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Trip report

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Lancashire, England
posts: 643
reviews: 96
Trip report

Well, I'm back safe and well, but suffering withdrawal symptoms already!!

I started off by staying on the West Bank in the El Mesala hotel. It was far better than I expected and I had a lovely stay there. I travelled around using the service buses and the public ferry. This was a good way to meet people and I had some very interesting conversations!

I had no problems being alone, everyone on the WB was very kind and helpful and a couple of times they even refused to take my fare on the buses!

The WB is very relaxing compared to the hustle and bustle of Luxor and I was never worried even when walking down dusty village roads by myself.

I then went to Cairo and stayed overnight, visiting Dashur and Saqqara on day 1 then Giza on day 2.

I had a brilliant guide who collected me at the airport and took me out to Dashur first. I went inside three pyramids, which half killed me due to having to grip onto the handrails! I had a truly wonderful day and looking back I can't believe how much I saw, the Serapeum, the tombs of Mereruka, Kagemeni, Ptahotep and Akethotep, the Step, Bent, Red and Teti pyramids, then inside Khafre's and the tomb of Meresankh, finishing off with the Sphinx.

The only trouble I saw was on the approach to the Mena House hotel. As we drove to the gate a group of men were in the middle of the road and they stopped the car. They began banging on it and shouting. The guide told me that they were illegal camel drivers who wanted people to ride their camels! I know then that I'd made the right decision to have the guide for the next day at Giza, even though the pyramids are on the doorstep. The hassle there is bad. The hotel was lovely and I did the tour of the Montgomery and Churchill which was directly opposite the Great Pyramid!

I returned to Luxor and the WB, where it is so peaceful compared to EB, I then got a last minute cruise down to Aswan. This was really good as it was only for three nights. The boat was full of Egyptian families and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think I was a bit of a novelty as all the children were wanting to practice their English on me! It got a bit surreal when I guided a family around Philae - a place they'd never visited!

Aswan was, as usual, lovely, and people actually stopped me to welcome and thank me for visiting Egypt. They all asked what the outside world thought about what was happening in their country. I visited the the WB tombs again and watched the sun go down from the terrace of the Old Cataract hotel. They even gave me a tour of the Agatha Christie suite, amazing!

I returned back to Luxor, staying at the Sonesta. I noticed that the state of the horses was much improved and they were being fed as well. The hassle was, at first, what I had expected. However, on the Monday and Tuesday after the anniversary of the revolution it suddenly changed. A number of ladies were discussing in the hotel about sexual harassment and then I actually experienced it myself and it was nasty too. I spoke to a lady who was extremely distressed as lads on a motorbike had snatched her camera from her hand. She visits regularly three or four times a year but I doubt that she will be back, as she was shaking even recounting her story.

I finished my trip on my last morning by visiting the Winter Palace for a drink so that I had succeeded in my personal challenge of visiting all three of the old hotels in Egypt.

Despite these incidents I really enjoyed my trip, which was more like an adventure as I got to see so many places. I am already planning my next trip (in my head!), hoping that the situation doesn't deteriorate any further.

I met some wonderful people and have amazing memories of a brilliant trip so many thanks to all who gave me recommendations, they were absolutely spot on!

Edinburgh, United...
Destination Expert
for Luxor, Nile River Valley, Egypt
posts: 6,094
reviews: 135
1. Re: Trip report

Thanks for the report

Re refusing to take money on the buses - Maybe they knew you had your bus pass?

Glad you had a good time and that you went to my three favourite hotels whilst doing so!!

Have you booked again yet?

Guildford, United...
posts: 256
reviews: 56
2. Re: Trip report

Thanks for the interesting report Rowz.

Sorry to hear that you suffered harassment, but I'm glad that you have brought this side of what is happening to Egypt to peoples attention from what I've read in the Egyptian news websites it seems it is happening more and more to women both visiting Egypt and Egyptian women even more often. It is not acceptable and should not be brushed under the carpet !

Glad to hear that aside that you had what sounds like a great trip and haven't been put off returning.

NE UK
posts: 586
reviews: 14
3. Re: Trip report

Thank you for your report Rowz - the Cairo trip sounds amazing. So sorry you had harassment - will they ever learn?

I'm waiting for EasyJet to get their (next) winter schedule up, and I'll be there. Thanks again

Lancashire, England
posts: 643
reviews: 96
4. Re: Trip report

Sad person that I am, I have indeed checked out flights for next year but they don't seem to be available yet!

The harassment only happened on the last two days and I was more concerned about the other ladies, as they were new visitors to Luxor. They made it clear that they would not be returning.

I think it's pretty pathetic of these young men to behave the way they do as they are the ones complaining there's no tourists, yet they dishonour their religion by behaving like that to guests in their country. They got short shrift from me, but it's really put people off returning.

On a more positive note, this trip really was my best yet. I think it's because I was here and there but more importantly, I spent much more time with Egyptians. I thinks that until now I have been quite insulated from the general public. My contact had just been with people selling things but this time I met people who were just happy to pass the time of day. I really think this is what made this trip so special for me.

5. Re: Trip report

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Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Cairo, Egypt
posts: 4,593
reviews: 19
6. Re: Trip report

Thanks Rowz, glad you had a great time! Your report made me check the calendar to see how many weeks I have till I'm there, sad person that I am;)

haysville,kansas
posts: 319
reviews: 11
7. Re: Trip report

I enjoyed reading your report, thanks so much for sharing. I will have to remember when (not if) I get back to Luxor to check out the WB. You mentioned that you took a last minute cruise, were you able to get a better price on it that way?

Cambridge, United...
posts: 1,509
reviews: 103
8. Re: Trip report

Great report Rowz

Sounds like an interesting trip

Shame about the harassment but unfortunately it is to be expected if you visit Egypt

Antwerp, Belgium
posts: 66
reviews: 67
9. Re: Trip report

I'm glad you are a more laid back person than me and you enjoyed your trip in spite of what seems a couple of unpleasant incidents. :-)

Lancashire, England
posts: 643
reviews: 96
10. Re: Trip report

Ginrickey,

yes, I did get what I believe to be a good deal on the cruise. Again, from recommendations on TA I went to Petra Travel, down by the Sheraton hotel. This is a licensed company who went to a lot of trouble to find me what I wanted (and I was particular!).

They also arranged for me to be collected from Aswan and brought back to Luxor. The price for this was very good, as I had checked the fare with a couple of taxi drivers and they both wanted £100LE more!

The cost of the cruise was in US$, which is the standard currency for cruises and hotels. I was quite happy with what I paid, although I had expected to pay less due to the late booking.

Normally I would have just walked onto boats and asked the boat manager myself, but so many of them now are down by the Luxor bridge, which is a real pain. Plus, sorting out the various sailing times etc would have taken up too much of my time.

I was so pleased with the service that I received that I will probably do the same again on my next trip but this time for one on Lake Nasser.