Monday, time to leave the Ruby

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

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Monday morning, a bit lonely in the dining room, just the two of us, ok there are some French people as well, but I try my best to ignore them. We have six hours to kill, just time to nip across the road to Jolleys and Karnak travel, on the Corniche, time to make arrangements for the coming week, Karnak travel, seems to just have the edge on Jolleys price wise, they say they are a subsidiary of Egypt air, everything comes with insurance, the balloon trip costs 45 euros, it beat jolleys price, they also give you a certificate and a t-shirt. The Felellahs tent was cheaper too, but again it is up to each individual to make their own choices. Both seem to offer similar services, both have written price lists, so at least you know the start point, we booked three trips with Karnak, Balloon, Fellalahs tent and the one day cruise to Dendera, as we took three trips they gave us a little discount and threw in a free fellucca sundown trip.
   Last lunch on the boat, time to say goodbye to the staff and crew we have made friends with, the cabin steward was a real gem and his hanging monkey will make me laugh for many a long year, just a pity the camera was filched, I would have posted a lot more photos.
   arrival at Pyramisis Isis, well first impressions are important, the foyer certainly looks five star, the reception staff appear to be a little aloof, maybe that is just me though.
   The room itself, definitely only 3 stars, no safe deposit box in the room, (it's in reception), the bed appears to be a little on the hard side, I'll let you know if I sleep alright. Furniture is aged, plumbing, well suffice to say that it works, although there are a few leaky seams somewhere, no ceiling light, balcony has wire mesh chairs with no padding, that'll be a treat to sit on. Cup of coffee cost 10le, thats a bit steep considering we are in Egypt, it costs the same back home. That just about describes the hotel for now, maybe we are spoiled, last time we stayed at the Iberotel, now that was a 5 star.
   True to his word Ahmed came to pick us up, took us to the Luxor museum, I tell no lie, that is one place, that if you have the time, go and visit, it is so well laid out, exhibits are clearly marked, didn't seem to be any rush at all, the exhibits are phenomenal nowhere in the world (outside Cairo) will you see such  3000+ year old statues in such an excellent state of preservation. please, make this a must do on your list.
   Ahmed, took us back to the hotel, on the way he talked us out of going to the restaurant we were thinking of going to, he said he knew a better one, acceding to his request we agreed. We were not disappointed, outside appearances, not up to much, inside very spacious, spotlessly clean, the head waiter Mr Izzey speaks excellent English, they do buffet type lunches, mainly catering to tour groups. A fixed menu in the evening, fish, meat or chicken, which changes on a daily basis. the food was excellent, plentiful, they serve alcohol, the local Luxor beer, I found it to be quite nice, don't use me as a guide on that, I'm no beer aficionado. I had to ask if it was a non smoking establishment, as I couldn't smell any tobacco residue there, Mr Ezzay assured me I could smoke if I wished, I chose to smoke outside, while waiting for the intrepid Ahmed to come and pick us up.
   On the way back to the hotel, we struck up a deal with Ahmed, he would carry us about, anywhere anytime for a fixed fee. The good point in this is, 1, other caleche drivers will leave you alone, once you tell them who you have a contract with, 2, We can avoid most of the street Sellers and vendors. 3. Ahmed can take us to all the out of the way spots, the ones tourists rarely venture..
   At the end of this blog I will put up a list of all the restaurants we have visited, how we rated them, if anyone wants to hire Ahmed, well I will only be too happy to recommend him. Just tell him straight. ``NO BLOODY SHOPS´´  
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