Taking the TIme, Luxor
Did tour including boat trip from Luxor to Aswan for first visit to Egypt:found it too organized, guides in a hurry to return you to boat for meals, time at sites was limited, wasting time waiting for others to return to bus/from hotel rooms,those factory visits(guide gets a commission), given no time for own shopping,missing out on places e.g.Khan el Khalili in Cairo due to traffic.Told ofsome very interesting places," but we won't be going there" e.g. in Luxor(Museums, Tombs of the Nobles, Artisans Village, Medinet Habu to name a couple) Tours are great for some people but not for me.Frustratingly brief glimpses in Valley of Kings etc so went back in 2009 and stayed in Luxor West Bank with a friend:did it ourselves: found it was much cheaper,more relaxing,more time at sites,met locals not view them from the insular atmosphere of boats/buses. Bookings best made there - do your homework-I have picked up many hints on how to get around Luxor with no hassles or problems. Bravery not necessary.
Fondest memory: Apart from the amazing variety of places in Luxor (many not on tour agendas), the people and food are high on my list. Eating traditional food with a family in their home is fantastic as are some of the restaurants. It took me four trips to Luxor to find a family with sons who are taxi drivers/tour drivers. These brothers, whilst not running a business together co-operate with each other if one is already booked and ensure that a driver will be available for short or longer trips. They are a good example of close family members helping each other out - they are all quietly spoken with good English(capable in other languages), not 'in your face' or aggressive or pushy as some . They can arrange a family meal as well as trips or activities within and out of Luxor. It was so good to find that they can be trusted and are genuinely honest and sincere people. They live on the West Bank and contact can be made with Ahmed Adly on 002 0127582764 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org I had to share this with readers and hope they get the opportunity to visit Luxor soon and experience what I found.
History, history, histoy,
Luxor was in ancient times the capital of Egypt. At least during the 18th and 19th dinasty. The most richest dinasties in ancient Egyptian history. So many things of this history are to be found in Luxor.
Great tip for a website to prepare you for Luxor:
Fondest memory: The Valley of Kings is the grave yard of Kings during the 18th and 19th dinasty. Their well decorated graves are there to be seen.
Yes, that would be the word i chose to describe the lovely villagers, living besides the Nile River Bank.
They get so excited when they see a cruise ship. They would stop and wave to you. Such is the sheer joy of simplicity. Pure and simple.....
We saw people swimming at the river, we saw cattles and cash crop, we saw women washing clothes, kids running to chase after the ship.
I could just sit by the deck all day along and soak in this beauty
My family got to know the owner of the 'Nile Secret' falucca, Ameen Abdu #20 (0)105705066, working from his 'office' beside the Novotel Hotel with his helper, Del Boy!. He showed us Egypt from the inside and gave us such wonderful experiences in one short week. He can organise any trip you want at a fraction of the reps prices and nothing is too much. He is now a family friend as I am sure he is to many.
Fondest memory: Ameen invited us to his house in a village on the West bank. There was humorous banter about how women should/must treat their men from our two very different cultures. We had a very nice meal with him (just him as his wife and sister-in-law were in the back room but we did meet them later) and we spent several hours chatting about our ways of life.
He took us to the best (not most expensive) cotton shop and spice shop where the locals go and he haggled on our behalf. We were treated like royalty. Yes, he was getting a commission (I am not that naive!) but I still got some very good bargains.
When you’re in Luxor or planning a trip to Luxor, you should really take your time as Luxor offers a lot to see.
Fondest memory: Luxor is as I said before a museum itself. You step in a town, with antiques and modern things all mixed in one.
Apart from Giza, Luxor (and Aswan - Abu Simbel) is the place where you can see Egyptian history in action, that is in place.
In Luxor the sights to see are at both sides of the Nile. On the east side you have the Luxor and Karnak temples, and on the west side there are the valley of the Kings and Hatshepsut´s temple.
We stayed about a week in Luxor, but we could have stayed much longer. In my opinion, this is not a place to hurry in, but rather experience in a slow pace, really taking in the scenery.