trip End Dec 03, 2007

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Flag of Egypt  ,
Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sunday morning, rather uncomfortable night for us on board, very noisy in the cabin, some ceiling panel was vibrating, didn't catch much sleep until we docked outside the Winter Palace at 1am.
   WOW; what a bummer, after breakfast returned to the cabin, just to pick up the things we needed for our visit to the West Bank. That was when I found out I had been pick-pocketed in Aswan. My digi-camera had been lifted out of my pocket on the Corniche, so BEWARE:
   If 3 young men approach you, trying to sell you papyrus, one of them showed a little too much interest in the Camel jacket I was wearing, having a close up of the Camel logo, I never even realized my pocket was being picked. Am I certain it was those three? Yes, I had just taken a photo on the Corniche and put the camera back in my pocket, this was obviously observed by them. I didn't notice straight away, as I didn't need the camera on Saturday. The theft was reported, but as you are all well aware, you are not caught, until you are caught Red-Handed. It's put a real dampener on our holiday, must have been about 1000 photos of all those special places we have visited, it certainly has not poisoned me against the Egyptian people, Just those three little scrotes.
Putting that aside,  once again we went on the organized tour to Valley of the Kings, Hathepshuts Temple and the Colossi of Memnon.
   VoK, was packed out, once again everyone arriving at the same time, went to see Tutankhamen, as last time we were here it was to big a queue, this time it was not so busy there, after seeing it so many times on tv, it really strikes you, just how small his tomb is, the king himself is on display now, in his own glass case, his coffin is very impressive as well, as are the pictures on the wall depicting AY doing the opening of the mouth ceremony.
   Went up high to visit Thutmosis 3s tomb, a very hot climb, the tomb itself is stifling hot, the texts from the book of the dead and gates etc, have the appearance of being unfinished, makes you think he came to an untimely end, I've since learned it was deliberately done this way, after leaving Thutmosis 3s tomb, we had to climb back down again, the sheer number of visitors was incredible, the queue must have been 100 metres long.
   Next on the agenda was Ramses 4, this tomb is really well finished, easy to access, the sarcophagus is absolutely massive, there must have been a surplus of robbers to prise the lid off that box.
   Unfortunately, due to the amount of visitors, we could only visit 2 of the 3 tombs we were allowed, the time schedule is much too tight,  after all, we had to visit the alabaster rip-off factory, it is interesting, in as much you see how they work with the stone, we were interested in buying a small plaque, the salesman only anted 900le, that was a Fil Mish Mish moment. (Fil Mish Mish =In your dreams) He insisted it was about 15 days work, I can only assume that the Egyptian Alabaster workers day is about 20 minutes long.
   Trundle along again, now it's time for Dier el Bahri, and the site of Hathepshuts funerary temple. we have been here before, so we broke away from the main group and did our own thing. Impressive enough place, some colours are still visible, the mission to Punt is a little difficult to make out due to the harsh light. Well worth a visit though.
   Time to go and see the Memnons, yup, they are big they are impressive and they are crumbly. I suppose it is a must see, just for the sake of seeing them, if you by any chance go to the Luxor museum, you will see a couple of statues of the man who designed them, Amenhotep Son of Hapu, seemingly he was one of Amenhotep 3s top men.
  Back on board for lunch, then a little stroll on the Corniche, thats where we met Ahmed, caleche driver, looks like we have been kidnapped for the next week, he booked us, to show us the Egyptian market, camels included, (just to look at, not to buy) he is also going to take us to Luxor museum on Monday afternoon. Took a little trip to the bank across the road, got cornered by a shoe shine man, he wasn't frightened at all, wanted 50le, just to shine shoes, thats even better wages than I get back home, he got ten, but that was only because I didn't have a five.
   Dinner on board with our group for the last time, we are the only ones staying on, so it is a 3am rise for them, we have the luxury of a long lie as we don't move to the hotel until 2pm.
   Again, chickens that we are, we did the organized tour for the Karnak sound and light show. what can I say, take a decent wrap with you, it can get a bit chilly when you are sitting in the pavilion for almost half an hour, to be honest, the show does tend to drag on a bit towards the end.
   Be forewarned, if you take a video camera, they want 35le for a license to film. Sensible shoes are a must as well, the walking surface can be a bit dodgy and in some places the lighting is very murky or non-existant. Don't try and stay with your group, the place is so congested, your guide will agree to meet you in the well lit forecourt of the temple, once the show is over.
   Now it is time to pay a few bills, dish out some baksheesh to the crew, get the things packed for the move to the hotel. Once again, it has been a tiring day.
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Barbara Cottington on

Shame about the camera...but useful to know

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