by John Holloway
I recently went on a business come Holiday trip to Luxor in Egypt. I stayed in Hotel Emilio, on the east bank of the River Nile, opposite the Avenue of the Sphinxes. The Hotel had a roof pool, restaurant with stunning views of the avenue of Sphinxes and the adjoining Luxor Temple, and the river Nile itself. The sunsets in the evening were to be remembered.
I booked with Hayes Travel, whom i highly recommend! The tour company was Olympic Holidays, who also do Greek Holidays as well as the Greek islands. The Emilio staff were helpful, friendly and spoke good English. As a part time Bible Teacher and historical student of Bible history and its links with Egypt, ie: Joseph (the coat of many colours) and his links with the Pharaohs and the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt to Carnan under Moses, (Moses was opposed by the Pharoah Rames II ) but the God of creation and Israel, set them free, the exodus Bible story. This inspired me to visit the Valley of the Kings over the Nile on the west bank where Ramses II tomb is located. I also visited Tutan Kamuns tomb and other Pharaohs. I also visited the Valley of the Queens, where Ramses II Queen Nefatari is buried, and the Temple of Hatshepsut (Hat-shep-suit). DO NOT MISS this trip, its almost like being on the set of Indiana Jones. Travelling through desert sand dunes, seeing the tribesman and Alabaster (factories) dating back to 3,500 years ago. When Pharoahs used Alabaster lamps with oil to light their temples and Palaces, ie: the Alabaster Crystal Mines.
The hot air Balloon trips which take you over the valley of Kings and Queens and Hatshepsut Temple and the surrounding dessert is also not to be missed, however I would recommend that you only walk in the Bazarrs all streets in a group, not alone as at present there is political unrest and occasional demonstrations against the Prime Minister there, and the culture of the Egyptians and Arabs is to get you to buy their wares in a very aggressive way compared to English Standards. Due to the Poverty there and the low wage they are paid. However I still recommend it.
A good idea is to take a Nile cruise on one of the ships for a week or two, where you cruise, sleep and eat, and there is safety in numbers. Hotels are great, but going in a small group helps you when visiting Baraars and walking the streets and sightseeing. Dont miss trips to Aswan and to Abu-Simbel, you can go from Luxor train station to Abu Simbel very cheaply, but for safety go in a small group. Enjoy!
PS. Egypt is hot. 8Oc in winter Nov – Dec – Jan and over 100 in summer. Take high factor sun cream with you. Also if you like an alcoholic drink, beer, wine etc, I would recommend in Luxor Genises Bar in Karwak town ( past Karnak Temple ) and the Kings head restaurant pub near Gaddis Hotel 2kms from Luxor Temple or a 15mins walk also opposite the avenue of Sphinxes and Luxor Temple are 2 nice beer – food gardens, very reasonably priced in a safe district near Emilio Hotel.
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