On the Saturday went down to the Nile Palace in the evening to watch their entertainment, which was excellent. A Whirling Dervish put on a particular stunning dance which must have lasted 40 minutes, in which he didn't stop twirling once. They also included some audience participation which went down well. A stunning hotel.
We then went for a walk down Medina Street looking in the local shops, working out the price of things in the fixed price shops. Of course if I asked the price, they were quickly doubled. Very handy to learn the egyptian numbers before you go, and not that hard to do. Stopped at a pavement cafe and ordered 2 mint teas in my best arabic! It was the freshest mint tea we had all week, and the cost - 2LE each. We sat and people watched for an hour or more. One interesting observation - some children came begging round the tables, however left us alone. They asked the egyptians, but not us. We certainly knew we had left the tourist area. Will certainly sip our tea there more often in the future.
Noticed a couple of mothers with pushchairs, where they had got them from,
who knows, but they looked ancient. Called into Pizza Rom-it and we had 2 delicious Pizza's, again only couple in the restaurant.
Monday was a trip to ACE - Animal Care in Egypt. Always a pleasure to meet Kim and the staff down there. Walked round the stables, saw the resident inmates, including a tiny donkey who was on a drip due to dehydration. A sad tale as donkey had only been sent out of the centre a few days previous, but was back in again with injuries that were not accidental. The donkey was around 6-7 weeks old. I heard it was put to sleep the following day as it was beyond help. A sad day for the staff there after all their efforts. Took them some vetwrap plus other supplies. Wish them more tourists too. They too are suffering from lack of donations. A very worthy place to visit.
In the evening it was a trip on the ferry to the West Bank to eat at El Mesala hotel. One of the best meals of the week. After returning called Ahmed with caleche 110, with his lovely horse Edward. We went distributing some grass to the caleche horses, and he nipped me to his home to view his latest foal, a beautiful bay. His horses are so well looked after. Ahmed on the other hand looks like he could do with a few good meals. He proudly showed me the headcollar I had left him with on my last visit. Many of the men sell anything you give them, but Ahmed loves his horses, and this reflects on how good they look.
Tuesday we took the ferry to the West Bank and negotiated with a taxi driver to take us to visit 2 tombs, namely Rekhmire and Sennefer. Agreed a price of 50LE, and we drove to the ticket office. Sennefer was reached via 42 steps, and you certainly had to duck while going down. I was finding it incredibly dark until I realised I still had my sunglasses on! Found it much easier when they were removed.
A beautiful tomb, especially the roof emblazoned with the grapes. Well worth seeing. Next was Rekhmire just a short walk away. Guardian there used a mirror, and with the reflection of the sun onto some foil on cardboard, lit up the walls. Quite ingenious. We had the tombs to ourselves, and were encouraged by the guardians to take as long as we liked. The taxi driver however was shouting to us to 'hurry up'. We are fasting we were told, and we are too hot in the car. Tempers certainly get frayed during Ramadan time!
Guardians and guide and taxi drivers all do like to tell you how many children they have, trying to tug on your heart strings when giving them a tip.
Just part and parcel of using them really. We did tip them though, again not many tipping them these days.
Certainly we found it safe, did not have any worries at all. We had quite a few Egyptians welcome us to Luxor, and thanking us for visiting their country.
Hassle, for us hardly any. No-one chased us down the streets, some people we had to say La Shukran a couple of times, but given with a smile they just accepted it. Most hassle was by the ferry boat area, with caleche, felucca men and taxi drivers all hoping for some business.
Found it a bit quiet due to Ramadan. Certainly it comes to life in the evening, but during the day time, bit of a ghost town.
Thoroughly enjoyed it, and planning next visit ............