Luxurious time in Luxor
Trip Start Jun 19, 2008
69Trip End Sep 04, 2008
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Where I stayed
I arrived at the Luxor train station around 11:30pm last night and was immediately recognized by the representative Muhammed. I was really cranky and somewhat rude due to fatigue. I feel bad now because Muhammed turned out to be a really sweet, effeminate guy without the slightest bit of creepiness (I thought he might be gay- he was so soft-spoken and stylish!). I am staying at Morris Hotel, a very impressive 4-star hotel. Such an upgrade from the hostel in Cairo! I enjoyed lying around in the clean, airconditioned room with gold interior.
The sleep was short though
Then everyone in the group met by the exit. Except for the French guys. We waited for another half an hour
Our group once again met by the exit of the temple. Our West Bank guide was such a nice, down-to-earth Egyptian guy. Worried and confused, he tried so hard to find those French guys while explaining the history to the rest of us. He was the one Egyptian in the tourism business who seemed like a good, honest guy. He told us like it was and gave us good advice (i.e. King Tut's tomb is useless, the touts who were big time scammers, etc). While the group was waiting around in the lounge area by the temple, the guide finally came back with the French guys
I had a lunch break then was off to the East Bank tour. The Frenchies were unfortunately there AGAIN, opening the windows in the van while the a/c was on and doing their usual asshole. If they know so well, why not do a self-guided tour instead of hindering others? Anyway, anyway, I did not let them ruin my trip. I was talking to a Colombian guy next to me when the girl in front of me turned around... it was the girl I had shared a taxi with from the Cairo airport!!! I was so excited to see her again! We caught up on what we have been up to and reminisced our first night in Cairo. When we got to Karnak Temple, Jennie and Lee from Aswan joined us as well. Oh, the small world of backpackers (or rather, backpackers on a tour package). I guess the itinerary is pretty limited. Anyway, Karnak temple was MASSIVE. Once again, I could definitely see why Luxor is so famous
People say Luxor is the hassle/tout central of Egypt. I did not really feel that way. The people who guided me seemed like really nice country people who were working hard to earn honest money. The representatives and guides need to learn history and English, so they are relatively well-educated and have the desire to learn about foreign culture. The atmosphere was more comfortable because people in Luxor are used to tourists and therefore more understanding about them wearing skimpy clothes and not wanting to be harrassed. Muhammed even said he will not smoked if I don't like the second hand smoke. I was like, WHAT!? That was so incredibly considerate by Egyptian standards. Of course touts roam the streets and shops, but they were not any more aggressive than the ones in Cairo or Aswan. When I came back to the hotel, the receptionist asked me what my room number was, and immediately sketched out, I flashed him my room key and summoned the elevator. It turned out that someone had left a message for me. Sometimes I could let my guard down a little bit...
Muhammed and I went to an internet cafe to print out my e-ticket that I forgot back in Cairo. The access to internet and printout only cost 1EGP! Having an Egyptian guy helps, I guess. Then we rode a micro-bus over to Jennie and Lee's hotel. Micro-bus is like a ghetto van that drives around the city. You hop on and pay like .5EGP and hop off accordingly. It takes skills and an adventurous mind to successfully complete the trip. Again, having an Egyptian guy helped. The three of us went to the roof of their hotel that overlooked the city. It had a small pool and several tables and chairs. We drank the bottle of wine Lee brought from Venice and had a great time chatting. My trip in Egypt is coming to an end, with one more destination to go. I am so ready to chill in Dahab and drink fresh mango juice, without a care in the world.