Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 1 Luxor (Top 10 Luxor)

First haggle of the holiday at Luxor Airport, for a taxi;

40 - no 100

50 and that’s it - no my friend is very far

walk away and look for another driver

OK 70 - no 50

I have to pay the police 10 – 60

60 -done!

Suitcase unsecured on the roof and off we go to the Jolie Ville round the back of Luxor, along the canal at dusk, through the village with its donkeys, huge haunches of meat hanging on hooks, dimply lit alleys and pipe smokers in cafes.

Dinner on the terrace overlooking the Nile under a starry sky as the fifteen people from Brighton trickle in. There’s three of us and another dozen from Brighton. We’ve all been here before, some of us many times in the fantastic Jolie Ville, a hotel set on a garden island in the middle of the Nile. It's peaceful, beautiful well-run and a fantastic base for seeing Egypt.

Top 10 things to do in Luxor

Karnak - huge temple, mindblowing

Luxor Temple - New Kingdom to Roman in centre of town

Valley of the Kings - descend into huge magnificent tombs

Medinet habu - superb Rameses III temple

Workers’ Village - insight into people who built the tombs

Tombs of the Nobles - intimate and stunning

Luxor Museum - truly exquisite collection

Valley of the Queens - more beautiful tombs

Mummification Museum - gruesome but fascinating

Ramesseum - magnificent ruin

Best way to see all of these? Start at Luxor temple then walk along the Avenue of the Sphinxes all the way to Karnac through the backstreets of Luxor, following the original processional way. Everything else, apart from the two Museums, is on the West Bank, and by far the best way of seeing theses is to cross by local ferry (10p), hire a bike (£1-£2.50 per day) and cycle round. It's safe and fun.

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